La Vie not so Boheme

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Madame Butterfly is playing for $20, Comrade! Get thee to Lincoln Center, stat!

Finally, someone in a position of power in New York City’s major cultural institutions has figured out how to attract that “younger audience” to opera and theatre to reinvigorate these “dying artforms”. Don’t make us choose between seeing an opera and making rent!

The funny thing is, they’re surprised it’s working. Peter Gelb, the wonderfully irreverant new general director at the Metropolitan Opera, who has been instituting sweeping reform in his first 2 months at his new post such as the first advertising campaign (gasp!) in 50 years, and having an “Open House” with a free dress rehearsal, has just added $20 rush tickets for orchestra seats that normally cost $275. New York Art has finally figured out how to use corporate sponsors, like the MoMA’s free Friday nights, sponsored by Target (a ticket otherwise costs $20).

In the NY Times, Mr. Gelb is quoted as saying of the Met’s normal audience, “The average age was 65 when I arrived.” Even Norman Peck, president of the Peter Jay Sharp Foundation, an active corporate sponsor, said, “We were all amazed that out of the woodwork these [young] people came roaring up… If you don’t do something, you’ll be left with guys who have false teeth and white hair. Eventually, they’ll all die and you’ll have nothing.” […he said to a room full of guys who have false teeth and white hair…]

Um… right. Well, while you can’t vouch for Mr. Peck’s job survival prowess, you can’t say he’s totally wrong. And for $20, I’m not sayin’ nuthin.

~ by Jeff on October 9, 2006.

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