Michael Volpe, head of Holland Park Opera, has written a useful reflection on how opera houses and festivals are influenced by social media in their decisions on future production. Some of them are running scared of a Twitter storm.
Here’s what Kasper Holten, former head of opera at Covent Garden tells him: ‘We have a culture that is about success – star ratings, bums on seats, Twitter opinion – and that threatens risk-taking for sure. But one customer said to me that it was only worth taking risks if they are successful. Of course, that doesn’t make sense, does it? The one thing I noticed about being in the UK is that there seems to be a resistance to the idea of ‘concept’.’
Michael Volpe continues: Engaging with furious, critical patrons is something Holten clearly enjoys, and I concur with him that it is always pleasing to discuss, to learn from audiences and sometimes find a way to at least shift their thinking. The trouble is, I worry most about those who don’t engage and just vote with their feet, creating volatility — and I say this despite the fact that the ROH currently operates on occupancies of over 95%…
Read on here.
pic: Holland Park Opera