Overture - the never ending drama

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green union terrace chair
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Re: Overture - the never ending drama

Postby green union terrace chair » Mon May 30, 2011 11:48 pm

Thank goodness we have a space where the public can be exposed to such cultural pillars as Legally Blonde and Young Frankenstein.

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Re: Overture - the never ending drama

Postby Bwis53 » Tue May 31, 2011 11:04 am

green union terrace chair wrote:Thank goodness we have a space where the public can be exposed to such cultural pillars as Legally Blonde and Young Frankenstein.


So we have the above so we can also have ballet.

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Re: Overture - the never ending drama

Postby Huckleby » Tue May 31, 2011 11:46 am

I think Overture does an excellent job with programming. It is easy to think of great acts to book, but we don't know what sort of ticket prices and attendance are needed to minimize loss risk for each act. I expect the Overture staff now understands the Madison market quite well.

It's interesting that the Overture Foundation is looking to replace Tom Cato, who oversees bookings in addition to fundraising, yet invites him to reapply for his job. Cato says he's not sure he will apply. LOL. What a nasty game of cat and mouse. I expect that Overture will not find their new savior, but we'll see.

Wonder if Bob D'Angelo is on the short list.

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Re: Overture - the never ending drama

Postby Stebben84 » Sat Jul 30, 2011 5:28 pm

Because I didn't want to hijack a different thread.

Bad Gradger wrote:I dislike this argument, and I constantly hear it from local foodies upset that Madison "won't support" their favorite niche cuisine. There simply isn't the critical mass of wealth in this town to support lots of high-end restaurants. The expectation of Chicago variety is unreasonable; frankly, it's amazing we have what we have.

(For the same argument in a different context, replace "foodies" with "the arts community" and "niche cuisine" with "Overture.")


viewtopic.php?f=11&t=52438

Nearly a month into the fiscal year, Overture Center officials on Tuesday approved a $14 million budget for 2011-12 that projects a $622,500 surplus.

Read more: http://host.madison.com/news/local/govt ... z1Td7B2uNI

Emphasis mine.

They consistently sell out shows so to say it's too big is bullshit as is your high-end restaurant comment.

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Re: Overture - the never ending drama

Postby Huckleby » Sat Jul 30, 2011 8:02 pm

Stebben84 wrote: They consistently sell out shows so to say it's too big is bullshit


The problem is not attendance. The previous director (maybe it was D'Angelo, I forget) said that if every seat for every performance was sold out, the Overture Center would still not be self-sustaining.

The surplus referenced in that article is a projection, not a reality. But hey, I'm not going to rain on your parade, it's encouraging news. If the Overture manages to operate anywhere near break even (with the city subsidy, of course) over the years, I will have to admit that I was dead wrong and the Overture is not too big for our community.

for the time being, I'd say go easy on the "bullshit" card.

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Re: Overture - the never ending drama

Postby Bad Gradger » Sat Jul 30, 2011 10:11 pm

Stebben84 wrote:
Nearly a month into the fiscal year, Overture Center officials on Tuesday approved a $14 million budget for 2011-12 that projects a $622,500 surplus.


Emphasis mine.

They consistently sell out shows so to say it's too big is bullshit as is your high-end restaurant comment.

You forgot a crucial line from the article:
The new budget counts on a $1.85 million contribution from the city, slightly lower than the $2 million promised in an agreement between the city and the foundation last December.

I bet we could open a sweet sushi restaurant with an annual $1.85 million city subsidy.

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Re: Overture - the never ending drama

Postby Huckleby » Sat Jul 30, 2011 11:51 pm

Bad Gradger wrote: You forgot a crucial line from the article:


you are moving the goal posts. nobody ever suggested we could have a performance center, or even the old civic center, without a significant annual subsidy.

If the Overture Center can operate in the black with a $2m or $3M subsidy, that would be swell.

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Re: Overture - the never ending drama

Postby Stebben84 » Sun Jul 31, 2011 7:20 am

Bad Gradger wrote:I bet we could open a sweet sushi restaurant with an annual $1.85 million city subsidy.


In 2001 the city gave the civic center 1.4 million. This place is a whole hell of a lot better and bigger with sell out shows. Your point is?

http://www.cityofmadison.com/finance/do ... oper10.pdf

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Re: Overture - the never ending drama

Postby bdog » Sun Jul 31, 2011 7:50 am

Smaller venues like the Barrymore are now concerned that Overture might put them out of business because they're booking rock shows.

I'd be pissed if I was a private business competing directly with a city-subsidized operation.

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Re: Overture - the never ending drama

Postby Stebben84 » Sun Jul 31, 2011 8:18 am

Oh no, we have an opportunity to see more music in this town. Difference venue, different size; they're not gonna go out of business. It's funny cause many people said they should book these types of acts to make money. Now they are and people complain.

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Re: Overture - the never ending drama

Postby bdog » Sun Jul 31, 2011 9:24 am

Stebben84 wrote:Oh no, we have an opportunity to see more music in this town. Difference venue, different size; they're not gonna go out of business.


Other venues going out of business is arguable but the fact that Overture is getting acts that would have gone to other venues is not. See The Madison.com article for stats.

Stebben84 wrote:It's funny cause many people said they should book these types of acts to make money. Now they are and people complain.

Well that's what people do - they don't think of the secondary consequences of actions.

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Re: Overture - the never ending drama

Postby Huckleby » Sun Jul 31, 2011 9:41 am

bdog makes a valid point. I think people thought about this issue before they approved the Overture project. Overture probably does compete for entertainment dollars with a place like the Barrymore. But I haven't seen evidence that they are putting venues out of business. It's expensive to hold events at Overture, even with the public subsidies, and its not the atmosphere that everybody is looking for.

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Re: Overture - the never ending drama

Postby Bad Gradger » Sun Jul 31, 2011 9:57 am

Stebben84 wrote:In 2001 the city gave the civic center 1.4 million. This place is a whole hell of a lot better and bigger with sell out shows. Your point is?

My point is that you were comparing apples and oranges, in that it's easier to maintain the "big city" Overture with a hefty public subsidy than to have a "big city" coterie of restaurants.

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Re: Overture - the never ending drama

Postby Uncle Fester » Sun Jul 31, 2011 12:44 pm

Tear it down and bring back the Capital Theater.

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Re: Overture - the never ending drama

Postby Huckleby » Thu Feb 09, 2012 1:33 pm

http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/ ... 3ce6c.html

So they found an Overture redeemer. I hope he can increase fundraising, seems like a steep climb for an outsider. Tom Cato didn't deserve to be fired.


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