Not Nearly Enough is at Stake

This from Terry Teachout’s About Last Night:

  • “I rarely go to classical concerts. It’s not that I love the music any less, but over time I’ve become increasingly alienated from the experience of concertgoing: the noisy audiences, the unimaginative programs, the feeling that not nearly enough is at stake… I find that few classical music events… are capable of inspiring me to surrender a precious evening I could spend doing something else.”

I don’t always find myself engaged by Teachout’s blog. I respect his track record and position in the cultural landscape, but I don’t always get it. But I’ll keep this blunt assessment in my back pocket for quite a while.


This from a recent email exchange with a director colleague. The subject is Peter Brook’s “Deadly Theatre”:

  • “There is always a deadly spectator, who for special reasons enjoys a lack of intensity and even a lack of entertainment… In his heart he sincerely wants a theatre that is nobler-than-life and he confuses a sort of intellectual satisfaction with the true experience for which he craves. Unfortunately, he lends the weight of his authority to dullness and so the Deadly Theatre goes on its way.”

How many times has fear driven us to pander to the Deadly Spectator? And the resulting Deadly Performance drives away our hope of a future audience.


And this, from The Rest is Noise (it’s months old, but I bookmarked it):

  • “Classical music, for all its elite trappings, is actually a radical, disruptive force in American culture, whereas most popular culture, for all its rebellious trappings, is intensely conservative.”

Radical. Disruptive. Ah, there’s the future.


Living on the Right (and I don’t mean politics…)

So happy to see that Wired magazine and author Daniel Pink recognize that right-brain people are on the ascendancy. I always knew we would run the world someday. And do it better than ever before.

  • The future no longer belongs to people who can reason with computer-like logic, speed, and precision…the abilities that matter most are now closer in spirit to the specialties of the right hemisphere – artistry, empathy, seeing the big picture, and pursuing the transcendent.

Rock on.

Website Warnings

Spending a lot of time lately doing phone interviews with prospective interns for the summer. Especially with phone interviews, I tend to google applicants first. A word to the wise: Be careful what you put on the internet.

Selling Figaro

Days behind deadline on my “wrap” article for this summer’s printed program. Two pages which have the potential of being read by a few hundred thousand people waiting for other performances (rock, pop, jazz, blues, musical theatre) to begin. Why should they “surrender a precious evening” to come to the opera?

Sobering, dare I say intimidating. We have over 10,000 tickets to sell for two Figaro performances. One ticket at a time. We’ve done it before and we can do it again. The good news is that the product we’re selling needs no apology. The challenge lies in our ability to get that message across – to tell the story.



Sadly, in the end we can’t prevent people from writing unprofessional things on the internet which include our names. It’s a free web world. Even if it’s an otherwise good and well-meant article, there may be one little unprofessional half-sentence which just happens to appear in Google under your name. It has happened to me and I have seen it happen to colleagues. Or there is someone else with the same name who is into internet dating. Arghhh! If anyone knows what to do against that, I would be really curious to know, too.


The folly of youth also can’t be undone. If only I had known that this Internet thing was permanent when I was young and stupid.

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