Opera funds cast of 60 with 'sponsor a character' scheme
When it comes to staging a classic comic opera, the costs can be far from funny. But one company has managed to put on the performance of a lifetime by getting the audience to sponsor individual characters.
The latest production from Scottish Opera has proved a major hit with fans, even before a single note has been played, by offering them a chance to sponsor any one of the characters in the spectacular Der Rosenkavalier, which opened at the Theatre Royal in Glasgow last night.
Der Rosenkavalier, or "The Cavalier of the Rose", was written by Richard Strauss to an original German libretto by Hugo von Hofmannsthal. It is an extravagant adaptation of the novel Les amours du chevalier de Faublas by Louvet de Couvrai, and Molière's Monsieur de Pourceaugnac.
The production, a comedy of manners and thwarted love set in 18th-century Vienna, is one of the most ambitious ever staged by Scottish Opera and contains around 60 characters.
In an attempt to raise extra funds towards the cost of the production, and give audiences a chance to get more involved, the company offered patrons a chance to sponsor individual characters for any sum between £25 and £5,000.
It was inundated with requests and ended up with each character being sponsored more than once.
"We started out looking for £10,000 or £11,000 and ended up raising £44,000, which is absolutely amazing," said Jane Nicolson, a spokeswoman for Scottish Opera. "As far as we know we are the only opera company who has ever done anything like this. The thinking behind the idea was that as it is increasingly difficult to raise funds we thought we had to be a little more creative, but we didn't expect it to be so successful."
Due to the size of the cast required to perform Der Rosenkavalier, the opera proved the perfect production for the concept.
In return for their cash, sponsors get a credit in the programme alongside the characters they are helping to fund and the opportunity to attend an on-stage party to meet the cast.
"Some of the departments within the Royal Opera Company also got together to sponsor some of the characters," said Ms Nicolson.
"The orchestra decided they had a little too much money in their tea kitty, literally, so decided to sponsor two non-singing roles."
One of the most popular choices has been an Italian tenor, who sings just one aria in act one, who was snapped up by 20 people.
Last year, Scottish Opera was forced to make almost 100 redundancies and suspend all of its large scale productions.
The sponsorship scheme is one of several aimed at proving the company can raise funds of its own, as well as spend government money wisely.
Catriona Reynolds, the head of fund-raising for Scottish Opera, said: "The scheme made us realise that people like to get involved and see tangible evidence of how their money is being spent. Hopefully we will find other operas we can do this with."
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Notting Hill Carnival: Woman shares selfie after being ‘punched in face for telling man to stop groping her’
- 2 Joan Rivers: 'Palestinians deserve to be dead'
- 3 Daily Show's Jon Stewart destroys Fox News for its Ferguson coverage
- 4 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
- 5 Botched ice bucket challenge leaves man critically injured after plane drops hundreds of gallons of water
Great British Bake Off 2014: Diana Beard quits due to illness
Nicki Minaj suffers wardrobe malfunction during MTV VMAs performance with Ariana Grande and Jessie J
Homer Simpson takes the ALS ice bucket challenge because of course he does
Friends reunion: Jennifer Anniston, Lisa Kudrow and Courteney Cox perform mini sketch on Jimmy Kimmel Live
Great British Bake Off embroiled in Baked Alaska 'sabotage' scandal
Exclusive: We share blame for creating 'jihad generation', says Muslim strategist
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
Ukip Douglas Carswell defection: Tory MP jumps ship to join Nigel Farage
- < Previous
- Next >