Jump to content


This site uses cookies. By using this site, you agree to accept cookies, unless you've opted out. (US government web page with instructions to opt out: http://www.usa.gov/optout-instructions.shtml)

National Companies with One Home


  • Please log in to reply
28 replies to this topic

#1 Helene

Helene

    Administrator

  • Administrators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 11,330 posts

Posted 25 March 2013 - 03:37 PM

In the "Other Performing Arts" forum we've been discussing reports about how the Met in HD broadcasts have been affecting live performance. Today I read the following tweet by tenor Michael Fabiano, who been performing in Norway.

Final Performance of the Verdi Requiem with the Oslo Philharmonic Today. In countless movie theaters in Norway.


I'm sure many here share the frustration of National companies, whether they be ballet, opera, or symphony or theaters that get large public and private subsidies, but rarely venture out of their home cities, and when they do, it's to travel abroad, like Paris Opera Ballet, or National Ballet of Toronto Canada which occasionally does very limited tours west.

If the Oslo Philharmonic concert is being broadcast throughout Norway, could this be at least some of the answer to sharing the wealth across the country? If I can get up for a 9am "Francesca da Rimini," surely I can go to an 11am showing of most of NBoC's reps. I suspect there would be an audience in France, where time zones aren't an issue, for Paris Opera Ballet HD broadcasts.

#2 volcanohunter

volcanohunter

    Sapphire Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,035 posts

Posted 25 March 2013 - 04:09 PM

If the Oslo Philharmonic concert is being broadcast throughout Norway, could this be at least some of the answer to sharing the wealth across the country? If I can get up for a 9am "Francesca da Rimini," surely I can go to an 11am showing of most of NBoC's reps. I suspect there would be an audience in France, where time zones aren't an issue, for Paris Opera Ballet HD broadcasts.


The Paris Opera does HD transmissions to movie theaters, about 45 cinemas domestically and about as many in Austria, Belgium and Germany. This season's schedule includes Les Contes d'Hoffmann, Carmen, Don Quixote, Falstaff, The Third Symphony of Gustav Mahler, Hänsel und Gretel, La Gioconda and La Sylphide. http://www.fraprod.fr/index.php

Unfortunately, the transmissions' reach is not as international as I'd like, and frankly they could do more ballet. Perhaps we should encouraged by the fact that this year's Royal Opera House HD season features 6 operas and 3 ballets, while next season's will have 5 of each.

The big potential downside of this model is that it could eventually replace broadcasts on state television. Perhaps cinema broadcasts are more viable financially, but inevitably, they're going to have a smaller audience. I would guess that the chance of the uninitiated forking over a fairly substantial sum of money to go see a ballet or symphonic concert at a movie theater is pretty slim, whereas there's probably a better chance of someone stumbling upon opera for the first time on (more or less) free television and getting hooked that way.

#3 sandik

sandik

    Rubies Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,643 posts

Posted 25 March 2013 - 04:12 PM

The big potential downside of this model is that it could eventually replace broadcasts on state television. Perhaps cinema broadcasts are more viable financially, but inevitably, they're going to have a smaller audience. I would guess that the chance of the uninitiated forking over a fairly substantial sum of money to go see a ballet or symphonic concert at a movie theater is pretty slim, whereas there's probably a better chance of someone stumbling upon opera for the first time on (more or less) free television and getting hooked that way.


You make a good point, one that I hadn't really considered since I live in Seattle where public broadcasting shows the bare minimum of dance programming. I think the transitional period may be messy, but in the long term, these kind of broadcasts have great potential, and I'm hoping to see more rather than less.

#4 Helene

Helene

    Administrator

  • Administrators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 11,330 posts

Posted 25 March 2013 - 04:20 PM

I don't know why they'd have to replace broadcasts on TV: Public Broadcasting (PBS) in the US airs the Met HD's. There's usually a lag between the Encore performances and the free TV dates, although I'm not sure if they are a season behind and after the handful of re-runs we get at the beginning of every summer here in Vancouver (where Seattle Public TV is one of the basic cable stations). The Met even produces DVDs of many of the offerings.

