It’s taken from late October 2018 to move from 500 video recordings in the archive to 600.  So that’s 2-3 recordings per month which sounds about right.  It’s slower than in the past for two reasons.  There just isn’t as much historic material I haven’t already seen and the rate of new releases, unsurprisingly, slowed down quite a bit during the pandemic.


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I reached the milestone of 400 DVD/Blu-ray reviews on June 20th 2016.  The 500 mark came up last weekend.  Let’s see how the stats have evolved.

500-languageItalian has increased its lead to 35% with German now on exactly 25%.  English has dropped marginally to 12%, despite its prominence in contemporary works.  I think multiple Salzburg Mozart cycles are playing a role here. Continue reading

More fun with DVD statistics

bad-news-statistics-1Thinking about the analysis I did of my DVD reviewing habits, by individual work, just after Christmas, I wondered if a different pattern would emerge if I looked by composer instead.  In a way it does show a different picture though some things remain the same.

Here’s the ranking based on the number of reviews of works by each composer with at least ten reviews (note this includes staged oratorios etc so may not be strictly comparable with Operabase).  The Operabase ranking, based on performances in the 2015/26 season, follows in brackets.

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Fun with DVD statistics

popularityI thought it might be interesting or amusing to compare the number of video recordings I’ve reviewed of various works with their Operabase popularity ranking (based on number of performances worldwide in the 2015/16 season).  I’ve reviewed a total of 467 DVDs and Blu-rays and 15 works have been reviewed five times or more.  That list includes five of Operabase’s top 10.

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It’s taken since May 16th 2014 to get from 300 to 400 recordings in the DVD review database.  But now we are there with 84 Blu-rays and 316 DVDs.  Surprisingly the Toronto Public Library is still a major source of material though one can see that the statistics are perhaps skewing a little more to my personal tastes.  This despite someone at TPL having a taste for 19th century turkeys from French and Belgian regional houses.  So, here’s the round up of the summary stats.

language400Italian is still the most common language with 30% of recordings but German has moved up relatively from 24% to 27%.  Perhaps surprisingly the proportion of recordings in English has hardly changed at all at 13%.  I would have thought that the proportion of contemporary works, many/most in English would have impacted the stats more.

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Met vs COC – the numbers

Inspired by this post at Likely Impossibilities on the Met’s 2015/16 season I thought I’d take a look at how the COC compared.  Now, one season at COC wouldn’t provide much in the way of stats so I’ve looked at the eight seasons from 2008/9 to 2015/16.  (In all the numbers each work in a double bill has been counted as 0.5).

Productions by composer

composerVerdi unsurprisingly tops the COC list with 15% (Met 17%) closely followed by Puccini (10%) and Mozart (13%) but Puccini is nowhere near as heavily represented as at the Met (21%) and Donizetti only scores 5% versus a whopping 21% in New York.  Throw in Rossini and the “big 4” Italians account for 68% of productions in New York versus 36% in Toronto.  I didn’t do a full analysis of the percentage of performances because I didn’t have all the data but Verdi, Puccini, Rossini and Mozart tend to get more performances per production so, as in New York, production percentages somewhat understate their position. Continue reading

Statistical round up of 2014

standingovationSo here we are at the beginning of 2015 and it’s time to look back at the statistics for 2014.  There were 93208 page views, up 32.6% on 2013.  I think that’s not totally reflective of the underlying reality as a non-trivial chunk of the increase was caused by a short period in which The State of the Met got hit 9543 times.  Still, each of the twelve months was busier than the equivalent in 2013, though often not by much.  Analysis of various order derivatives of the underlying functionmight be an interesting exercise in non-parametric statistics but one I can’t really be bothered to do!

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Mixed news on subscriptions from the COC

scalpers_322A recent press release from the COC states that they have (so far) sold 9870 subscriptions for next season with 1368 of those being new subscribers.  The renewal rate is apparently 79%.  A quick bit of arithmetic suggests that this season there were 10762 (or very close to) subscribers and that therefore 2260 of them did not renew.  So new subscribers are lagging drop outs by around 900.  We can assume that subscribers who intend to renew have already done so as the deadline for keeping one’s seats was April 30th.  There’s still plenty of time to close part of that gap of course but it does suggest a decline in the subscription base that’s consistent with experience everywhere else that uses the subscription model.

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There are now 300 reviews of Blu-ray and DVD recordings in the database.  (70 Blu-ray, the balance DVD)  As I did at 200 I took a look at how they break out.  I’ve pretty much exhausted the opera dvd resources of the Toronto public library system so recent and future reviews are more likely to be of things I’ve chosen to spend money on, bar the odd review copy from record companies.

languageThe first thing I looked at was language of performance.  It’s no surprise that Italian (96) and German (72) dominate the list.  French is  a strong third at 55.  English comes in at 40, almost all 20th and 21st century works.  Other (7) is quite interesting as it mostly reflects works in multiple languages such as Tan Dun’s Marco Polo.  “Other” is very much a modern category.  Continue reading