Enid Futterman was quick to express her dissatisfaction on imby: "Hudson Opera House responds to the backlash with a baby step." Another eloquent critic of the re-branding, Byrne Fone expressed his discontent with the compromise in this statement, which he shared with Gossips:
In the press release announcing the name change from Hudson Opera House to Henry Hudson Hall, we were told that HOH (!) had “learned through discussions with constituents and key community stakeholders just how limiting our misplaced identity as an ‘opera house’ has been in our efforts to engage new and diverse audiences.”
Opera! Scary! I’m not an especially PC sort, but I do get the feeling that when an organization hints that the “new and diverse audiences” they hope to cultivate may be “turned off” (as perhaps they think someone in these new audiences might say) simply by hearing “opera” in a name, then aside from being just too ridiculously PC for words, it is at the worst a rank insult to the audiences they want to attract.
It is the height, or maybe the nadir, of PC arrogance to dumb down an identity so that “new and diverse audiences” won’t be uncomfortable with “opera”--both as the term identifying centuries of musical culture, but as well, as many have pointed out, in its historic and general use in America to mean a “multi-use performance space” (to engage the sort of jargon that branders seem to like).
But then, realizing not only that Henry Hudson did not found the city, but also that a large and very vocal number of “constituents and key community stakeholders” hated the name change, someone finally did some back peddling.
But is it really a cause for any satisfaction that the historically accurate--and concise--Hudson Opera House is now Hudson Hall at the Historic Hudson Opera House? Quite a mouthful. I’ll tell you, that name really turns me off.