Classical music goes X-TREEM!

OK, so we all know how cool the MET Opera at the movies is.  And that Sabres game they played outside in the snow was super-sweet.  The San Francisco Opera jumped on these two ideas, and decided to simulcast opera performances in the Giants' baseball stadium.  This all got me thinking about other ways we could supersize classical music...
The SFO baseball stadium simulcasts recently went ahead for the third time, and 27,000 people showed up for the free screening of Puccini's Tosca.  27,000!  Free!  They've seen attendance increase quite a bit since the first time they tried it (with a meager 15,000 people showing up...), and I think we could capitalize on this in a way that only the U-S-of-A could.  Some ideas:
- Extreme 3-D IMAX classical music spectacular!  Don your dorky 3-D goggles, and soar through the percussion section in Bartok's Concerto for Orchestra while you valiantly dodge double bass bows!  Still looking for a way to make the backstage intermission interview portion more extreme...
- Project the Boston Pops' Fourth of July concert onto Mt. Rushmore with a giant projector!  I'm confident that the tech wizards at NASA must have a way to digitally insert John Williams' head up there next to those other four guys who did not write the music for Star Wars.
- Invert the SFO's idea and simulcast Major League Baseball games on screens inside famous concert halls with the "house band" playing between innings and at-bats.  Patrons could dress formally as though they were attending a classical concert, sip red wine and eat organic free-range hot dogs and arugula salads.  Mini bats would still be for sale, and hats would be allowed in the upper balcony only.  Picture the New York Phil playing the Scorpions' "Rock You Like a Hurricane" as Derek Jeter comes up to bat...
If you've got a bright idea to make classical music more extreme, post away below!


Supersized classical music

Hi Chris,
What a great idea! Just the other day I discovered the Cleveland Public Hall online. The seating area is kind of oblong and seats some 16,000 people. At the one end where the stage area is are a set of curtains, and opening the curtains allows people seated in an adjoining 4,000 seat theatre to see the stage, so in reality, it is two theatres in one. An excellent picture is to be found here:

I thought it would be very cool to fill the smaller hall with 4,000 singers to form a mass choir of sorts. Then, fill the stage and the center area with multiple merged orchestras, and, of course, an organist playing E.M. Skinner's amazing 5/165 organ, Opus 328.

A carolfest would probably be most fitting for this kind of arrangement, but maybe Mozart's Ave Verum Corpus would work too, or Britten's St. Nicholas Mass

...These kind of things keep my fertile 15-year-old mind awake all night long.

Absolutely brilliant.

Absolutely brilliant.  Perhaps the CGI guys from the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy could enhance the impression of the crowd size with holograms.  And everyone gets a can of Energy Drink when they enter the hall. 


Chris Van Hof

WXXI-FM Afternoon Host

Also a multi-genre Trombonist



Thanks, Chris-I'm glad you liked my idea. It's a shame Virgil Fox is no longer living, because he would be one of the few people who are daring enough to try a stunt like that. Perhaps something like that would save the building-since it doesn't get much use, there is apparently talk of re-purposing or replacing it (in other words, demolishing it, letting the lot sit vacant for 20 years, and building a car dealership on the site).

The concert could be broadcast in surround sound so that people could get the feeling of singing amidst the orchestra from their armchairs at home.