More Cannibals

So, the question came up recently about the relationship between Met HD ticket sales and in-house ticket sales. Specifically, whether tickets for the HD performances were decreasing the number of in-house tickets that the Met sold. There is reason to think that HD tickets would cannibalize in-house sales, but it’s hard to say for sure without data.

So, just to say that I had, I emailed the Met and asked them about it. I was at least as curious about how they knew as I was about the question itself – I mean, how do you figure out whether a drop in tickets is just a drop in tickets or whether it’s specifically because the same people who would have gone to the opera house went to the HD broadcast instead? Anyway. I was not really expecting a reply, or if I got a reply, I was not expecting a helpful one, and let me say that the Met rarely, if ever, fails to meet expectations. Their response was that “there is some data that seems to indicate some audience members may choose to go to HD showings instead of live performances” but that the data, whatever the data is, has not yet been made public. Ah, well. The mystery remains!

So, to cheer myself up after this wrenching disappointment, I watched the Salzburg King Arthur again!

(There is something about the melody to this aria that is so lovely – I’ve never been able to put my finger on it. Also, I want Michael Schade’s Salzburg sweatshirt. I mean, not the one he’s actually wearing, because it’d be oceans too big for me, but one just like it in my size.)

Finally, according to the NYT, the earwormiest tunes tend to be ones that we like. They specifically note that when it’s a popular song, people remember the first verse, then the chorus, and then get stuck on the second verse, and then the song gets stuck in their heads because they can’t resolve it. (I worry about the methods in this study, though: “exposing unsuspecting suspects to popular songs”? Are they leaping out from behind buildings with boomboxes blasting Taylor Swift? Is this something I need to be concerned about?) No comment in the article on whether classical earworms are different.

10 thoughts on “More Cannibals

  1. At first I thought the title of this post was “More Cannabis” which made me wonder what new directions you were taking your blog in. (I guess it’s partly because I was reading it on my iPhone and without my glasses.) Meanwhile, I’m impressed that the Met responded, even if it was vague and useless PR BS.


    1. I don’t think cannabis would be a good idea – although in general the concept of stoned opera blogging may not have been explored as thoroughly as it could be. I can think of at least one or two productions that might be better experienced while high.


      1. Yes, like for example Kusej’s Zauberflöte for Zurich.

        Ooh a new party game (after we all get tired of fantasy opera casting):
        Name the best opera productions to watch while high.


        1. Dorris Dorrie’s production of Cosi, from Berlin! But perhaps no, that would be too obvious. I’d say nearly anything by Kusej would probably work.


          1. or Guth.. by the way, in a totally unrelated item, but while I have your attention: Radio 3 Live in Concert will be broadcasting this program next Tuesday:

            Trio Zimmermann

            Beethoven: Serenade in D, Op.8
            Hindemith: String Trio no.2
            Beethoven: String Trio in E flat, Op.3



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