Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Why can't Hvorostovsky sell out in Edmonton?

The Edmonton Symphony has brought in some big guns (see picture, above, for amusing double-entendre) for their fundraising gala slated for the end of the month but can't seem to get the seats filled to see him. If things don't change, come September 28, Dimitri Hvorostovsky will be singing to a less than half packed house. The Edmonton Journal is reporting that the ESO has sold only around 47% of tickets for the upcoming concert leading them (and me) to wonder why?

Coming from Winnipeg, a city that notoriously waits until the last minute to buy tickets for events, I was wondering if delayed purchasing was responsible here, but Yo-Yo Ma apparently sold out last year's fundraiser in record time, and months in advance.

The article, and the ESO, mention (of course,) the economy as a major factor. Tickets run $50-$250 and Alberta certainly wasn't as recession-proof as the other middle-Canada provinces, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. My mind wonders if the recession is a factor, just in another way: They've not announced a program, (as far as I can see) and a night of Russian music in the middle of a recession, just isn't what people are looking for. Songs and Dances of Death is great music, but Zeigfield Follies in the 20's it ain't.

Get a program on there of opera arias, or heck, even (shudder) Broadway crossover and you'll have a party going on.

Of course, maybe to a symphony crowd, Hvorostovsky isn't as household a name as Ma.

Whatever the reason, if you're in Edmonton, and don't have your tickets yet, this could be a great chance to pick up some great seats. Give them a call right now and get on board for what could be a very intimate show.


Chris MacRae said...

I hadn't heard that DH was coming to Edmonton, so on that part, I have to question their marketing department. In Calgary, which traditionally has a "less sophisticated" musical crowd, TeKanewa, Fleming, Heppner, amongst others have sold out audiences. I do have to laugh that Measha maybe warbled to less than half houses the last time she passed through.

At least through the 70s & 80s, Edmonton Opera always had more of an international appeal with singers. Amongst others, Sutherland and Sills came through for full productions, so there is a knowledgeable audience there.

I think that the economy is part of the problem, but also the current provincial government is lead by a "Pig Farmer" who doesn't necessarily enjoy classical music or events. I just looked at the calander, and they have the concert on a Monday night. For whatever reason, Monday and Thursday nights in Alberta have traditionally been terrible nights for performance attendance.

If it wasn't on a Monday night, I'd be up for attending...

Jan Lavelle said...

So why is it that when I go to the booking website for the concert most of the seats are marked as Not Available? There are only about 145 seats actually listed as available for sale (in a hall that seats 1700).