As a musician who’s played in a lot of bands (from pit to opera) that guy is ON TO SOMETHING! WELL DONE!
Arts organisations are constantly coming up with 2 unsustainable solutions:
a) programs that only appeal to older people
b) Usually abominable ‘crossover’ programs (rock band meets symphony!) or endless variations on ‘pops’ concerts.
c) Re-purpose an existing pop-culture piece as serious art (I’m thinking of the now defunct opera company in NYC that did an opera about ‘Anna Nicole Smith’.
To look ‘cool’ they may offer grants for writing lots of opera, music, dance, but rarely offer performances of those works. (Which makes no sense.)
Said it before, say it again: the Europeans have the right model: go SMALL. Instead of doing 4 HUGE operas every year, do 20 small ones at 1/10th the budget. The core audience will always be there… and they want new works. Composers? They’ve given up trying because they never get a chance to get played. If you offer them venues, they’ll step up, just like composers in every era do. The reason so much music STINKS today is because there hasn’t been enough competition. Going small would fix that.
In short, stop trying to squeeze the maximum $ from a rapidly diminishing audience of 70 year old Puccini lovers. It’s simply unsustainable.