The Three Tenors: The 3 Tenors
The Concert of the Century
As CEO of Headquarters Entertainment Corporation producing the concert, and later (after a legal struggle with my original partner trying to cancel it) directly as Toby Simkin for Hoffmann Concerts, presented THE THREE TENORS live New Years Eve concert on 31 December 1996.
Labeled by the press as the “Concert of the Century“, Jose Carreras, Placido Domingo, Luciano Pavarotti with conductor James Levine teamed up for this unique event.
The 3 Tenors VIP seats were $2,000 each, with more “premier seating” available at $1,750 and “preferred” seating at $1,250 in BC Place Stadium with 52,200 seats. Other seats were available in several categories from $650 to a low of $45.
Neighboring hotels and restaurants saw a direct bump of about $5.5 million in visitor spending as a result of the 3 Tenors concert.
The one night Three Tenors concert was the same production cost as a Broadway musical today… Close to USD $15 million in 1996 dollars (~USD $27 million today) … So the risk to recoup by combination of sponsorship, merch and selling 52,000 tickets in prices ranging from $2000 down was huge and the stress was massive….
Each of the stars and conductor additionally required absolutely identical conditions in their riders, even with uniquely different tastes and conditions, making custom hotel suites, flights, ground transport including golf carts, rehearsal, trailers, catering, dressing room fit-out etc.. especially challenging. Lots of issues to pull it off, but by the skin of our teeth and goodwill of the German partner Hoffman Concerts, we somehow made it.
The 3 Tenors was a wild and mucky adventure.
Thank goodness for a great, great stage manager (Steven Crouch, PSM from The Phantom of the Opera) who saw me falling into the last minute abyss of sales/marketing/sponsorship/legal and talent management, picked up the mantle and kept the physical production rolling along (staging, rehearsal, set, musicians, lighting, sound etc…) while I dealt with producing madness behind the scenes.
Stage Managers make (or break) a show, Great Stage Managers can make a bad show great. Steven’s work was one of the happiest memories to this day, and I will be forever grateful.