Happy Monday, everyone. Rush Seats is my occasional series of shorter posts sharing a quick observation, a resource, a timely topic or in-process idea. Check out the first post here.
Here’s a TikTok video from opera singer Mary Rice* about a concert in a canyon at the Moab Music Festival. It is definitely on the all-in experience end of the spectrum – the concert itself was about 90 minutes (with the best acoustics Mary says she’s ever heard), but the whole experience was six hours end to end, with a shuttle, boat ride, and reception.
Here’s what jumped out to me to share with you: she said, “On the boat ride back, I was just honestly reminded that this is how classical music should be: inventive and fun, lots of different things all at once, not taking itself too seriously, and dedicated not to sophistication but to delight and enjoyment and ultimately a good way to spend your valuable time.” This is in the vein of several arts organizations offering a higher number of informal arts experiences to reconnect audiences to the enjoyment of the arts. The most prominent of which might be Lincoln Center Summer in the City.
At this time when there is a lot of debate going on about what arts organizations should be doing, this is a good reminder that there are infinite ways that the arts can be offered out to audiences, and a range of ways that audiences enjoy experiencing the arts.
Here’s Mary Rice on the Moab Music Festival Bach in the Grotto experience:
*Mary Rice is one of the TikTokers that I featured in my first Rush Seats post on TikTok arts explainers.