Even the top opera singers are in search of new business models

BinaryRhyme East Village Opera Company Chamber...

BinaryRhyme East Village Opera Company Chamberfest  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A top, seasoned tenor, Stéfan Louw announced his plans to come up with a new opera company to help bring back the “mysticism” and “singing excellence” of opera. He has named his company Big Wig Opera – because he is so tired of pretentious names that no one understands – and will operate from the Roodepoort Theatre. He has already produced “The Tragedy of Werther” at Roodepoort and hopes to do bigger productions in 2015.

As funding for the more niche areas of the performing arts is all but dried up, performing artists such as tenor Stiffen Below are searching for new business models to reach out to modern audiences, presenting classical compositions in a modern way. The jury is out whether he will be able to succeed but if he pulls it off, he will bring much joy to opera lovers who are starved of opera in this country.

It’s interesting that he has chosen the Roodepoort Theatre as the home for the opera company where he will perhaps be able to attract fresh audiences. Smaller towns such as Roodepoort have been neglected while the main focus has been bringing attractions to Sandton and Johannesburg. The same or similar type events are repeated over and over to mass audiences. Such performances are no longer fun especially when you realise that these are just sure things for making money without putting the arts first. If you don’t believe me, try attend one of these functions and see how much money you have to fork out.

But my interest in this new theatre company is from the business point of view although the theatre company will be a non-profit organisation. Still, it will need revenues to be viable no matter what the legal structure it has. Launching a something new like this, is risky. It takes the same type of courage, self-confidence and business acumen to get a theatre company, especially in a narrow niche like opera, off the ground as it would to bring any other entrepreneurial idea to life.

In starting any new small business venture you need to look at the market, location and experience. When looking at the market it’s important that you do a thorough market analysis. It’s also important to have a good location especially with the high cost of fuel and all sorts of talk about adding massively expensive levies to the fuel price. But a location just slightly away from the crowded, creepy, crime-infested shopping malls might lower risk and cost.

An entrepreneur must have excellent experience particularly in their domain of expertise. Starting a business without any domain or industry expertise, is foolhardy. No one in their right mind takes risks like this. Even though you may feel like superman or wonder woman when you have a new business idea it is reckless to enter any field without hard-won experience.

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By Chesney on September 28, 2015 · Posted in Main Content

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