The audience waited anxiously at Saturday night’s performance of the Philly Pops’ “Springtime in Paris” to see what maestro Peter Nero would say in his first appearance since the Philadelphia Orchestra declared bankruptcy.
The stormy five-year relationship between the Philly Pops and Philadelphia Orchestra Association reached a crescendo last week with a motion in court requesting that the Orchestra’s law firm, Dilworth Paxson, not represent the Pops in the bankruptcy.
He made light of the Orchestra’s legal troubles all night — even though Ann Ewers, the president and CEO of the Kimmel Center, was in the audience.
After the performance, he took the unprecedented step of asking the audience to stay so that he could talk to them. Nero, with a grimace on his face, said, “There have been many distasteful things written over the last few weeks. Lots of things are flying around.”
Then, Nero took the unexpected step of uttering the E-word — extinction.
“I am asking for your support or the Pops will face extinction. I am not asking for your money. I am asking you to go to the Web and tell people how great the Pops are.”