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Posted 11 September 2013 - 07:40 PM
There are many ins and outs to this topic -- but the VERY big elephant in the room is that dance doesn't record well when compared to music -- which means that MOST PEOPLE don't want to see ballet on screen. Those of us who do are a small number -- which doesn't matter on YouTube, but it does matter when it comes to selling enough tickets to make your investment back.
Think about this -- the "Nutcracker Suite" was one of the best-selling records in the country in the 30s, but the only film version of Nutcracker that had anything like a big audience was Disney's cartoon for Fantasia; and Fantasia didn't sell all THAT well. Dance does best as animation; tap also does well, because you can hear the weight in the relative loudness of the taps; but generally speaking, the physicality of dance disappears on screen -- and ballet in particular loses most of its magic.
Opera stars make HUGE amounts of money, because of the sales of their recordings. Dancers, all except the super-stars, live like the middle class. And even the super-stars [I think] depend on live performance for most of their incomes.
Posted 11 September 2013 - 07:53 PM
Whenever a ballet DVD is released, our amazon.com commissions rise. Not as much as the dancers' moms pay for back-to-school stuff every year, but enough of a bump that we celebrate for multiple reasons when ballet DVDs are released and, especially, when they get good reviews.
The market may be small. Perhaps Market Are Us.
I'm not sure that opera singers' recording income is that high these days. There aren't very many of them, although with new media digital recording, and small studios, a singer can self-publish and post links/excerpts to their blogs and websites, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter, etc., and with iTunes, there's no reason to be dependent on physical distribution.
Posted 11 September 2013 - 08:10 PM
Opera stars make HUGE amounts of money, because of the sales of their recordings.
If Norman Lebrecht is to be believed, classical music hardly sells at all on recordings. Among the all-time top-20 bestselling classical musicians, there are 4 opera singers: Pavarotti, Callas, Domingo and Carreras. The bulk of Domingo's and Carreras' sales come from Three Tenor recordings--and if you recall, those involved in the first concert opted for an upfront fee rather than royalties, leaving Decca to collect the enormous profits. Most of Callas' sales came after her death, so obviously she didn't enjoy the profits either.
Posted 11 September 2013 - 11:46 PM
Dear Volcanohunter, your point is beside the point. Yes, the market for classical music recordings has rather collapsed in the last few years -- but still they're doing light years better than ballet recordings.
What residuals is Suzanne Farrell getting? Three tenors may be a low taste, but it sold and sold and IS still selling.
We have to face it, recordingss of classical music are almost as good as the live experience -- sometimes even better. And if you think about it a minute, none of us thinks that recorded ballet is anywhere near as good as the live experience
Posted 11 September 2013 - 11:55 PM
There never was a ballet market. The classical music market is still greater than the ballet market, but it's still like comparing strawberries to blueberries. As volcanohunter pointed out, even it it's heyday, a very small number of records/tapes/CDs comprised most of the sales, and those days are over. For Pavarotti, Carerras, and Domingo, there was a windfall, but the majority of classical musicians made their money performing, not from record sales, even when sales aside from the outliers were at their most robust.
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