Formal Attire at the Opera? Here’s What Some Opera Houses Say

In a widely-circulated column in The Guardian, from Oct. 14, writer Howard Jacobson argues that opera audiences have become too casual, and that men should wear suits and ties to performances in an effort to “commemorate the specialness of an occasion.” He recounts attending a performance of a Mozart opera in London and being the only man in his row wearing a formal suit, while others wandered in sporting gym shoes, jeans and polo shirts. Continue reading “Formal Attire at the Opera? Here’s What Some Opera Houses Say”

New York Philharmonic Can’t Get Enough of Mahler

The New York Philharmonic is entering a bold new era for fans of Gustav Mahler and other late-Romantic symphonists, if the opening-night gala concert, led by Jaap van Zweden, was any indication. The Sept. 19 program featured Mahler’s Fifth Symphony, performed days after van Zweden led the same work at the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, where he is in his final season as music director.
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Santa Fe Opera’s ‘The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs’ on Closing Night

SANTA FE, NM – Driving north from Santa Fe on Highway 285, a stadium-like structure appears perched above the left side of the road. Turn off at one of the two marked exits, pull into one of the tightly-packed parking lots, and soon you’ll encounter small groups of tailgaters beside their crossover SUVs and Subaru wagons. In most cities, this would be the preamble for an NFL football game, but here, open-air opera is the star attraction. Continue reading “Santa Fe Opera’s ‘The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs’ on Closing Night”

Five Things Every Orchestra Website Should Get Right

In compiling the BBC Music Magazine‘s North American concert calendar every month, I spend a lot of time scanning the websites of concert presenters and orchestras across the U.S. and Canada. Though I am not a marketer and admittedly know little about ticketing sales practices, it’s easy to identify potential improvements in website design and usability. With that in mind, here are five things that I see orchestras can do to improve the online customer experience. Continue reading “Five Things Every Orchestra Website Should Get Right”

Branding Classical Music to ‘Trick’ Younger Listeners

The Guardian recently reported that the BBC Radio 3 is considering whether to remove BBC branding from its new classical podcasts, in an effort to entice more young people into trying them out. Continue reading “Branding Classical Music to ‘Trick’ Younger Listeners”

Alan Gilbert Previews U.N. Project in Lincoln Center Finale

As Alan Gilbert prepares to close out his eight-year tenure with the New York Philharmonic, he’s laying the groundwork for a new project to be launched in collaboration with the United Nations, called Musicians for Unity. Continue reading “Alan Gilbert Previews U.N. Project in Lincoln Center Finale”

Streaming Classical Music Concerts: The Menu Grows

At a recent lunch for news media in New York, Hervé Boissière, the president and founder of the French concert-streaming service Medici.tv, showed off the beta version of his company’s new website. Gone was the old homepage dominated by a ginormous video player, which automatically started playing upon arrival (forcing you frantically reach for the pause button and/or volume if you had other plans). Continue reading “Streaming Classical Music Concerts: The Menu Grows”

Ticket Resellers and Finding Cheap Seats at the Opera

Ticket resellers like StubHub and SeatGeek are familiar options for anyone looking for tickets to the Yankees or for Billy Joel at Madison Square Garden. But how about a black-tie opera soirée? Continue reading “Ticket Resellers and Finding Cheap Seats at the Opera”

Mozart Looms Large in Salzburg (Modest Stature Aside)

A visit to the Mozart Residence in Salzburg, Austria one early spring day found a surprising number of young visitors in their teens and twenties, representing various nationalities and many seemingly absorbed in the composer’s personal story. Continue reading “Mozart Looms Large in Salzburg (Modest Stature Aside)”