Forehead Slap

Although it isn’t unheard of to deflect attention from one crisis by creating another, more manageable one, on a smaller scale it is unlikely that was the case when The Metropolitan Opera (Met) announced they were cancelling the radio broadcast and simulcasts for John Adams’s “The Death of Klinghoffer.” In case you missed the bombshell news, just do a Google search and you’ll catch up on the details in no time but one item I have yet to come across is exactly how much revenue The Met stands to lose thanks to a decision that even the most polite voices among the sea of outrage are calling a “regrettable decision.”

ADAPTISTRATION-GUY-083It will be interesting to learn exactly how much The Met stands to lose in not only lost revenue but potential penalties related to eleventh hour cancellations; after all, there were a bunch of movie theaters out there promoting this and selling advance tickets. At the same time, that assumes The Met will provide enough transparency to determine the overall economic impact.

In the end, this could all be part of an elaborate strategy to generate artificial rarity and boost ticket sales. Then again…

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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2 thoughts on “Forehead Slap

  1. I’ve been pretty shocked by this story all week. What’s most surprising to me is the number of people supporting the Met’s decision, and the greater number of people who are acting like it’s a reasonable debate to have. I’m absolutely blown away by the milk-toast, agree-to-disagree cop-out post on NewMusicBox.

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