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Center Offers Free Tickets To 150 Singers

September 15, 1986|ALLAN JALON | Times Staff Writer

About 150 singers who will not be able to join the opening night performance at the Orange County Performing Arts Center have been invited to attend the benefit concert free, Center officials said.

The singers belong to the Pacific Chorale and the Master Chorale of Orange County, which will perform jointly at the Sept. 29 concert. But the choruses, informed last month that their combined 290 members were too many for the Center, selected 140 to perform.

The others will receive tickets that would have sold for $250 apiece, Thomas R. Kendrick, the Center's executive director, said last week.

"A decision has been made to invite those members of the chorales who cannot sing," Kendrick said.

The choruses will perform the Ode to Joy from Beethoven's Ninth Symphony with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, conducted by Zubin Mehta.

The Center's acousticians had advised that 290 singers might overpower the orchestra. Officials with the chorales had said that the acoustical shell is too small for a massed chorus, but Kendrick said last week that the shell's size is not the reason for the limit on the opening night chorus.

"The reason is artistic," he said.

The chorales also were concerned that there would be a long-term problem with the shell, but Kendrick said the Center has built plywood extensions for the large, hoodlike enclosure. It stands on the stage for certain types of performances to reflect sound toward the audience.

Of the Center's offer to the 150 singers who won't perform, Mary Lyons, chairwoman of the Pacific Chorale's Board of Directors, said: "It was a wonderful thing for them to do. They're $250 tickets and without them these people probably couldn't afford to go at all."

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