Vancouver Symphony Orchestra's Bramwell Tovey tweets disappointment at Vancouver Opera plan

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      It seems the city's two biggest classical music organizations might not see eye to eye on Vancouver Opera's big announcement today.

      The VO has said that, after the next season, it will switch to a condensed three-week festival format. 

      Vancouver Symphony Orchestra maestro Bramwell Tovey thinks that's bad news for Vancouver, "the only major Cdn city without an opera season". See his tweet below, followed by the VO's response.



      Opera Dan

      Jun 16, 2015 at 4:59pm

      Maestro Tovey is right to express these concerns. Vancouver Opera's move to a festival format is not even rational, let alone visionary, and it endangers the future availability of classical music in our city. Nothing about this change has been supported by evidence that the proposal would address the company's real problems.


      Jun 16, 2015 at 5:39pm

      I just got home from work and found their package announcing this to subscribers in my mail box. Wish I could say I read it with disbelief, but time and again Vancouver Opera has shown itself to be a completely incompetent.

      Alex Glynky

      Jun 16, 2015 at 6:28pm

      Absolutely gutted! From Verdi's "Rigoletto" to Frozen sing-along. Shame!

      Opera diva

      Jun 16, 2015 at 7:12pm

      Not only is this bad for the city, it's devastating to the local musicians - far fewer performance opportunities in one of the only professional companies in town. I couldn't conceive of a worse decision for the Arts in Vancouver!

      Pianist E

      Jun 16, 2015 at 7:20pm

      Shameful, simply shameful that this is what the arts have come to in our city. I'm all for innovation...but this is not innovation. First the P Playhouse and now the Opera. Are we really that culturally starved? Why can Vancouverites spend so much on yoga pants and expensive food, but they won't shell out for classical music? Of course, the Opera did not help things by charging prices that were way too high (you can find tickets to NYC's Metropolitan Opera, for example, for much, much cheaper.) How is it that a city that produces so many young classical musicians can't find an audience for classical music. SOMEONE needs to step up, whether it's the government or philanthropists, and support the arts in our city. How many Porsches are seen driving through Vancouver these days? What shallow, conspicuous consumption defines our city these days.


      Jun 16, 2015 at 9:44pm

      People who like opera realize it's only popular because it was popular with evil aristocrats who oppressed the people and used their taxes to finance operas, right? If you like opera, you like oppression.

      @Pianist E

      Jun 17, 2015 at 8:34am

      Maybe it's that people who weren't abused as children don't actually like sitting very quietly listening to some thoroughbred pianist show off? Maybe they like to dance?

      If you look at most traditional aboriginal societies, there is very little in common with the garish militarist spectacle of european "classical music." It's unnatural, artificial, only exists due to violent repression of children. Play that scale again! Do not go outside and play! Think of the money we can make with you on the stage!


      Jun 17, 2015 at 10:07am

      A company that is changing to survive instead of sticking with the Jurassic Era thinking and simply dying off?

      Tell me again how that's "not even rational".

      VSO vs. VOA

      Jun 17, 2015 at 10:36am

      Explore their websites.
      VSO is an arts institution, run by an artist.
      VOA is an arts corporation, run by an administrator.
      Both are well-managed. The artist-run symphony and the administrator-run opera have both have retired huge deficits in recent years.
      So it's down to the VOA Board.
      They've decided they just haven't got the jam.
      VOA Board doesn't have a celebrated artist like Maestro Tovey to kick their ass. Too bad.

      Opera Dan

      Jun 17, 2015 at 11:41am

      @GVan: Vancouver Opera is not changing to survive. They are changing for the sake of change, just to appear responsive to a changing world. It is not rational because they have not studied and do not understand the future they have chosen. They are merely throwing spaghetti at the wall and hoping it will stick. That's fine for spaghetti, but this is a leading institution betting its future on a whim. The rational answer would be to address their self-inflicted maladies, but that would require a public admission that the current model only failed because they screwed it up themselves.