If you haven’t heard, Vancouver Opera is giving up on regular productions and switching to a “festival” format in 2017. This seems to be a cheerful way of saying it will put on fewer productions, at venues smaller than Queen Elizabeth Theatre, over a week or two each year and spend the rest of its time dabbling in smaller projects that aren’t putting on operas.
So the issue might not be customer service-related, but I did guess at VO’s financial troubles as it loosened restrictions for youth discounts — which, incidentally, I’ve never used — put on more and more operas that are new (read: unknown) or not even operas (Sweeney Todd etc.), and asked me to resubscribe, after ignoring me the previous season.
Grudges aside, this is sad news for local arts, sadder than when Ballet BC overcame bankruptcy only to abandon everything classical in its repertoire… unless you count The Nutcracker, which features borrowed dancers from Royal Winnipeg Ballet or Alberta Ballet.
It’s not Thursday, but this is worth a (worthless) TBT:
The above was taken before my first live opera, VO’s production of Mozart’s Cosi fan Tutte, circa 2005. It was a great experience.
On the way out, though, some elderly women loudly criticised my choice of footwear. (Come on, those were some awesome suede boots!) Maybe there’s something to be said for bringing in a younger audience after all.
*Before you complain, I know VO isn’t dead. But its heyday might have passed into history like the willowy limbs of my 20-year-old self (see above).