I go to the Met in HD's as often as I can, for the big screen and the big sound system, and then I watch them at home. For some, I buy the DVD's.

Ballet's DVD inventory could change drastically if POB, the Mariinsky, the Royal Ballet, Royal Danish Ballet, etc. made transmit more often or at least as often as the Bolshoi and released the transmissions to DVD and digital downloads, which would make them readily available worldwide, without having physical inventory.

#5 volcanohunter

volcanohunter

    Sapphire Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,035 posts

Posted 25 March 2013 - 04:37 PM

I live in Seattle where public broadcasting shows the bare minimum of dance programming.


There is a PBS spot I find really irritating. If memory serves, it features Desmond Richardson relating that as a child he saw Rudolf Nureyev (I think) dance on PBS and how this inspired him to become a dancer. I wanted to shout back at the TV: "And what are the chances of a kid from small-town South Carolina seeing Desmond Richardson dance on PBS today?!!"

#6 volcanohunter

volcanohunter

    Sapphire Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,035 posts

Posted 25 March 2013 - 05:04 PM

I don't know why they'd have to replace broadcasts on TV: Public Broadcasting (PBS) in the US airs the Met HD's. There's usually a lag between the Encore performances and the free TV dates, although I'm not sure if they are a season behind and after the handful of re-runs we get at the beginning of every summer here in Vancouver (where Seattle Public TV is one of the basic cable stations). The Met even produces DVDs of many of the offerings.


Yes. In fact I suspect that one of the reasons the Met turned to movie theaters in the first place was because its PBS broadcasts had dwindled to a trickle, down from highs of 7 or 8 broadcasts per season in the 1970s and '80s.

2000-01: 3 telecasts
2001-02: 2 telecasts
2002-03: 1 telecast
2003-04: 1 telecast
2004-05: 0 telecasts
2005-06: 1 telecast (the Volpe retirement gala)

But once the cinema series began, PBS was more than happy to broadcast an already finished product. Typically, the performances are aired with a delay of about 4 months. But it may also be that the opera broadcasts have reached a point of diminishing returns. I think I mentioned on the Met HD thread that the two PBS stations I get no longer air all the Met transmissions, and the number of productions that don't air seems to increase with each season.

There have been complaints in the UK that performing arts programs on the BBC are becoming less frequent, and there is some irritation that having already paid taxes that go toward subsidizing the Royal Opera House, people are being asked to pay again to see performances at movie theaters, rather than being able to see the fruits of their taxes on television as in years past. On the other hand, as with the Met, the number of performances being filmed has increased.

So I suppose it could go either way.

#7 sandik

sandik

    Rubies Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,643 posts

Posted 25 March 2013 - 09:01 PM


I live in Seattle where public broadcasting shows the bare minimum of dance programming.


There is a PBS spot I find really irritating. If memory serves, it features Desmond Richardson relating that as a child he saw Rudolf Nureyev (I think) dance on PBS and how this inspired him to become a dancer. I wanted to shout back at the TV: "And what are the chances of a kid from small-town South Carolina seeing Desmond Richardson dance on PBS today?!!"


Alas, I'm afraid they are almost nil.

#8 Helene

Helene

    Administrator

  • Administrators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 11,330 posts

Posted 27 March 2013 - 02:17 AM

There have been complaints in the UK that performing arts programs on the BBC are becoming less frequent, and there is some irritation that having already paid taxes that go toward subsidizing the Royal Opera House, people are being asked to pay again to see performances at movie theaters, rather than being able to see the fruits of their taxes on television as in years past. On the other hand, as with the Met, the number of performances being filmed has increased.

So I suppose it could go either way.

I pay for the HD in the movie house knowing that there's a great chance I'll see it again on PBS because in the movie theater, it's on a big screen with a much better sound system than I have. That's what I always thought I was paying for. It's like the difference between seeing "Star Wars" in the theater vs. on TV: it's just not the same. I'm not someone who happily gets up before 8am on a weekend,but I've found the Met in HD worth it, apart from the communal feeling of watching something live at the same time as people halfway across the globe.

