Now we are five

oreallyAugust 11th marked the five year anniversary of Opera Ramblings.  Statistically we are now at 1350 posts and over 350,000 views.  “Cheap Seats at the COC” and the review of the notorious Maria Ewing Salome DVD continue to be the most popular posts.  Thanks for the ride!

Third blogiversary

Fafner cat guards the magic Bikehelm

Fafner cat guards the magic Bikehelm

So, today marks the third anniversary of this blog.  This will be the 824th post.  There are over 300 DVD/Blu-ray reviews in the database.  As I write there have been 1,981 comments and 182,996 views.

As I have said to many people I started this project with no ambitions.  I certainly didn’t expect it to change my life but that’s what it has done.  I have had the chance to experience music that I would likely never of heard of and tp learn about it from the people who create and perform it.  More importantly I have met some really amazing people, some of whom have become firm friends.  It’s been especially welcome as coincidentally my previously heavy involvement in rugby came to an end because of advancing age and eye problems almost exactly a year after starting this new venture.

so, to those of you who have made this journey so rewarding, my sincerest thanks and to those who will make it fun for the next few years, I look forward to meeting you!

Labour relations more popular than naked soprano

photo-14Something rather extraordinary happened around here yesterday.  The state of the Met produced a completely unprecedented amount of traffic.  This year traffic has been running around 6000-8000 hits/month.  It’s been steadily growing since I started in August 2011 but not wildly.  Yesterday saw 5916 hits; most of them on the Met piece.  It was 17 months before I got that many hits in a month.  In less than 24 hours the piece became the most read thing I have posted eclipsing the previous “best seller” which was, oddly enough, a review of the 1992 ROH Salome with Maria Ewing.  This has been steadily garnering traffic for two and a half years mostly, it appears, from people who Google variants of “maria ewing nude”.  It appears that even a naked Lady Hall can’t compete with labour relations at the Met.

Pricing strategies

Pretty much unremarked in the general houha of the COC’s season announcement is a rather interesting change in pricing strategy.  Clearly something had to be done as the switch to a six performance season has consequences.  The COC appears to have something over 7000 season subscribers and a further, say, 3500 select subscribers who buy tickets for five performances.  The five performance package isn’t offered for 2014/15 so let’s assume that group split 50/50 into six and four package buyers for no net effect on ticket sales.  The switch then means a loss of 7000+ ticket sales.  The number of performances has only been reduced by 1 so that means the company has 5000 or so more tickets to sell to single ticket buyers or net new subscribers than last year.  That is, of course, on top of last year’s unsold capacity of around 12,000 seats.  For reference last year’s single seat sales were just shy of 40,000.  So, unless subscription sales rise, single ticket sales per show have to rise from 6,500 to 7,500 (more or less) just to stand still.  That’s actually a pretty tough ask.

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Thank you!

blue1117_2Today’s visitors made December 2012 the busiest month in terms of page views since I started this blog.  For the first time there have been over 5000 views in one month.  I’m quite staggered and rather humbled.  Whether you come from the US, Canada or the UK like most of my readers or are one of the rare visitors from New Caledonia or the Faroe Islands I hope you enjoy yourself, find what you need and come back soon.

Let’s make 2013 an even better year!

Search statistics

I’m a bit of a fanatic about numbers so I tend to check the blog stats quite a bit. WordPress has pretty useful statistical tools really. Among other things one can track the search strings used to find one’s site. Here’s a screen cap showing that data from the beginning of this blog:

I’m completely at a loss to explain why “Calixto Bieito” and related terms should be represented thirty times more often than anything else.