What follows is only my opinion. We all know what opinions are like.
After an okay staged concert performance of Pagliacci with a grievous error in sight lines that pissed off the public and embarrassed the company. After producing one opera when they should have done two-no Cav-no nothing*-after staging the opera in such a way that many upstairs couldn't bloody see it...well...
Look, Opera Columbus does not need to be doing Pagliacci. They don't have the chops to compete in the big boy Italian repertoire that depends upon vivid-and rare-singing actors. A mediocre Pagliacci plays mediocre, (a mediocre Boheme can still break hearts) not exciting and does no one any favors. And Jesus God almighty, did NO ONE know that the show couldn't be seen from a number of the upstairs seats? How was this allowed to continue? The whole thing playedlike an attempt to further a few careers on the backs of a company. Cut it out. Right place right time and luck help us all but Tullio Serafin is not conducting in the Ohio Theater. There's no reason for this company to fold finally-finalmente-because of ill advised artistic choices and stupid mistakes.
Revive the Columbus Light Opera. Do a spring or summer festival. Month of May or June....perform every three day weekend.. Fri Sat night, Sunday matinee. Stick to G&S Offenbach, Romberg et al; cast locally with the terrific people who packed em in in the Light Opera days.(And stop saying "Opera Columbus Center" when you answer the phone. Center of what? for Pete's sake. Phony.)Do this for two seasons and build back your audience. If the Southern is unavailable use the Lincoln (Go ahead! I dare ya! It's beautiful) Use the Riffe Center and collaborate with Ohio State at the Thurber. THEN start adding a Boheme, A Barber of Seville, A Figaro, a Traviata with more adventurous-if you will-casting. Study the writings and films of Walter Felsenstein. Invite Nic Muni up to supervise. I'd work for him for nothing, just for what I could learn. So should you. Get serious. Give the audience a lot of what is proven and THEN surprise them with lovely, fully integrated operatic productions on a reasonable scale. And yes I think new work is crucial but I'm talking about restoring fiscal sense first.
Anyway, that's what I would do. Nobody asked me.
*I don't want to hear about it. LA and Washington can get away with Pag alone when Domingo sings. Otherwise, its cheap.