Thursday, May 07, 2009

A Musical Entrepreneur

Tonight we had dinner with our cousin Brendan, and he told me about one of the latest business ventures he's involved in. See, Brendan is a professional singer (we met him at the Kennedy Center while he was on break from rehearsing) with a love of opera. He and his friends wanted to do the impossible: start a new opera company in Baltimore, and do it in on a shoe-string budget. Oh, and as long as they were going to take on a challenge, why not do it in a recession, when spending on these sorts of things are down?

The result is the Baltimore Concert Opera. As they explain it:

Baltimore Concert Opera was founded by people who believe that opera sans opulence is the perfect way to experience the beauty of music and real voices. This is your chance to explore your favorite works in a new setting, up close and personal with the performers. For the opera novice, we offer a casual, open environment for you to experience some of the most amazing music every written.

The setup goes like this: you've got singers with open score books, a piano filling in for the orchestra, and an audiance relaxing with a beer. It's not a replacement for traditional opera, but you get to hear beautiful music, and it's affordable and accessible to a wide audiance. Sounds like a winner to me.

As a musical outsider, I have to say, I'm quite impressed with how inventive Brendan and his team are being. There is so much stacked against them, and yet, they've found a way to make their idea work.

Now I need to get my butt to one of their concerts, so I can experience the idea first hand.

I have to say, I think this is a neat little case study for the topic I've been writing about lately.

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