Orchestra Hall: Orchestra Optional: Part 1

As disruptive as it has been to everything else, the Minnesota Orchestra lockout hasn’t stopped time. Consequently, our luxurious new lobby continues its ascent apace…

This leaves us to ask questions like:

  • Wait, we spent how much on this again?
  • How much? I don’t think I heard you correctly
  • How much in state money?
  • Holy [bleeping] [bleep]
  • What?
  • And the orchestra still isn’t playing?
  • When will the orchestra start playing?
  • You don’t know?
  • How can you not know?
  • Will the drinks be good? do we at least know that? because for fifty million, the drinks better be good

And of course the most pressing question of all:

  • If there’s no orchestra…can I at least hold my family reunion there?

The Minnesota Orchestral Association might not have an answer to the first ten questions…but that last one? They’ve got you covered!

***

Presenting…

A new Song of the Lark series…

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This series (number of entries TBD) will examine the new Orchestra Hall portion of the Minnesota Orchestra website from the perspective of a snarky pissed-off patron who feels like the people in charge at the Minnesota Orchestral Association are more interested in their new lobby than in, you know, their actual orchestra.

Let’s take a look!

screencap

GIVE NOW.

First off, viewers of the page are greeted with a header featuring a rendering of what the hall will look like when finished…

book your event now

I think $30 million of the budget went to glass

And beneath that are two conspicuously stagey stock photos of two conspicuously stagey stock events…

moa pics 1

The first is a stereotypical image of a wedding reception. In fact, it’s so stereotypical that it almost seems as if it would show up right away if you went to Google Images and looked up “wedding reception decorations” –

wedding-reception-decoratio

An actual screenshot of what shows up when you look up “wedding reception decorations”

Oh. Okay. Well, make that: it’s so stereotypical that it will show up right away if you go to Google Images and look up “wedding reception decorations.”

The second picture looks like a meeting in a Hilton or Hyatt meeting room. (The same kind of meeting room you could rent a block west of Orchestra Hall, or a block east of Orchestra Hall.) Intriguingly, the ceiling in the photograph looks like the dome in the Titanic’s Grand Staircase.

microphone

Doesn’t it?

But unfortunately, Orchestra Hall doesn’t have a ceiling that looks like the dome in the Titanic’s Grand Staircase, so…a bit of misleading advertising there, sadly.

titanic_grand_staircase

Sorry, you’re not getting a re-creation of the Titanic in the new Orchestra Hall. Maybe next $50 million expansion! It’ll fit in well with the water park.

Below the two photos of the staged wedding and the business meeting on the Titanic are two pictures of what look – maybe? – possibly? – like musicians? (Sorry, I haven’t seen any for six months; I forget what they look like…)

orchestra

*blows up pictures*

suzuki

Recognize anyone?

erin keefe

If you squint, this lady could pass as Erin Keefe doing a lounge act. New business model!

But enough over-analyzing of images. Let’s get down to analyzing the words. I’m sure the words will explain the MOA’s priorities…

Orchestra Hall: Minnesota’s Most Anticipated Premier Venue for Performing Arts, Events, Meetings and Celebrations.

And…performances by an orchestra (specifically, the Minnesota Orchestra), too, right? Okay? Good. Just wanted to double-check that…

In 2013, Orchestra Hall, a centerpiece of downtown Minneapolis, reopens as one of Minnesota’s premier performing arts and special events venues. The newly renovated Orchestra Hall is a world-class performing arts center capable of hosting nearly any event you have in mind.

Any event? Cool! Can I host a “Farewell to Michael Henson” party?

Whether you’re planning a grand event or an intimate gathering,

It’ll be a grand event.

Orchestra Hall offers a variety of spaces to fit your event’s size and style.

Question: what about a holiday party? Because when I see the phrase “premier performing arts and special events venue”, I immediately become anxious to know if I can use said venue for my holiday party.

Performances, conferences, weddings, business meetings, educational events, non-profit fundraisers, holiday parties and seminars can all be handled with flair.

Woo-hoo! Seminars! Business meetings! Holiday parties!

holiday-party

Oh, you had your holiday party at the Grand Hotel? Or the Foshay? Or the Norwood Club? Well I had mine in…the Orchestra Hall lobby. You pleb.

With our stunning new setting, flawless service, and personalized planning, we can easily turn your next event into a first-rate production.

Like a Broadway show.

Then, suddenly! out of nowhere! in large letters!: an exhortation…

Book Your Event Now. You deserve to BE first.

Yes. You deserve – you! deserve! – not just to “be” first, in lower-case letters, but to “BE” first, IN CAPITAL LETTERS.

In other words, Orchestra Hall is a doe-eyed virgin, and you are the wealthy, experienced…well, never mind.

Moving on!

The 2013 venue opening is fast-approaching and presents clientele with a unique opportunity to be among the first to present their special event, performance, corporate meeting or celebration in this premier venue.

Do we have any indication when Michael Henson’s last day in Minnesota will be? Because I want to reserve that day for a special celebration. I’m anticipating a crowd of thousands. Thanks.

Orchestra Hall, home of the Minnesota Orchestra, is best known for its world-renowned acoustics, bringing world-class music, performing arts, and events to the Midwest.

I know when I look for places to hold my holiday party, “world-renowned acoustics” are always on the top of my wish list. As I always say: what’s the point of having a loud crowd of people talking if you aren’t in a room with world-renowned acoustics?

The venue offers seven dynamic indoor and private outdoor spaces ideal for performances, events and celebrations of varying sizes.

Not four, not five, not six, but seven dynamic spaces?! Wow, the ideas for the bon voyage party are already flowing freely!

Accessible parking and hotels are conveniently located adjacent to the building.

