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Subject: Fwd: Re: Some Thoughts on the Met: Size, Capacity, Mini-Met etc. (Completed)
From: RAYMOND GOUIN <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:RAYMOND GOUIN <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Wed, 13 Jun 2018 12:59:19 -0400
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Thank you, Paul, for some common sense. Refreshing to see the same appear as against the Mickey Rooney - Judy Garland - 1930's movie musical scenario plot of "Hey kinds.  Let's put on a show in the barn.  Maybe a producer will see it and then we'll be on our way to Broadway" plot.  You then instantly cut to a shot of an audience of thousands, an orchestra of eighty comprised of obviously young teen aged musicians, and a production number on stage that is worthy of having been staged by Busby Berkeley. You automatically suspend belief so that you don't question how a 16 year old can conduct an orchestra of 80 let alone where they found all of this young talent in the country side, and you don't question where the audience came from, let alone where they got all of the folding chairs that the audience members are sitting on. Etc. Etc. Etc.

It should be noted that one of the biggest, if not the biggest, obstacle to overcome with such a proposal  would be the opposition of the musician's union to granting the financial concessions necessary to making such a proposal financially viable.
> 
> Best.
> Ray
> 
> ***
> 
> 
> > On June 13, 2018 at 11:34 AM "G. Paul Padillo" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> > 
> > 
> > I keep hearing that the Met needs to “fill 3,800” seats every night.  To the 
> > best of my knowledge, no performing arts facility was ever planned or built 
> > with the notion that every seat would be sold every night.  Unless 
> > you’re “Hamilton” or “Bruce Springsteen,” most shows the world over have 
> > rarely been “sold out.”  This was true 100 years ago, and remains so 
> > today.  There is a reason the word “capacity” or phrase is used:  it is the 
> > MAXIMUM amount of people that can occupy a space, not the “need” to 
> > occupy that space night-after-night.  To that end, I couldn’t agree more 
> > with Mr. Shepherd about the notion of tearing down Family Circle – or any 
> > rear portion of the Met makes little sense.  People who keep complaining 
> > about lack of intimacy at the Met should realize, the place has been there 
> > for 50 years now, it’s not going to get any smaller.  Ever.  
> > 
> > While there seem to have been more sold out nights in the late 90’s than 
> > now, I’ve noticed that after 9/11 the Met never seemed to fully bounce 
> > back, outside of rare nights which have sold out or come close. It was 
> > understandable at first – all of the arts in NYC seemed to take a hit – but 
> > now, Broadway IS selling out, and having record seasons, often with 
> > (pardon the language) fairly shitty shows, based on TV shows or movies, 
> > cobbled together with pre-existing pop songs and nostalgia.  I’ve supported 
> > Gelb in a lot of his decisions – and still do, but if he can’t figure out how to 
> > simulate the successes that are happening in Vienna, London, Paris and
> > Germany, then the Board needs to find someone who can.  There are 
> > probably more than a few American candidates that could probably fit the 
> > bill, but the Met, being an international house might, perhaps, consider 
> > someone with a more international pedigree to shake things up and add 
> > some cache.  It’s one of a handful of the most famous houses in the world, 
> > for Pete’s sake.  
> > 
> > I’m among those who would like to see the Met produce more intimate, 
> > smaller scale works.  What, with the proliferation and popularity of baroque 
> > opera it would be nice to have a space to put on some Monteverdi, Handel, 
> > Hasse, Vivaldi, et al.  To operate another theatre under The Met’s auspices 
> > is not a fiscally reasonable thing to consider, but what about renting an 
> > already existing theatre?  Many (most?) theatres on and off Broadway have 
> > weekly rates – (two rates, really) that include the rental of the theatre, 
> > administrative/ticket/staff costs, etc.  
> > 
> > Many performing arts groups, troupes, bands, etc. negotiate deals and the 
> > Met could, say, mount, a production of Monteverdi’s “Il ritorno d’Ulisse in 
> > patria” or Rameau’s “Castor et Pollux” in a 500 seat theatre for likely under 
> > $10,000 a week.  A week of tech and rehearsals in the theatre with a week 
> > long run of 5 performances would cost $20,000 plus production costs, artist 
> > fees, etc.  Even at $80 a pop, this has the potential to yield gross ticket 
> > sales of $200,000.  These are just guestimates based upon a little research 
> > on theatre rentals in NYC, but were I running the Met, it’s definitely 
> > something I’d consider doing and until proven otherwise, it couldn’t hurt!
> > 
> > p.
> > 
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