Opera Box Score

America's talk radio show about opera. Period. Mondays at 9 pm (CT). Live on WNUR 89.3 FM Chicago and WNUR.ORG/POPUP.

Thanks to countertenor Doug Dodson of the OperaNow! podcast (the Granddaddy of Them All) for sharing his metric for assessing the diversity of an opera house's season.


Each production in an opera house's season featuring the following criteria gains (and loses) points.  The higher the total score, the more diverse and, in the opinion of OBS, the more commendable the opera house is.


-   10 points for each show with a female composer

-   10 points for each show with a composer of color

-   5 points for each show written before 1830 (excluding Mozart’s top 4)

-   5 additional points for each show written before 1750

-   5 points for each show written after 1950

-   5 additional points for each show written since 2000

-   5 additional points for a world premiere

-   5 points for a 2nd production (not 2nd showing of the 1st production)

-   5 points for each opera in a language other than Italian, German, French, or English

-   3 points for each announced woman conductor

-   3 points for each announced conductor of color

-   1 point for each singer of color announced in the press release

-   5 points for each wildcard (anything mentioned in the press release as a “first” or something different than usual worth noting (American premiere, modern premiere, trans/Muslim/exceptionally young/otherwise noteworthy minority conductor, etc.)


-   -10 points for Bohème, Carmen, or Traviata

-   -5 additional points for 2 out of the 3

-   -10 additional points for all three

-   -5 points for any Wagner because fuck that guy

-   -5 points for any composer represented more than once in the same season (-20 if it’s a Ring Cycle)

-10 points for anything that is an obvious money saving gimmick (we’re doing this WITH ALL YOUNG ARTISTS, or we’re doing this WITHOUT A CHORUS, etc.)

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