Dana Gioia Quote
Like gladiator games and pyramid building, opera has always been a gloriously money-losing proposition. It is the most extravagant of arts, requiring the constant support of kings, dictators, plutocrats, and town councils. Box-office success is no solution. San Francisco Opera loses money at every sold-out performance. Sane business practices simply don't suffice. Composer Richard Wagner's patron, King Ludwig II of Bavaria, was the ideal operatic angel — very rich and certifiably insane. Mel Brooks' shyster producer Max Bialystock need not have mounted Springtime for Hitler to score a surefire loss. Aida would have done just fine.
"Drama at the Opera House," San Francisco Magazine (September 2001) - Essays