Wednesday, April 20, 2011: Now We Are Six

Six snowdrops in the Czech spring forest

An Editorial
This month Opus Osm celebrates a major milestone: we’re 6!

Six months old, that is.

Anyone who has started a business knows that the first six months, and the first year, are the most crucial. So, here’s what we’ve learned about our business so far:

* Yes, classical music, opera, and ballet in the Czech Republic are in poor condition — but only IF that’s what you choose to believe.

* The media, people involved in the arts, and the general public often may reinforce this negative impression, whether they consciously intend to do so for drama, or they only repeat what they think is general ‘knowledge.’

* On the contrary, the classical arts here and around the world have a strong and loyal audience, one even occasionally incensed that the arts are often minimalized or dismissed by popular culture and the popular media.

* People new to the classical arts are often actively curious and willing to learn more about them, IF the arts are presented in an interesting, person-to-person, “real” way.

Business Threats
As with any business plan, we need to take a good look at some of the threats to our continued activities. After six months, we know that these include:

* Classical music, opera, and ballet marketing / public relations managers who make it too difficult for the press to obtain tickets to performances. (After all, we’re here to help their cause, not to skip performances!)

* People who do not return or even acknowledge e-mails, especially requests that would result in free publicity for them.

* Marketing / public relations managers who are apparently afraid or reluctant to reveal information, or to establish real, effective communication, preferring instead to control the release of only small (and often unimaginative) official bits of information.

Fortunately, not all marketing / public relations managers in the Czech Republic fit this description!

A Question of Money
Now, if you’ve been paying attention, you’ll notice that there’s one negative factor that isn’t mentioned at all here: the “financial crisis.” That’s because we believe in many cases, people use it as an excuse.

In fact, there is money for the classical arts. There always is. It’s just a question of how committed people are to spending it, and understanding the best ways to use it.

Thank You
Finally, we must thank and acknowledge all the many people who have helped and supported Opus Osm during its birth and infancy. Many, many thanks go to everyone who has read and continues to read our articles, and especially to those who comment on them either in writing or in person.

We also must offer our gratitude and thanks to all the many performers, of all types, whom we’ve met and communicated with. We surely couldn’t exist without you and your beautiful talents!

And we also say thank you to the behind-the-scenes folks: teachers, administrators, marketing / public relations managers, IT advisors, and many others.

And of course we owe a huge debt to our freelancers who helped with occasional articles, and to our regular freelance staff, in alphabetical order: Baia Dzagnidze, our journalism student intern; Zuzana Pernicová, freelance photographer; Miroslav Setnička, our staff photographer; and Zuzana Sklenková, our writer. Thank you, thank you. You make it possible for Opus Osm to keep going!

With sincere thanks,
Mary Matz
Editor/owner/and all that stuff
Opus Osm

Photo Credits: Zuzana Pernicová

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