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MAY 27, 2009 7:06 PM

This is the image that accompanied the digital invitation to the Washington National Opera's fundraiser, the "Opera Ball."

Opera Grand Rapids has had some pretty sweet artwork over the past few years. The artists have changed but ads remain simple and subtly emotive. Mixed Feelings wrote about Opera GR's artwork a while back.

The image from the WNO is so heavy-handed that I can hardly believe it. There is no irony in using a picture of tony white people in evening wear to advertise a $500 fundraiser. That is who is going to be there. It doesn't really sell the event. People will go because this is DC and you have to go to give out business cards, but not because this advertisement causes a stir of excitement.

This sort of illustrates why mid-sized Opera companies are so necessary. They won't make it if they don't make efforts to bring in new audiences as Opera GR has. WNO was criticized two seasons ago for staging operas with sexy young people rather than good singers as a means of garnering a younger audience.


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