The above showed up on the Met’s website. So: no press conference this year, no questions, no previews. Happy 2013-2014!
Just exactly how much does it cost to put on one of these press conferences and/or who covers that cost and under what budget? I certainly don’t miss it nor do I care.
It’s held in List Hall. There are (or were) presentations made by some of the directors and singers featured in the next season. These talks are filmed and then are used for publicity purposed on the website, YouTube, etc. There are costs associated with a PR agency supplying meet-and-greet personnel, AV costs for the filmed presentations, and then a little coffee and cookie reception afterward.
Not very expensive surely if it gets stories about the Met’s exciting new season placed in a new media outlets.
Oh I see your point; the cost is really not at issue here, and especially if it gets out the word effectively.
Well, there is some good reason why they are not bothering and now I’m wondering just what that might be.
Maybe we are going into a totalitarian state of affairs now — ` ?
The Manchurian Candidate comes to the Met? or 1984?
Remember the flap on WQXR last spring about Olivia Giovetti and then that absurd suppression of Opera News coverage at the Met? Who knows? And he who knows is not talking.
And it does (or did) get the word out effectively. I think a lot of the buzz around Lepage’s Ring had to do with the (very clever) presentation they did at that season’s press conference. It got picked up “everywhere.”
Here are my questions -- Four, because I am the youngest at the table.
1) Would you please tell us whether the income from the HD transmissions to date equals yet the expenses incurred in developing and implementing the techonology. In other words, are the dollars in ‘real’ dollars or is the MET still digging itself out of the hole of developing and expanding the technology.
2) As to ticket sales as reported, would you please give us a general breakdown over the past five years of what percentage of tickets have been sold at full price, what percent discounted (and how much), what percent given away or paid for by third parties, and what percent bartered?
3) Do you feel that your separate compensation as producer of the MET telecasts interferes with your guidance of the Company as general manager?
4) Have you ever actually listened to the intermission broadcasts on the radio?
To which I would add another question. Has a survey been taken to try and establish how many attendees in HD movie theatres actually “graduate” to become paying subscribers in New York, or minimally, annual contributors/donors to the Met?
It used to be a given of budgeting that the physical butts-in-seats in Lincoln Center ostensibly needed to be there, now and for the future. The “product” produced in the house before a live audience is presumably necessary for the HD movie experience and venues to exist. But maybe not. In the brave new world of Gelb, perhaps the profits from HD transmission are really so sensational (which I doubt), so as to eventually do away with the necessity for subscribers and box office receipts. It would be an expensive proposition (let’s not even discuss unions) but technically, a small group of operas destined for the movie screen, could be filmed in an empty Met (no paying audience), or for that matter on a studio backlot somewhere, exclusively for the ultimate end of streaming the canned product, under the Met name, to the HD houses.
Glad to see I am not the only person to have had this thought run wild in his/her imagination -- and which I dread coming to fruition.
I just wonder if that isn’t exactly what it is all headed for, so grazie, Benedetta e sii benedetta!
Camille: to paraphrase Refice’s Cecilia, “Grazie sorella”. We’re definitely singing in thirds on this one. Sincerely hope we are wrong about where this may be headed.
I can’t think of any arts organisation in the world who would answer question 2.
I think that asking for the percentage exchanged as barter and or totally subsidized might not be answered, but on the other hand you have Gelb crowing about ticket sales and presenting a very selective model of what has been happening and it is certainly a legitimate question.
I’m not really sure it is, to be honest. Apart from meaning that all kinds of things which are the dull everyday of a big house would have to be declared (company tickets, house seats, papering, sponsor tickets, returns etc) I don’t really see why we have a ‘right’ to know how many tickets are sold at each price. Maybe- maybe- it’s a valid question for a house which receives a large public subsidy, but even then I don’t see why we should expect to know more than percentage sold and P/L.
‘sold at each price’ = sold at full price. A damn you, autocorrect moment.
I am with you 100% on this one. It’s a completely irrelevant question, how many full price/discounted tickets are sold, unless it’s indicative of a TREND. What needs to be made public is the revenue figure, which can then be analyzed against another overall figure, the occupancy rate. These two figures give enough info about the average price of sold tickets and about the necessity to discount.
Right on, AJ. I agree 100%.
At the Paris Opera, it was 94% in calendar 2011 and 96% in 2011. And that’s with dull Nicolas Joel. If someone knows any outlet for cheaper tickets, please advise. It’s hard enough getting full-price ones.
ahh… 2012 should be the second year. Facts released January 10th.
According to this, this season the Met is running at 81% capacity, which is a drop from last season.
“No press conference”…
I don’t really know and I don’t want to offend anyone… but the first thing that came up in my mind is “Ah it could be because Levine’s not in shape to appear in public…”
I don’t see any problem here. As more and more media outlets lay off arts correspondents, Gelb realized the live event was one of diminishing returns.
Just as Texaco similarly realized some years ago their 75+ year association was one of diminishing returns in this brave new world?
As if a big oil company actually had to worry about its sponsorship of Met broadcasts.
I would agree, Louannd, except something similar happened when Mobil stopped underwriting Masterpiece Theater. I heard and interview where an executive said that “brand is no longer important to consumers, so there is no point in being a sponsor” -- or words to that effect. They spend all their money trying to woo investors (big ones apparently, not individuals)
An example of science and art becoming increasingly dangerous to big businesses who want to maintain an ignorant, uneducated public about what they actually do to maintain big profits.
Peter understands, but just didn’t say ALL of what he meant: “It seems like the current season would have been harder to defend at a press conference.” Gelb does not want to foster the notion that the Met needs--or even OUGHT--to DEFEND anything. The next season is what it is. He wants to announce it, without allowing even the slightest appearance that it needs defending. To Gelb, the Met is never wrong, and must never be allowed to even be open to question. One only need defend a position when it is under possible attack, so he isn’t allowing any questions. Gelb is just offering more Bing-style elitism, arrogance, and intransigence, and trying to pass it off as leadership.
The six photos in the announcement obviously correspond to the six new productions, and probably in order of their premieres… Onegin, Two Boys, Falstaff, Fledermaus, Prince Igor and Werther…
Interesting that there is no press conference, in the last few years Opera Australia has been holding a free concert announcement, which shows images from the upcoming seasons with some arias from the stars of each opera…
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