At the first COC podcast, we discussed the implications of a post from John Terauds, when he speculated about Toronto audiences.

In passing it was observed by one of us (perhaps Wayne Gooding, perhaps John Gilks, perhaps Gianmarco Segato; all I know is that it wasn’t me) that the venue in question was part of the problem.  Koerner Hall was half full, which was the reason the matter was raised as a concern by Terauds.  A half-full Koerner Hall?  Still likely 500 people present, but it doesn’t look very good, does it?

AtGToday, recording our next discussion, we were looking at the successes of Against the Grain Theatre and other smaller companies in the Toronto area.

Optics can make a huge difference, it seems.

On the one hand, you have the phenomenon reported by Terauds, where 500 seats seem paltry.  Even worse is the example someone gave of a chamber concert in Roy Thompson Hall, where the ambience of the venue already seems too big, particularly if there are unsold tickets.

If you put on an opera in a smaller venue (that is, 100 seats or even fewer) and sell every ticket, making your audience frantic for those few tickets, the result is “buzz”.

The lesson would seem to be, that one should aim for the right size of venue.  Too small? You make less money, even if you create excitement. Too big? Even if you’ve sold plenty of tickets, you don’t want to seem to be rattling around inside a large space, because there will be less excitement.

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2 Responses to Buzz

  1. operaramblings says:

    It was me! I’ve been thinking about the issue a lot. A Synonym for Love will sell maybe 600 tickets for 10 performances and will be considered a ‘hit’. When COC puts on, say, Tosca selling less than 25,000 would be a ‘flop’!

  2. Pingback: September Buzz | barczablog

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