I would think if PBS was willing to air Met in HD operas because they were ready-made and they didn't have to have a producer, there's little reason why British TV wouldn't come to the same conclusion.

#9 sandik

sandik

    Rubies Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,643 posts

Posted 27 March 2013 - 08:57 AM

I pay for the HD in the movie house knowing that there's a great chance I'll see it again on PBS because in the movie theater, it's on a big screen with a much better sound system than I have. That's what I always thought I was paying for. It's like the difference between seeing "Star Wars" in the theater vs. on TV: it's just not the same.


I absolutely agree about the difference between a screen in the theater and the screen on my 10-year old television! But the analogy gets more complex when we talk about a performing art, since we add another option to the mix. There's the performance on my television, whether it's broadcast or DVD -- it's convenient (especially for people who aren't very mobile, or have transportation challenges), it's inexpensive, but the image and sound quality is often mediocre. There's the performance at the movie theater -- it's all bigger (image size, volume, space in general), and in many cases it's work that you otherwise would not be able to see. The price point is in between, which is a deciding factor for some people, but it's not the live thing. And then there's the performance in the theater -- no need to list the pros and cons on this.

I see all of the above, sometimes to see the same work, but I don't look for the same experience in each. And that might be part of the trouble with how they're currently marketed -- I think the assumption from live presenters is that people will always default to the easier (or cheaper) option, but the marketing that I've seen tends to emphasize the equivalence of it -- it's all "Aida," not often "Aida live," "Aida in HD," or "Aida in your living room."

#10 Helene

Helene

    Administrator

  • Administrators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 11,330 posts

Posted 27 March 2013 - 09:25 AM

I think the Met does the opposite and that's why it's always "Met in HD" in the cinema, and Great Performances for the TV versions. "Met in HD" is the brand, and, if anything, I think they're trying to sell a season, not specific operas.

#11 sandik

sandik

    Rubies Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,643 posts

Posted 27 March 2013 - 10:14 AM

I think the Met does the opposite and that's why it's always "Met in HD" in the cinema, and Great Performances for the TV versions. "Met in HD" is the brand, and, if anything, I think they're trying to sell a season, not specific operas.


I didn't make myself very clear, but you've tidied up my loose ends here -- you're likely dead right that the Met is hoping to sell the series subscription, but they're still emphasizing the equivalent part -- it's the Met, no matter where you see it.

#12 kbarber

kbarber

    Bronze Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 497 posts

Posted 28 March 2013 - 05:39 AM

From an interview with David Bintley and other artistic directors in the New York Times (emphasis mine)
"There is no doubt that new media and the technology that makes HD screening possible has given us a whole different kind of exposure. We’ve done a few screenings, and are trying to strike agreements with the dancers and the musicians so that it can happen more often. Even though there is no money in it, it is a fantastic marketing tool, and we have found that it actually brings audiences in, rather than taking them away, as many people feared."

This year the Canadian Opera Company had to cease its RADIO broadcasts on the CBC because paying the artists was more than it could afford and the CBC was no longer paying for it. And radio is a lot cheaper medium than live HD transmission.

"National Ballet of Toronto Canada which occasionally does very limited tours west."
Is this NBOC bashing necessary? EVery other year to Saskatoon, Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, and Vancouver Island is not what I would call "occasionally" and "limited".

#13 volcanohunter

volcanohunter

    Sapphire Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,035 posts

Posted 28 March 2013 - 06:50 AM

"National Ballet of Toronto Canada which occasionally does very limited tours west."
Is this NBOC bashing necessary? EVery other year to Saskatoon, Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, and Vancouver Island is not what I would call "occasionally" and "limited".


The biennial tour which should have taken place this fall is not happening, and the tour before last was cancelled at the last minute, leaving local presenters in a real bind. I agree with Helene on this one. It's not a question of bashing the company per se, just wondering whether it should really be called "National" when its reach is anything but.

