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Tuesday Morning Roundup

by Stephen Becker 4 Jun 2013 7:45 AM

Keith Cerny looks into his crystal ball at the future of opera. Plus, Klyde Warren Park gets a national shout-out and a look at the Cliburn’s all-star documentary team.


THE FUTURE OF OPERA: What will opera companies look like a decade from now? That’s the kind of big-picture thinking Keith Cerny gets paid to do as the general director and CEO of The Dallas Opera. And he’s happy to share his vision each month in his always insightful Off the Cuff column on The current column looks at 14 trends in the opera field, broken down into four categories: Structure and Mission, Patrons, Performers and Programming and Artistic. But his analysis at the end of the Internet’s true impact on opera is key. “The Internet has fostered greater interest in self-expression, thereby increasing the ‘supply side’—more singers, more composers, more performers, more blogs and video – but has also weakened the ‘demand side,’ since consumers are now much more particular about where and how they choose to spend their time. This, I believe, is a key reason why subscription sales are much more difficult in 2013 than they were a mere decade ago, since every subscription inevitably includes some operas that are of less interest to a particular patron.”

URBAN REVIVAL: On Sunday, The New York Times looked at the idea of turning under-utilized land into public parks and plazas. Most of the story focuses on efforts in New York City, but it also looks at exemplary efforts elsewhere. And look whose deck park got a mention. “Nationwide, people moving downtown want to be in on the mix, too; they want pedestrian-friendly streets, parks and plazas,” Michael Kimmelman writes. “And smart cities are responding, like Dallas, whose Klyde Warren Park opened downtown last year atop the Woodall Rodgers Freeway, where it burrows for a few merciful blocks below ground. The place was buzzing when I passed by one recent weekend.”

QUOTABLE: “It’s an opportunity to examine a group of people who are like astrophysicists or jockeys. They are such unusual people living such unusual lives. Their lives are nothing like what you would think they would be.”

Christopher Wilkinson, the Hollywood screenwriter in town to direct the documentary on this year’s Cliburn Competition. There’s more on the crack team he’s assembled to make the film at