About Me

I ramble about a number of things - but travel experiences, movies and music feature prominently. See my label cloud for a better idea. All comnments and opinions on this blog are my own, and do not in any way reflect the opinions/position of my employer (past/current/future).

24 August 2013

Amazing Biography of Marissa Mayer

It's not often that new media does really in-depth investigative style articles. Business Insider was probably the last place I would have seen such an article - often they just summarise and link to the story. Instead, the unauthorised biography of Marissa Mayer is well written, with sources to boot; and gives some interesting insight to one of the most powerful tech leaders. It's well worth a read!

18 August 2013

Cirque de la Symphonie

After a few acts, the conductor of the evening, Theodore Kuchar, turned to the audience to say a few words - most of which were difficult to hear, given that he spoke without a microphone. The gist, I gathered, was that about 7 years ago, he was approached to create a spectacle combining circus acts and a Symphony orchestra playing classical music. He didn't think it would work, but was proven wrong, as orchestras that took on the concept had sell-out shows; and became a vital way to bolster orchestra's finances. And thus, Cirque de la Symphonie, came to become a global touring phenomenon featuring local orchestras. Last night, it was the turn of the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra to host the show at the Teatro, followed by Cape Town next week.

The circus acts feature a combination of acrobatics, a clown juggler and a short magic skit - and some of the acrobatics were spectacular - especially the last act featuring two bronzed men, doing some gymnastics requiring impressive amount of strength, coordination and balance. The accompanying musical pieces were all popular pieces (although I couldn't name them all - and the lack of a program was disappointing in this regard).

Although the event was billed as a combination of circus and orchestra; in most cases it was the circus acts that took precedence in terms of applause and appreciation. But a full house, featuring an audience that was most unlike a regular JPO concert, did support Theodore Kuchar's statement that this was a great means to get new audiences. 

And it is in that regard that the JPO missed an important opportunity to do some simple market research. I would have been most interested in asking the audience some of the following questions:
  • Did the audience members know that there was a JPO?
  • Did the audience members know when the JPO concerts were?
  • Were they more interested in the music or the circus acts?
  • Were they more likely to go to a pure musical event?
  • What type of music were they more likely to want to hear?
  • What day of the week would they more likely want to attend a concert?
  • Where would it be a more convinient place to attend a concert?
 I think it is the latter questions that are necessary to be answered before the JPO can truly become sustainable. A show like Cirque de la Symphonie suggests that there are people, of all ages, who would attend a musical concert featuring classical music. And that there is a market for classical music - but without actually tapping this market the JPO is bound to remain in the current financial quagmire.