Putting your Audience Center Stage, Part 1: It’s a Date!

How is a concert performance like a first date?

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4 Responses

  1. Interesting beginning to a discussion on how the whole concert experience needs to change. Some of the issues that are being questioned here are related to a very modern experience (20th century). Before the whole etiquette of concert halls, music was entertainment. Done in houses. Performed for the masses (just think about the premiere of Magic Flute) and all the issues of clapping, eating, sneezing, were not even part of the discussion. We need to go back to a model of making classical music easy to digest and contemporary (even if the music is old). And it has to be user friendly. Trust me….I am a snob and I want my music done in a way that is pretty much what snobs want. But that will not work in making it relevant.

  2. Abigail Martin says:

    I really like Dileep’s point that this is not how classical music has always been done. I am reminded of a parallel in Shakespeare. Originally, it was performed when theatre was not a particularly “high” art form, and the audience would cackle, boo, and taunt the actors as they performed. The section for the common people on the ground would involved drinking and hardly “high class” audience members. It was art for the people (just as classical music originally was). Today, it is performed as the highest of theatrical works–in fancy venues with all of the pomp and circumstance and etiquette associated with classical music. Except for when it is not. Theatre has done a much better job of adapting to the change in audience. Shakespeare is done in modern revisions, with flipped-gender casts, in new and unique settings. Even opera has not adapted in that way. (When you see Don Giovanni, is the setting often any different?) Classical music needs to take a leaf from theatre’s book and begin adapting old music to new crowds to keep it fresh. Otherwise, it is merely lost to time as something unrelatable. If we had done that with Shakespeare, it really would be “all Greek to me,” and that phrase would hardly be well known.

  3. Sierra Graves says:

    I really like the idea of making a classical performance like a dinner it puts it in to our perspective of daily lives because we as musicians respect that form so we need to see a different perspective.

  4. Fwiw, I think of the MUSIC as a date (do you want to go out again?) and the concert as a church service, where you come for spiritual uplift (or a dating service I suppose).

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