Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Sharing Ideas at Opera Europa

It’s time for another update from France! When last we left them, Andrea and Alicia were off to a concert and a networking dinner for Opera Europa attendees. Here’s the latest from their adventures in Lyon.

It is 1:15 a.m. and we are back from our networking dinner after the Wagner concert. It was a wonderful program that included the Overture and Bacchanal from Tannhäuser, a passage of Brünnhilde's from Götterdämmerung, and the Overture to Meistersinger. The opera house is amazing, with six levels of balconies along with the orchestra level.

The Opéra Nouvel, home to the Opéra National de Lyon.

After the concert we were ushered into the ballet studio for our networking dinner. It was the first chance I had to showcase a new tool we created, to market our productions, which works on an iPad. Since this is a conference with no booth or centralized work area, we created an iBook that would allow us to show our work—which we had previously showcased in two 35-pound binders! Showcasing our information this way not only saved us hundreds of dollars on shipping, but also allowed prospective clients to navigate the information quickly and ask questions. The iBook contains all the information a client may need when shopping for a production; brief media clips, costume and set photos, drawings, and other technical information, all available at their fingertips. This new platform worked incredibly well in allowing us to show as much information as possible in a small amount of time and in a tight space. We hope to soon publish the rentals iBook on iTunes, so stay tuned for that.

I had wonderful conversations today with people from all over the world, including representatives of Opera Krakowska—with whom we discussed their Young Artists’ Program, and smaller rentals we have available—to the Royal Opera House and the Hong Kong Arts Festival Society. With so many amazing people, so many creative solutions, and such passion for the art form, it’s impossible not to be invigorated.

One really interesting fact we became aware of is that the Théâtre du Châtelet recently decided to open its own production facility and build its own productions. They are confident that by controlling the build process, from conception to realization, they can retain artistic vision and control costs—both of which are integral to the sustainability of any performing arts organization.

Tomorrow promises to be another busy and fruitful day with more new friendships made and partnerships forged. (And I’m enjoying practicing my French!)

--Andrea Reay