Garrett Harris

Garrett Harris is a Reader contributor. See staff page for published articles.

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Rachel, I've been a union opera singer for 15 years with San Diego Opera. I think after what happened here last season I'm firmly "in their shoes". In fact, they're my shoes. So far as "checking it out" I'm a music critic. I've checked it out. 193,000 divided by the capacity of The Jacobs Music Center is 87 sold out concerts. That did not happen. I'm guessing the pops and outreach programs also factor into that number. I'd also venture to guess that there's some redundancy in those numbers. However, let's say 193,000 individuals saw the San Diego Symphony. That's roughly 3% of the county. I don't call that a success. I've been to umpteen half empty concerts as a music critic and chastised the San Diego audience for not attending. However, the culture surrounding classical music is about the most boring thing in the world. That CEO's of symphony orchestras and opera companies come out in front of their patrons and read off a piece of paper tells me just how passionate they are about promoting classical music. The vast majority of the music performed is in the public domain so I'm not sure which copyright laws apply. Have you ever been to The fact that you are the general manager of a classical music organization makes me think that you must know that Beethoven isn't getting any royalties these days. So far as someone holding an iPad in front of your face, no one in their right mind uses the crappy camera on an Ipad. They might use their phone camera or they will snap a few pictures and maybe record a movement of music to remember the concert. I don't know, it's never happened so we can't judge it. It's called "slippery slope" and it's a logical informal fallacy. Mention one-off sell out performances all you want but the fact of the matter is that attendance is an issue and the ATLANTA symphony locked it's musicians out over a labor dispute. "The lockout was triggered after the orchestra’s parent organization, the Woodruff Arts Center, sought more concessions from the musicians, who had agreed to significant pay cuts two years ago. The arts center said that it could no longer afford the orchestra’s deficits." Deficits happen when not enough people care about something to support it either politically or financially. I'll keep doing my best to promote classical music to everyone I meet and you can dither over the intricacies of international copyright law as it applies to the 19th Century music of citizens of governments that don't exist anymore. Sorry but you poked the dragon.
— May 3, 2015 5:24 p.m.

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