From French to English, Mise-En-Scène roughly translates to ‘staging,’ but is more broadly used to describe the world of an artwork. The Mise-En-Scène of a symphony starts when you park your car or get off of the subway and hear the orchestra tuning as you walk through the tunnel to the concert hall and encompasses your entire experience. It even reaches into the brain and extends into your memory of the experience.
MESS is the acronym for MISE-EN-SCÈNE STUDIOS.
WHAT IS MESS?
THE MESS EXPERIENCE
Your first time at one of MESS’s intimate Premier Events is free. Events feature up-close exposure to world-class artists, diverse programming, free food, an open bar and an enticing opportunity for personal and professional networking. To return to the next MESS Premier Event, you must become a MESS Member. MESS Members have access to all Premier Events (currently 10, and growing) over the following 12 months free of charge. Members also gain exclusive access to purchase tickets to MESS Mainstage Events, such as fully staged operas (beginning in 2020) and other larger-scale, more extravagant performances. The unequalled experiential and social value of a $99 MESS Membership is evidenced by our First-Timer to Member conversion rate of 30-50% in our first season.
Most gainfully employed opera singers spend at least 10 months a year on the road. Every gig starts with a room full of strangers in a strange land. No insurance, no financial security, no ‘home crowd.’
Not at MESS. Similar to many European opera companies, MESS will ultimately be built around a core ensemble of singers. This Ensemble gathers in NYC for 3-4 months/year to sing leading roles in MESS’s operatic productions (beginning as early as 2020). Singers’ fees are competitive with other major US opera companies, can be paid out as an annual salary and amount to the only living wage offered to singers in NYC outside of the Met. Ensemble members also receive a 10% 401K matching contribution and generous cost-sharing on year-round health insurance. The extended, multi-season exposure to a ‘home crowd’ in the world’s largest and most important performing arts market is equally invaluable. Ensemble members are also invited to perform in MESS’s Premier Events, helping them connect further with their audiences. This helps MESS market operas to audiences unfamiliar with the art form: we sell the singers, rather than the opera itself. MESS’s compensation structure is already attracting and retaining truly world-class talent, including many singers who are being heard in leading opera houses around the world.
Revenue from Membership sales, Mainstage Event ticket sales and a 4.5% return on investment from a modest endowment will completely sustain MESS’s production activities in perpetuity. The resulting cost efficiencies and revenue opportunities are many, particularly relating to sharing Member behavior with organizations eager to attract this Millennial demographic. We already have begun to build fruitful partnerships with vendors eager to get exposure with our Members, which has resulted in a significant cost decrease for our Premier Events.
MESS is currently in a capital intensive stage of growth, scaling and building brand awareness. Our 5 year plan is centered around growing our membership to a critical mass and launching our ensemble opera productions. Our 10 year plan is centered on permanent self-sustainability by reaching our endowment goal of $10 million.
Our mission is to harness the social power of the classical performing arts. We strive to build the ideal platform for the world’s best artists to connect with their audiences, to lower the cost of experimentation for new audiences, and to build a sustainable future for classical art and artists.