Time For The Second Course: Post-COVID Curtain Speeches

Tuesday’s post turned into an expanded conversation on my Facebook wall and while some of the discussion tilted toward the overall “like/dislike” perspective of curtain speeches, the rest of the discussion focused on how those speeches should unfold during post-COVID events.

A number of orchestra execs weighed in on the conversation as did my blogging colleague Joe Patti, who went the extra step of posting his own article on this topic over at Butts In The Seats. Assuming you take the position that curtain speeches are something to consider, even those with the tightest of delivery windows, he dives into some of the weeds you may not be thinking about.

Depending on the dynamics of your community and audience, delivering the curtain speech while wearing a facemask might be necessary to reinforce and model the expectations you have of audience members.

Love-Hate Relationship With Curtain Speeches

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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