Wen night I was one of the lucky ones, for a second time, to live tweet a dress rehearsal of the Palm Beach Opera's latest show, this time it was La Cenerentola. For some of you, it is Cinderella. And NOT the Disney version. A common mistake, no thanks to Disney. Opera rocks! Well, Tommy does, but still it is something impressive to hear a hall full of the singers voices with no microphones or amplification.
Pictures here for those interested.
The live tweeting of the opera is a genius move by the PBO. With a cross section of Tweeters that have various sizes of followers, we had TV personalities, magazine editors, writers, social media people, store managers, owners of their own businesses, men, women, older, younger to see if there was a thread and correlation to produce some help for the opera.
I think they could gain more benefit by having us tweet about the show a little earlier than the night or two before opening but I also understand how hard it is to get everything right and practiced in time.
So I went to the opera last night, tweeted all about it, but we had few retweets, so was it our tweeting? The opera itself? Me or us? The timing, 7:30-10:30pm? The night before Valentine's day? These questions are at the heart of every marketer and social media effort. Last time we had many more followers, possibly due to the leads. When I worked on Broadway it was similar problem. the title of the show helps but a known star or lead is really what brings people in, whether the show was good or not, they want to see the star. No doubt this is a similar situation for the opera. I wonder if IBM would let me borrow Watson to do some analytics to help the PBO?
So we were up against TV. Big deal. On the other hand, I don't expect everyone to be staring at their phones or monitors all night either. But this is the question, not just for opera but any business that works on a live or spur of the moment effort. What is the best way to get people to see, hear you?
Has America lost it's ability to respect the arts and music? Is it this generation which was limited in it's music classes or rather better promoted sports efforts because one can be a winner instead of a singer, dancer or artist? It is the arts which provide encouragement to many and also inspire greatness from others.
This show still has tickets, unlike the last one, La Traviata, which sold out. if you want to go and are in town, link was posted above. No doubt they have a sizable subscriber group and patrons, but in many cases they are older and as the curtain falls on their lives, few are behind them to fill int he gaps.
If you have some ideas about how to bring opera to the masses or at least how to help spread the word, let Amanda Kahan know or leave me some comments.