Volunteer support Derry’s Opera House
To the editor:
There seems to be a lot of finger-pointing going on concerning the operation and/or perceived success of the Derry Opera House. Firstly, please know that I am no longer a member of the Greater Derry Arts Council and do not speak for that organization, but I did dedicate many years of my heart and soul to that operation. What the community needs to know is that the members of the GDAC are some of the most dedicated volunteers that this town could ever have.
From my perspective, until you’ve walked in their shoes, no one can point fingers concerning the operation of the Opera House. I’ve seen the countless hours of volunteer time that is invested by dedicated citizens in the management of that operation. These are hours given outside of regular 40-hour-a-week jobs. And I don’t see many lining up out the door to give these four or five devoted volunteers a helping hand.
Some think the Opera House should be run like Londonderry’s Tupelo Hall with big-name entertainers performing there each week. Firstly, Tupelo is run by an entrepreneur who is obviously passionate about his business of presenting musical artists. But he must also be passionate about the income that his business provides him. That’s the American way. I’m sure he pays his employees sufficiently to do what it takes to insure the success of each event. Should the same amount of financial risk be taken at the Opera House … by volunteers? Who assumes that risk at the Opera House should an event lose its shirt?
Also, there are some dramatic differences between Tupelo and the Adams concerning access and viability. Concert-goers can drive their vehicles right into Tupelo’s adjacent parking lot. There is no “wondering” where to park. Artists can drive their equipment truck directly to the side of the Tupelo building to a garage door that opens for loading equipment onto a stage that is no more than 15 feet away.