Something Not Unpleasant From The ENO

With all the drama at the ENO it was more than a little fun to enjoy watching the repeat broadcast of PBS’s Great Performance: Operatunity. If you missed the broadcast, visit the Operatunity webpage at PBS and read about the program in an essay by Marc Geelhoed, the decidedly witty proprietor of Deceptively Simple


Admittedly, I’m not a fan of reality television any longer, it was interesting at first but grew stale in no time at all. The blatantly contrived American Idol show is one of the best examples of everything that is unappealing about contemporary reality television; however, the Operatunity program was a real treat and makes me believe there’s some life left in the reality genre if the producers of such programming do it the right way.

The program has a lot to offer whether you’re a musician, a dedicated opera patron, or someone who simply enjoys watching television. Although I doubt this single program will spawn a new audience for classical music, it should go a long way in planting a multitude of seeds. Nevertheless, if you’re an opera novice and are looking for a good way to learn about the medium from the inside out, it’s an especially fun program.

So when’s the orchestra version coming out?

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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