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History of the FGO Orchestra

At least as early as the 1980's Florida Grand Opera had its own orchestra. Since the FGO orchestra and the Florida Philharmonic (then Philharmonic Orchestra of Florida) shared many of the same musicians, the orchestras merged in 1986 and FGO agreed to use the FPO for its productions. This relationship continued until 2002. 

In 2001, citing scheduling conflicts with the FPO, the Opera engaged the "Florida Classical Orchestra" to perform for some of its productions. The FCO performed for two productions in the 2000-2001 season, three in 2001-2002, and four in 2002-3. From the 2003-2004 season to the present FCO has been the exclusive orchestra for the opera. As reported by Lawrence Johnson in the Sun-Sentinel on June 13, 2001:

[Robert Heuer] stressed that he and music director Stewart Robertson were "very happy" with the freelance musicians' past efforts. "I think Stewart liked the fact that he had musicians who liked being a pit orchestra and really came to work prepared to work hard. It's been a good relationship."

Many of the musicians of the FGO orchestra were members of the Boca Pops Orchestra, which filed for bankruptcy in 2001. The Boca Pops musicians had extensive experience as a pit orchestra, being the orchestra for Miami City Ballet from 1993 until the Ballet stopped using live orchestra, around 2000. Many of the FGO orchestra members also previously played for the opera as members of the Florida Philharmonic.

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