Just in: Operabase is sold to the Danes

The essential resource for knowing who’s singing what and where has been taken over by a Danish site.

From the press release:

Operabase, one of the world’s most comprehensive online databases of opera performers, houses and companies has  been taken over by Danish professional networking platform for classical artists, arts organisations and agents, Truelinked.

Founded in 1996 as a means of collating and sharing information on opera performances worldwide, Operabase’s catalogue is available in 27 languages and, at its peak, was collecting 25,000 new performances year-on-year.

Following a hugely successful 20 years which saw the company grow from being the hobby of the founder, Mike Gibb, to being the go-to platform for opera companies and fans across the globe, the decision to sell the company was made in order to ensure the longevity and expansion of the database continued.

The deal, which amounted to a six-figure sum, was facilitated by leading law firm Harper James Solicitors and took place in June 2018.

Mike Gibb commented: ‘It has been an amazing journey with Operabase from part-time hobby to successful international resource with the Metropolitan Opera, New York and The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden among over 200 professional clients.

‘When I was approached by Truelinked with regards to buying the company from me, it just seemed like the right time – Truelinked had the financial backing and manpower to support its continued development, and to free me from the day-to-day tasks involved.’



Anyone care to comment?

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  • Let us hope they keep alive and improve upon Mr. Gibb’s invaluable contribution. And that the site doesn’t turn into a sellout to the highest bidder, meaning a promotional tool for a power hungry agency or two.

    • “the recent upgrade” is a disaster for the user – albeit perhaps a boon for the owners since it takes almost 3 times as long as the older system to put anything together you can use for a trip. I have been trying to use the new system since it came out, but after 3 or 4 months I have given up on it.
      The old site is still available as operabase.net – and it is much quicker & user efficient. Believe me, I have been using operabase for years.
      As far as the “sellout to the highest bidder” threat – with either the “the [great abysmal] recent upgrade” or the original system I find that schedules for some eastern Europe houses are not upgraded in a timely manner – no big problem, one can quickly go directly onto any theater’s website and get the most recent information that operabase doesn’t have.

    • Prettier, yes, but style over substance IMO. Searching facilities for opera travellers like me are worse, i.e. one cannot manipulate the URL. But congrats to Mike Gibb for sure.

  • Mike Gibbs’ work building Operabase was astounding. So much labor was involved, and it has been an extraordinary service to the classical music world. We all owe him a debt of gratitude.

    The new site is good, but there is one change that is very unfortunate. The statistics section now lists only the top 100 cities for performances per year. As many know, only 3 US cities are among them, NYC, Chicago, and San Francisco. I hope they will expand the list to include 500 cities or so like Mike Gibbs did. It is important to know where the other US cities stand — like Boston for example being around 380.

    To the new owners: PLEASE include the stats for at least the top 500. Americans need to face reality and see how poorly we rank.

  • This is months-old news.

    What’s extremely concerning is that the new layout of the site doesn’t function properly. It’s no longer possible, for example, to look up calendars for opera companies. Truelinked appears to have taken a site that was in no need of fixing and basically made it unusable.

    • I also refer you to see my comment below. I can add that we have a very active customer service team that will actually reply to all of your comments and use them in prioritizing what needs changing.

      I urge you to take advantage of that.

    • I’m presenting a session on New Work at the Opera Europa conference in April, and an extensive, up-to-date and fully annotated list of New&Rare opera will be available by the first weeks of January.

  • Many thanks for all the nice comments above and (seizing the opportunity of having this platform) to all of our many tens of thousands of users over the years. I am hugely grateful and honoured by the many friendships with professionals and the public alike that have come as a result of the Operabase site.

    The original impetus for Operabase, and one of the reasons for its success (I think) is that it was created to satisfy my own need for information on what opera performances were available. This wasn’t a site designed by committee — it was a site of an amateur (in the French meaning of the word .. one whose primary driving force was love of the art form) who happened by be a professional programmer.

    A number of core beliefs — that the info should be free to the public, that it should be available to as many people as possible in their own language, that it should be comprehensive and global — steered the development of the site over twenty years. To be able to support these aims, and the art form, the site developed a business-to-business side with more than 250 professional company subscribers. Of anybody’s list of the top 100 opera companies and festivals, Operabase supplied the artist info and casting tools to 95+ of them for a modest annual subscription fee. This income covered the running costs of the site, and allowed us to provide free, accurate, global, multilingual information on opera performances to the public.

    Twenty years later, the B2B side of the site was been transferred to Truelinked, who have ambitious plans to expand the existing offer to opera companies, artists and agents.

    As a consultant to the new site I can still throw in ideas and suggestions, but it’s not the same as running the show. I have a new public-facing site in mind, an Opus 2 if you will, that will return to the very first principles of Operabase — a site aimed at people who want to travel for opera, and will include all of the tools and information to allow them (and me!) to find performances, plan tours and book trips.

    • I’d be eternally grateful if you do do an Opus 2; I used to use it for planning my opera trips, and I’m finding the new site much less easy to use (and comments here suggest I’m not the only one). I particularly miss the calendar grid format for showing a company’s season. And the new maps aren’t as good as the old. Either that or persuade the new proprietors to improve the site and restore some of the lost functionality.

    • Very relieved to read your comforting words. I live in Hong Kong and have been using for over 15 years your super super website for all my yearly opera travel planning. I have many friends who have relied on me to supply them with opera travel planning.

      Please keep an eye on the buyer of your website. Like others I found the new website not user friendly and I have gone back to the old website. Let us hope that at my age of 75, my reliable pleasure of yearly multiple opera travelling around the world will not come to a difficult stop.

      William Waung sent from Italy

  • “one of the world’s most comprehensive online databases of opera performers, . . .” Wait, there are others? That’s important news if true. Where does one find these other ‘comprehensive online databases’? They’re desperately needed now that operabase is rapidly becoming unusable for non-professionals.

  • As a Truelinked founder I can only say we are extremely grateful to Mike for letting us lead the future of Operabase and deliver new value to the many users – with him advising the process still.

    Some technologically justified changes needed to be done and that has caused some inconvenience to the users.

    We are gradually improving the site and bringing back some of the much loved features that made opera travel planning a real pleasure – also the statistics.

    For audience we will never charge to be able to use these services that have become stable for opera lovers. We might, together with Mike, develop premium services of course that require payment – but that’s a whole other topic.

    Our strategy is based on delivering value and connecting the four A’s of Opera: Artists, Audience, Arts Organizations and Agencies. There is a lot of new potential in having the whole community online on Operabase.

  • Changed too much to my liking. Gone back to old format. I am 75 and have been relying on the website for so many years and hope that I can continue to make use of Operabase.com for all my yearly opera travelling.

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