New Article: Selling Bartok's Blackbeard's Castle

We’ve published another article — about an amazing marketing success with a program that should have been hard to sell. Now, of course, our own Robert Levine, with Ilana Setapen, was featured on the first half playing the Mozart Symphonie Concertante, so that must have done it right there!

But seriously (no offense meant, Robert…), Bluebeard’s Castle is truly a hard sell.

Christopher Stager, of CRStager marketing & audience development, was amazed to learn that the Milwaukee Symphony’s two October performances of Bartok’s opera Bluebeard’s Castle were sold out events. He had thought that they would sell moderately, at best. (Chris is a consultant for the MSO Marketing Department.) But he was shocked at how well they did.

Granted, they had stunning set designs by renowned glass artist Dale Chihuly, but it was a special grant from the Wisconsin Department of Tourism that helped them turn the concerts into an event, and sell out the houses.

Chris sat down with Susan Loris, VP Marketing & Communications, and Sarah Hogan, Associate Director of Marketing, to explore their marketing plan and see exactly how they engineered such a successful outcome.

Take a look and see how they did it.

Selling Bluebeard’s Castle

About the author

Ann Drinan
Ann Drinan

Ann Drinan, Senior Editor, has been a member of the Hartford Symphony viola section for over 30 years. She is a former Chair of the Orchestra Committee, former member of the HSO Board, and has served on many HSO committees. She is also the Executive Director of CONCORA (CT Choral Artists), a professional chorus based in Hartford and New Britain, founded by Artistic Director Richard Coffey. Ann was a member of the Advisory Board of the Symphony Orchestra Institute (SOI), and was the HSO ROPA delegate for 14 years, serving as both Vice President and President of ROPA. In addition to playing the viola and running CONCORA, Ann is a professional writer and editor, and has worked as a consultant and technical writer for software companies in a wide variety of industries for over 3 decades. (She worked for the Yale Computer Science Department in the late 70s, and thus has been on the Internet, then called the DARPAnet, since 1977!) She is married to Algis Kaupas, a sound recordist, and lives a block from Long Island Sound in Branford CT. Together they create websites for musicians:

Ann holds a BA in Music from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and an MA in International Relations from Yale University.

Read Ann Drinan's blog here.

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