Tonight’s concert, with the Wichita Symphony Orchestra, is a Blue Jeans Concert. It’s added into the normal work week, in the space a dress rehearsal might otherwise have occupied, and it’s a shorter, more casual, less pricy version of the performance we’re giving twice this weekend.
Tomorrow and Sunday we are doing a Haydn symphony (the fabulous number 90!) and Carmina Burana, in normal tuxes and dressy black clothes, but tonight we play only Carmina, and we dress down, and the conductor will speak to the audience from the stage. The tickets are less expensive, and the marketing is younger, edgier, etc. This concert is clearly designed to attract a new generation of symphony-goers, not to convert existing subscribers to a dress-down model. I can’t wait to feel it out.
In South Bend our Performance Opportunities Committee proposed a similar concept to management last year. The ideas were batted around for a while in the meeting, and to me they made a lot of sense - an additional Friday concert, AKA revenue-producing-activity, with no additional rehearsals, marketed separately to bring in a different audience. The plan didn’t seem to gain traction for us, but I’m looking forward to reporting back on this event.
Most people agree that traditional symphony orchestras are struggling in this era of recession and video-on-demand and lazy consumers and greedy unions and incompetent management and all of the other simple factors being blamed for a complex problem. I’m happy to be working this week, and happy to observe the solutions that the Wichita Symphony is trying.
Free tonight? In Kansas? Come hear the thrilling Carmina Burana at 8! Details HERE.