Tuesday, August 17, 2010

MORE OF SATOSHI on Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra 2010-2011 season


I thought I should just let it rest, but then I really can't resist to talk about my disappointment with the upcoming season of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra. Seemingly, I am not the only one. A reader left a comment on my previous entry on this issue and I thought that I should really share it.

"My dear, Maestro de Waart originally intended to do Eugene Onegin for this season in the Tchaikovsky Festival. The Board ruled it down on the ground of 'finance'. Edo was very disappointed, because his original plan was to do Mahler Symphony No. 8, the Ring Cycle, et al during his term as Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of HKPO.

I was bitterly disappointed by the HKPO Board's unjustified (and unjustifiable) intervention.
HKPO has its own working team on sponsorship. The then Development Director was more than willing to back up Maestro de Waart in his various 'costly' musical adventures, discounting the subsidy from HKSARG. The Board Chairman was just being pig-headed, I think. The CEO of HKPO will leave this November, no doubt bitterly disappointed by the Board's recent interventions.

Opera Hong Kong is of course putting up full operatic productions, but I note invariably that the singers chosen by Opera Hong Kong are at least one class inferior of those employed in Edo's operas in concert. For instance, Franz Hawlata, Michelle Breedt, He Hui, Krystian Sigmundson, and other soloists that sung with HKPO like Anna Caterina Antonacci, Deborah Voigt, Jose Carreras, Renee Fleming, Heidi Grant Murphy, and oh dear, many many other big-named vocalists and operatic stars, just dig them up from the past programmes led by Edo, and you'd see what I mean...we were really getting VALUE FOR MONEY attending Edo's concerts....

Gee, he'd be so SADLY MISSED after 2012! "

My dear reader, assuming that your information were not just mere hearsay, how can I disagree with you! I share your opinion and the whole Board should just go to... whatever!

My inside information tried to defend the board and said that because the planning of a season is done way in advance and they were forecasting that economy will continue to be sluggish; therefore the board was trying to be conservative and planned for a mediocre season.

I want to believe that I am a practical person (hello, the blog is Paying Patron Perspective), but I can't understand why the solution to their forecast was to provide a weak season? I am not questioning the forecast here, even big businesses make mistakes in forecasting, but the solution? I feel that it is almost like shortchanging the customer. The quality of the product should be the last thing a brand should touch. Fine, if you really want to tinker with the quality of the product, then make sure that it is not distinguishable to your customer!

Sigh... anyway, I am just glad to be going to Shanghai to see Wagner's Ring Cycle next month. I have a reader from Australia who's also going and will be seeing the two times the cycle will be shown. To my dear Hong Kong readers, with the rate of how Hong Kong manages arts, I strongly recommend that you go to Shanghai and watch the Ring Cycle there, this could be your only chance...

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