#14 Helene

Helene

    Administrator

  • Administrators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 11,330 posts

Posted 28 March 2013 - 08:05 AM

I do the Ballet Alert! calendar, and I know where the company has been and has not been. NBoC's idea of a domestic tour is a run in Ottawa.

NBoC has canceled this year's Western Tour because of funding, but it's bringing the Ratmansky "Romeo and Juliet" to London and "Giselle," "The Four Season," and "Emergence" to Saratoga Springs. The biennial tour in 2009 was canceled as well, after having dropped Winnipeg and Saskatoon from the original itinerary. According to the press release for the 2011 Western Tour, Winnipeg was added for the first time in 14 years, and it skipped Saskatchewan. In Nanaimo, Victoria, and Vancouver only, Karen Kain brought a small group primarily for a benefit for Ballet BC, which was in danger of never re-opening.

I would be much more interested in seeing three or four broadcasts of the Toronto performances in a movie theater, so I could see what London and Saratoga Springs are seeing, and so could the people in Regina, Saskatoon, Quebec, Charlottetown, Halifax, etc.

#15 kbarber

kbarber

    Bronze Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 497 posts

Posted 29 March 2013 - 05:48 AM

In order to have a properly informed discussion of this question of how better the NBOC could serve its Canadian audience, I think we need answers to the following questions. I don't have them, but perhaps helene and volcanohunter can provide them.

Re: "three or four broadcasts of the Toronto performances in a movie theater"
1) How much would the dancers' and orchestra unions require that their members be paid for each one of these over and above their salary (because they would require it)
2) How much would it cost to acquire the equipment to film the broadcast, install it in the opera house in Toronto, pay the technicians to operate it, book the satellite time to transmit it, and whatever other costs are involved?
3) Would the Canadian Opera Company, which owns the opera house, charge more for this (as I understand it, they charge the NBOC for just about everything they can)
4) Is Alexei Ratmansky even willing to have his Romeo filmed for live broadcast? how much would he charge extra for the rights to his production for a live broadcast? How about the designer, Richard Hudson? The same questions apply for James Kudelka and Santo Loquasto regarding Swan Lake and Cinderella.
5) Once we have a costing for this undertaking (times "three or four"), can anyone suggest the names of people who would be willing to cough up the money (in addition to the huge amount of fundraising the NBOC has to do already every year just for its operating expenses and new productions). As I understand it, when the NBOC did a live broadcast of its Nutcracker a few years ago, it had to raise something over $100,000 to pay for it and then took a bath financially. And that was Nutcracker, a relatively easy sell to movie theatres, funders etc.. And I believe there was resistance from the other Canadian ballet companies who felt that NBOC was poaching their own audience. How easy or otherwise would it be to convince a movie theatre in Regina that they should have a showing of "Emergence"?

Look at how few ballet companies actually do live broadcasts: the Bolshoi, the Royal B, and the Paris Opera B, all hugely subsidized. Occasionally Dutch National Ballet. Doesn't that tell us something?

Re: the fact that the NBOC has in fact started touring this year, but not in Canada (other than to Ottawa):
1) Can someone provide a budget comparing the cost of transporting and providing accommodation and per diems for flying a 70+-dancer company plus orchestra plus artistic staff from Toronto to Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, and Victoria for two weeks to the same cost for transporting them 7 hours by bus to Saratoga Springs for 4 days? If Saratoga Springs came calling offering an opportunity to provide dancers with extra employment in the middle of July, should the company have refused?
2) If a prestigious theatre in London invites the NBOC to perform there, should the NBOC refuse, saying "Well actually we have to fundraise so we can go to Saskatoon instead?" I have nothing against Saskatoon, I grew up on the prairies myself, but seriously.

I'm sorry, but I do consider a comment like "NBOC's idea of a domestic tour is a run to Ottawa" to be NBOC-bashing. As I have said before on this topic, I think this kind of negativity is a case of blaming the victim.


0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users


Help support Ballet Alert! and Ballet Talk for Dancers year round by using this search box for your amazon.com purchases (adblockers may block display):