Each season, as we prepare our new brochure, I stew over the concept of concerts we list therein as ‘special’ concerts. These so-called ‘special’ concerts are generally performed by artists who are well known, who will attract larger audiences (we always hope) and they are not part of any of our series concerts. What I hate about the word ‘special’ is that it implies that the other concerts on the series are not special. I like to think that each and every concert we present IS special, or at least has the potential of being special. That depends, of course, upon how you interpret the word special.
I believe that people who buy tickets to live events know that they are taking chances, and that the outcome could be way beyond their expectations, or alternatively, rather disappointing. Not all performances can make time stand still, but when they do, and you can feel an audience collectively holding its breath, it’s probably worth five times the price of the ticket. The trouble is that too many presenters promise the earth, and I think that the worst thing one can do is disappoint someone who is new to the art form, because that probably guarantees that they won’t return.
The concerts we present at the Vancouver Recital Society are ‘one offs’. One performance only. One chance to be blown away. Each is unique, which is what makes it special. So what then, is the word that we can use to replace ‘special’ for the concerts in the larger venues? Suggestions anyone?