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Showing posts from October, 2016

Opera in Ireland - lets stop the whinging

I finally snapped after reading the latest whinging letter in the Irish Times today bemoaning the lack of opera in Dublin.  We don't have much opera in Dublin, simply, because audiences do not support what is there.  I'm writing a fuller post, and have sent a letter to the Times, entitled "where has all the opera audience gone?" but here is a quick summary of what the real issues are, and they are not merely funding issues:

1. Audience attendance is middling.  Small productions in small venues sell extremely well, but larger venues such as the Gaiety and Bord Gais Energy Theatre are often spotty and poorly attended.  This goes for both local companies (Lyric, OTC and Wide Open Opera) and visiting companies.  THE BGE resorts to group ticket discounting in order to stem the tide.  The NCH struggles also with both semi staged, concert performances and even recitals of good international artists are poorly - sometimes very poorly - attended.  As a result box office recei…

The Etiquette of "Ghosting": couldn't we all just, well, talk?

I am increasingly finally hearing a word for the phenomena that has existed online since I started using tinernet in 1994: "ghosting."  This is where you enthusiastically communicate with somebody online (it used to be IRC or various chat services, now its mostly social media) then quite suddenly they disappear.  You are unfollowed, defriended, maybe blocked, phone calls unanswered (or changing numbers).  The person literally "disappears".  Congratulations, you've been "ghosted."


That said, with an increasing number of people multi-purposing their social media accounts for business purposes, boundaries often get blurred.  A few incidents highlight the problem of using social media for many different purposes, and especially using the same account.  One acquaintance, a slightly controversial writer and relative of somebody who has recently been subjected to some of the worst online abuse I've ever seen, disappeared off social media for quite some t…

Thoughts on OTC's Don Giovanni...

Firstly, a lot of publicity went into Roddy Doyle doing the libretto for the translation for this.  I'm not sure how exactly this worked: I don't know if Doyle is a fluent Italian speaker, and I'm sure there's already numerous English variants around for the likes of ENO and smaller English houses.  (OTC have in the past worked with small English festivals with similar interests sharing resources).  This added a level of expectation around the production itself, inevitable, since Doyle largely writes not merely about Dublin, but a north side working class Dublin which itself is established enough to have many stereotypical tropes.

Secondly - and I think this was key - the production was placed in the Dublin Theatre Festival which vastly changed the audience.  The Dublin performance were in the Gaiety (much more friendly an opera venue than most).  Cork audiences have even more luck: two performances in the Cork Opera house.  This enables a full orchestra, and OTC have …