Photo by Robert Millard

The Opera Tattler, always first on the scene with this kind of info, just posted the following bad news from the San Francisco Opera. Naturally I'm not privy to the insider workings over there, but I for one have to wonder what SFO's board is thinking at this point about the man in charge. You don't have to wonder what I'm thinking, however- I wish Gockley would go back to Texas. Tomorrow.

It was my understanding Gockley was hired on the strength of his fund-raising and glad-handing abilities (certainly it wasn't his artistic vision), and he quickly brought in some huge contributions. Now, obviously everyone's endowments have been hard hit during this recession, but the only response I'm seeing from SFO is to cut this and cut that, none of which makes for a long term plan nor anything improving what goes on the stage. Now they've issued a press release on saving the company a million bucks largely on the back of the administrative staff (who no doubt are already making less than what they would doing similar jobs in the for-profit world). Is this supposed to inspire confidence in the company's leadership or direction?

How about scrapping Moby Dick, holding raffles at the ballpark telecasts and Opera in the Park for a pair of front-row or center box tickets, eliminating the redundant mailings for subscribers, raising rates for the full-page real estate ads in the programs, creating a worthwhile CD/DVD sales program based on the upcoming season, selling eye-catching posters and T-Shirts and creating new revenue streams in the War Memorial and eliminating Gockley's annual vanity project aka the season preview cd?

Can't SFO find a million dollars in these simple and easily executed suggestions? Hey, at least I'm offering them for free.