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Arts & Life

Detroit Symphony to announce 2011-12 season this week

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The Detroit Symphony Orchestra will announce its 2011-12 season on Friday, May 20. Most orchestras announced their seasons months ago, but the DSO had to postpone its plans because of a six-month musicians’ strike.

Drew McManus says the late announcement will likely hurt the orchestra’s revenue stream. McManus is an arts consultant in Chicago:

"I can't think of an example where a group launched ticket sales that late and matched what they earned last season in raw numbers and revenue. So it will be a very large challenge for the group."

The orchestra lost $5 million in revenue from ticket sales during the strike. To try to make up the loss, the DSO has reduced ticket prices for the upcoming season in some cases by more than 50%.

Paul Hogle, the orchestra's executive vice president, says he thinks it will take five to seven years to get the orchestra’s ticket sales and revenue back to where it was before the strike. This time last year, Hogle says more than 3,600 households had ticket subscriptions to the DSO, compared to less than 1000 households today. 

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