Opera & Music Theatre Forum (OMTF)

OMTFOne of the most important advocacy groups for Opera as an artform in the UK is the OMTF.  Their self-stated mission is to be …a network of companies working to create an environment in which opera and music theatre can flourish.

One can only applaud both the sentiment and the ambition.

OMTF’s 2013 conference entitled, ‘FUTURE TENSE? – What will the world be like in 2030?’ was held on November 13 in London.  The invited speakers, including playwright/librettist, Mark Ravenhill, were a pretty stellar group of informed individuals, not the least being Royal Opera House artistic director, Kasper Holten. Continue Reading →

Los Angeles Opera Premiere 1927’s Die Zauberflöte

This production of The Magic Flute is one of the best I have seen.  Just premiered at LA Opera, it is a Komische Oper Production, co-conceived by Barrie Kosky & the wonderful theatre company, 1927.  This production is co-directed by Suzanne Andrade & Barrie Kosky.  The highly inventive and sensitively rendered animation is by 1927’s Paul Barritt.

Just watch it – and try to ignore the fact that the promo audio is distorted.  Not much else to add really – a case of the picture being worth a thousand words.

Take care,


Musical Theatre Attendance Data: Analysis USA and UK – Part I

Worry_WortTwo really interesting reports have recently been published that throw some much needed light on the attendance trends for Musicals in both the USA and the UK.  The reports are respectively, the 2012 Survey of Public Participation in The Arts (SPPA) Report #57 from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the 2013 Arts Index: a measure of the vitality of Arts and Culture in England.

Pity we can’t do this for Opera!

There is no robust methodology to directly compare the data from these reports, if for no other reason than the metric and rubric used to quantify the statistical data is neither identical nor predicated upon comparable data collection sets.  Nonetheless, even a cursory review of the preliminary analyses of these reports throws up some worrying trends across two continents.

The trend across the USA of people attending a Musical is downward.  The rate of change (not the number of actual people) is down by a factor of 9% from 2002.  However – and this is the important bit – the rate of change in the second half of the decade between data collection samples (i.e. from 2008-12) has fallen increasingly faster by a factor of four. In other words decline in attendance for Musicals is accelerating. Continue Reading →