Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Met's Grand Gamble Culture: vanityfair.com

On Saturday I posted a short note about my new-found interest in opera. I attended a Met production of "Hamlet" at a local movie theater, and had a terrific experience.

But then today, on Twitter, someone referenced this article that will appear in the May 2010 Vanity Fair. It's a long article, but interesting.

I don't know all of the facts behind the numbers (I suspect the Met would disagree with some of the observations) but I do know that the average age of the operas that I have attended is even older than me (!), which can only be worrisome for the longer term prospects of opera in the United States.

The Boston Lyric Opera is doing a good job, I think, in holding various events around the Boston area to try to attract a younger audience. And the performances that I have attended from the BLO have been pretty well-attended, which is a good sign also.

Still, it highlights the problems that all theatre and other arts companies are having. Production costs keep rising, and the competition for the entertainment dollar has multiplied over the years (when Mozart was writing operas, people went in part because that was the only entertainment available).

The Met's Grand Gamble Culture: vanityfair.com