From the symphony's videos
Well, we are back to square one with the reopening of the county, and that is bad news for San Diego classical music. The good news is that the restriction on concerts is forcing our cultural organizations to create content for an online audience. This is something that could have been started five to seven years ago but, for whatever reason, most San Diego music groups have been slow to move.
Since most of the classical music crowd hasn’t been creating online content, there is certainly a learning curve happening right now. Having dabbled in YouTube, I can assure you that the struggle is real.
The San Diego Opera is probably the exception. The opera has been functioning as a media entity since at least the 1990s when then general director, Ian Campbell, had an opera radio show on KPBS. The opera has a vast library of Opera Spotlight features that were produced by UCSD and John Meiner.
Carmen by San Diego Opera, 2006
UCSD-TV goes backstage for a preview
Over the past several weeks, San Diego Opera has been stepping up their media posts and digging into those archives. How far will the dig? I have no idea but there have been some big-time singers at the opera over the years including, Joan Sutherland, Luciano Pavarotti, and Beverly Sills.
The Mainly Mozart Festival is leveraging the personalities and charisma of their administrative and artistic leadership. CEO Nancy Laturno has a “New With Nancy” update every other Friday that streams live on Facebook and is then available on YouTube. Music director Michael Francis has begun a series of episodes that explore repertoire and feature existential insights into the lives of the conductors and the music itself.
Elgar's Serenade With Strings
Listening guide curated by Mainly Mozart music director Michael Francis
The San Diego Symphony is presenting a digital series. The weekly virtual gatherings are live-streamed on YouTube and Facebook every Wednesday evening and available for on-demand viewing afterward. The series features members of the orchestra and even music director Raphael Payare discussing the music before the performance is aired.
The symphony is what could be called educational video with the voice of the symphony, Nuvi Mehta. The videos are produced in collaboration with members of the orchestra. For instance, assistant concertmaster Wes Precourt was the audio engineer on a video about Verdi’s Aida.
Musicians as super heroes - SD Symphony
Based on the picture book Zap! Boom! Pow! Superheroes of Music by Lucy A. Warner
My big hope for all of this is that the musicians union finally figures out a way to work with organizations to share the music without it being financially impossible. In my opinion, the financial restrictions on sharing performances are crippling an already struggling industry. Perhaps the stay-at-home orders will force a change that benefits the players, the organizations, and the audiences.
Regarding Facebook, if an entity doesn’t pay to “boost” their content, chances are you will not see it in your feed. If you want to make sure you see everything these groups are producing, follow the organization and in the dropdown window of the follow button select “see first.” This will make sure their posts are at the top of your feed.
Selecting “see first” is kind of like a back-handed donation in that the music group doesn’t have to pay Facebook and then hope their audience sees the content.