Bamba Blog
Director's Ramblings

Chapter 5 - The science of it all (and money)

Well Opera Bamba's scenes were, of course, a great success! We even have a Gallery page now where you can see all of the musicians from our previous performanes - there is a very handsome face in the June Scenes picture.

Now that we're starting to have some success it's time to start improving on everything we do here at Opera Bamba - for me this means writing everything down and making it better. To this end we've created a lab book where we keep track of as much data as we possibly can, with everything from ticket numbers, publiciy information, dates things happen and anything else we think is relevant written down. My hope is we can put together a procedural approach, a step-by-step instructional that we will eventually be able to apply to every production. Something that will maximise the quality of output we provide and the quantity of tickets we sell. It's only an idea at the moment, but this particular method has been driving experimental science since, well... the birth of science really, and as a result I can write this down on a laptop rather than just shouting from my cave. Although "opera is just controlled shouting" as a wise person once said, but I digress.

This brings us neatly onto the next issue - money. While it would be nice to generate our entire revenue from tickets and good will alone, as a new arts company we were always going to apply for funding at some point. And here we are, the crux of the issue. In the 2009/10 season Scottish Opera recieved something in the region of £8.63 million of National Funding (1) which by my estimate means they should be putting on 4,000 operas a year or there abouts. (They could at least employ a full time chorus and orchestra - average musicians salary in the UK approx. £30,000. With 30 singers in a chorus and an orchestra of 70 that's 100 times £30,000 or £3,000,000... and again that's a maximum. This should leave them around £5,630,000. I know I'm probably biased but an opera company that doesn't actually have any full-time singers  except the emerging artists seems somewhat idiotic. Arguably more idiotic is being a wanabee opera singer and publicly criticising the only opera company in your home nation - good thing I got that degree in physics!)

Now that I've digressed and ruined any career I was ever likely to have all I can say is at this stage Opera Bamba need money, and we need it badly. We're not completely desperate yet, but it could be a long winter without some help...

For the record, in case it comes up, anything written here really is my own. My views in no way reflect the views of anyone else working at Opera Bamba, they're all great and should be more greatly rewarded than they are!


Chapter 6 - In Progress