Friday, March 30, 2012

New York's Other Opera Companies

How many opera companies are there in New York, other than the Met and the New York City Opera? Lots. There's Chelsea Opera, Gotham Opera, Opera Company of Brooklyn. There's Pocket Opera of New York and more. Last night I attended The Center for Contemporary Opera's production of Big Jim and the Small Investors by Eric Salzman, at the Flea Theater in Greenwich Village.
The Center for Contemporary Opera, of which Eric Salzman is the Artistic Director, has been around for a while. Pocket of New York is relatively new. They both follow the traditional formula for organizing and structuring a music theater company, i.e. they are both corporations with a board of directors, with a artistic and management team, and with a long list of contributors. And yet, the Salzman opera began rehearsals only 5 days before the show and included a last minute replacement for accompanist. It was opera in concert. Done well but done at the last minute with minimal rehearsal. They didn't get into the theater until the day of the performance.

I wonder if all the work required to put together an organization like this is really worth it, artistically speaking. Maybe I'm just jealous. But I think I like the Phil Glass model better. Phil drove a cab and was a professional handy man before he became so famous. He used he money he garnered from his non-musical activities to finance his musical activities and made it big-time after renting out the Metropolitan Opera. Amazing! The reward was that he maintained his independence. No board to please. No collaborators to mollify. Of course, when Phil Glass started writing in the "minimalist" style he figured no one would support it financially anyway. So why bother.

I find myself somewhat in Phil's position. I'm told that Voice Afire's operas aren't operas. I must be doing the right thing.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Butterfly's Trouble Promo Video

Butterfly's Trouble Promotional Video

What's needed for a Promo Video? I've been told by various Arts Management people that Presenters would like to see what they will be getting if they should book your show. That means that fancy camera angles are likely out, as are fancy just about anything.
But, wait a minute. In actuality the camera always lies in one way or another. So it's a tough call.
For instance, on seeing my static and somewhat blurry video of Butterfly's Trouble being performed at the 45th Street Theatre, Robert Baird of BAM! Baird Artists Management told me that Presenters might take the image of a small black box theater to mean that the show would work only in a small black box theater. From the video, these same Presenters might conclude that this was something suitable for only a high brow audience.

Wrong! Wrong! Wrong! Please take a look at my new Butterfly's Trouble Promotional Video and tell me your conclusions. Where does the show belong, vis a vis theater and audience?

Thanks. Oh yes, below is a code that the Technorati website needs to recognize this blog so that people like me, trying to bang some sense and imagination into the dull and unimaginative heads (Robert Baird says it, Not me. :), bless his helpful hyde), can obtain some needed info.