Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Those Wacky Conductors

We don't really touch on conductors as much as we should here at Aria Serious. We promise that is going to change. I'd even venture a guess that there are those that have no idea what conductors do besides wave their arms around, but what does all that waving mean? I think I'll ask our resident conductor Karen Keltner to explain all that in a dedicated post sometime in the future but today there is news of two conductors worth mentioning here.

The first comes from the LA Times "Culture Monster" blog and is about wunderkid Gustavo Dudamel and his left hand. If you've ever wondered what conductors are doing on the podium this is a great article to read. It is also a kick in the teeth since I missed this concert when it was in San Diego on Saturday due to family obligations. But if you attended, feel free to mock me in the comments section below.

The second should serve as a warning to marketing departments around the world as it is about Russian conductor Gennady Rozhdestvensky backing out of performances since he was unhappy with the Company's marketing materials. Ouch.

As one who markets opera I can attest that we sometimes face the great debate of what would sell over what is important. Sometimes it is one in the same and our job is easy. Other times what is important is important only to those who already know they're coming and so we need to find what sells. We figure, once sold, they can learn what is important. After all, that's what program notes and pre-opera lectures are for.
But in the meantime, just to be safe, I better make sure my boss doesn't see our ads for Don Quixote, since he's directing it but playing second fiddle to the billing of Ferruccio and Denyce.

-- Edward

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