Sunday, March 26, 2017

The Unhappiness Continues

On Thursday, Gary Schiro, executive director of the historic civic center at 327 Warren Street, released a statement saying that he, the staff, and the board of directors had reconsidered the re-branding of the building, and, instead of abandoning the name "Hudson Opera House" for the new name "Henry Hudson Hall," the building would now be called "Hudson Hall at the historic Hudson Opera House." 

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.


  1. Hudson Hall means nothing and 'at the historic Hudson Opera House' sounds like some sort of carbuncle has been added and you have to choke to get it out.


  2. i thought that the life lesson of hudson was that we could preserve the past and live in the present and future in an integrated way.

    i guess not in the "new and diverse" PC America of Henry Hudson Hall and its board.
    talk about "dumbed down" !!

  3. This is just so wrong, unbelievably wrong, and the wrongest part is the ppl who are responsible for this wrong are too blind to see how wrong they are ~ even in the face of their constituents they insist on remaining wrong.

  4. Hudson Opera House.. Well lets face the fact that name is to " WHITE ".

    1. Yeah, just like Marian Anderson, Leontyne Price, Jessye Norman, Grace Bumbry Kathleen Battle

  5. Obviously they're never going to admit they screwed up, especially after spending who knows how much money on the re-branding, and the only leverage we, the people of Columbia County have, is to stop giving money for the events & programs. I'm going to be missing my first Gala ever. Been to every single one but no more! Plus I have worked on setting up a lot of them, served the wine for them at the Movable Feast Cocktail Hour for years, helped with mailings and when they did dinners after Winter Walk served food and helped clean up. During this fiasco they have been pretty disrespectful of me by ignoring me until I walked in last week and spoke to Gary.

  6. The good news is there will be no rush this year to get the shop windows decorated in time for Winter Walk.

  7. How about "Grand Ole Hudson Opry House"? That's catchy!