Also conveniently located adjacent to the building: spaces ideal for events and celebrations of varying sizes that are better established and in direct competition with Orchestra Hall. From the Hyatt to the Hilton to Vincent’s to the Minneapolis Club to the Music Box Theater to the Convention Center to the…

Actually, maybe it would just be shorter to show a map.

Orchestra Hall (yellow pin) and places it will be in competition with for event-hosting jobs (blue pins). All the dots are locations you can rent out for events. There may be places outside the blue lines, too, BUT I DIDN'T HAVE TIME TO FILL IN THE MAP.

Orchestra Hall is the yellow pin. All the blue pins are places you can rent out for events, according to what I found when I skimmed Google Maps. I’m sure there are some locations here I missed, and I’m also guessing there are just as many places you can rent outside the blue lines. But alas I have a life and didn’t have time to fill all those in.

The Minneapolis Skyway system connects Orchestra Hall to downtown dining and shopping.

Just in case I want to shop right after my holiday party, or dine after the meal I just had catered…?

State of the art sound and technical assistance.

Woah! How sound-intensive are these weddings, seminars, and business meetings going to be?

"DO YOU TAKE THIS MAN TO BE YOUR LAWFULLY WEDDED HUSBAND, TO HAVE AND TO HOLD, IN SICKNESS AND IN HEALTH, UNTIL DEATH DO YOU PART?" "I DOOOOOO!!! WOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" "HONEY, I SURE AM GLAD WE RENTED ORCHESTRA HALL FOR OUR SPECIAL DAY!" "ME, TOO, SWEETHEART!" "AND THIS SOUND SYSTEM IS AMAZING!" "WHAT?"

“DO YOU TAKE THIS MAN TO BE YOUR LAWFULLY WEDDED HUSBAND, TO HAVE AND TO HOLD, IN SICKNESS AND IN HEALTH, UNTIL DEATH DO YOU PART?” “I DOOOOOO!!! WOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” “HONEY, I SURE AM GLAD WE RENTED ORCHESTRA HALL FOR OUR SPECIAL DAY!” “ME, TOO, SWEETHEART!” “AND THIS SOUND SYSTEM IS AMAZING!” “WHAT?”

Liquor licensed facility and catering options offered through exclusive catering partners

Not just run-of-the-mill catering partners, mind you. Exclusive catering partners.

I’m sure the fact that the MOA has “exclusive catering partners” will really help the orchestra battle charges of stuffy elitism.

Orchestra Hall is a perfect setting to make your event a work of art.

A roomful of events.

A roomful of events

Our energetic, attentive team of event planning professionals have organized and executed all types of occasions,

Yeah, don’t fret! The Minnesota Orchestral Association may suck at putting on orchestral concerts right now…but occasions? They rock at those.

so you can rest assured that you are in capable, caring hands.

Capable, caring hands. :)

***

Coming up in future editions of…

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  • We’ll wait with bated breath to see just which “exclusive caterers” will get the nod from the Minnesota Orchestral Association
  • We’ll run some calculations about how much revenue renting out the hall and lobby might earn the Minnesota Orchestral Association (weirdly, this strategy will bring them way less money than increasing and successfully marketing the number of orchestral concerts would)
  • We’ll marvel at the ever-increasing levels of incompetence as the Minnesota Orchestral Association offers the services of the musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra for customers’ private off-site events, like weddings, funerals, or Sweet Sixteen birthday parties…even though the musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra are currently not under contract to the Minnesota Orchestral Association to do such a thing, and they have given very clear indications they will never ratify a contract that allows for this kind of thing. (Minor oversight on the part of the MOA, I’m sure.)

So join us!

10 Comments

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10 responses to “Orchestra Hall: Orchestra Optional: Part 1

  1. Amy

    I greatly admire the “roomful of events” exhibit. It’s splendid.

  2. Sarah

    I know it’s not as much fun – or pithy – but how about describing yourself as an extremely articulate and righteously angry MN Orchestra supporter? We need to OWN the outrage!!

  3. Maryann Goldstein

    This marketing strategy by the MOA is nauseating.

  4. I love you, Emily (*Orchestra OptionaLOL)

  5. Kim Munholland

    We were asked to comment on the architectural drawings for the lobby renovation or extension. My view was the drawings looked just right for a mid-sized town’s airport. From my condo, I have watched the progress. It looks even worse than I thought it would.

  6. NYMike

    SICK! SICK! SICK!

  7. Tom Foley

    And besides wedding receptions, business meetings, and family reunions, there are high school reunions that could be held in the new lobby too. Like, I graduated in 1963, and so my 50th reunion is coming right up. But we wouldn’t want the orchestra though, certainly not the whole thing. Maybe just a quartet. You know, like a little “eine kleine Nachtmusik” would class up the reunion really well, and after that, maybe a medley of hits from 1963 would be good. You know, like “Sugar Shack,” and “Fools Rush In,” and besides those favorites, there were some real classics from 1963, like “Blowin” In the Wind,” and “Puff, the Magic Dragon.” Makes ya wonder what they’re smokin’ up there at the MOA, doesn’t it? ‘Specially the Fools Rush In part.

  8. Terry

    Now we have WAMSO (sorry, “Friends of the — dare we say it? be brave! — Minnesota Orchestra”) removing the words “Minnesota Orchestra” from its mission statement because, well, we all know what they do. NO, actually, we don’t know anything of the kind any longer. We need each and every organization and fundraising entity to state its true mission upfront, because it has become all too clear who the management/board does not support. Will I be joining “Friends of the Minnesota Orchestra”? Nice new name, but no, not yet.

  9. Tamara

    Congratulations on a hysterical blog post!

  10. Tamara

    Oh, wait, you mean it’s all . . . real?

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