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Friday, September 07, 2018 3:15pm

Subscriber Stories: Hettie Tinsley


We spoke to ASO subscriber, Hettie Tinsley, about her relationship with the ASO and how she manages to remain a subscriber despite being such an active traveller. 

Tell us what you do.

I’m retired now, but I was in International Education for a number of years. I’ve worked in 11 countries, mostly in International Education, but a little bit of banking. I finished my overseas career as heading up International Schools in both hemispheres and 11 countries.

What do you do now?

A lot of travel. I do some voluntary work, mostly associated with clubs I belong to. I’m keen on geology and my travels tend to take in a bit of geology. I also travel for opera with a group of friends who like to go overseas and see opera in places like Germany and the USA.

And you’re an ASO subscriber.

Yes, I’ve been going to the ASO since the 80s.

At what point did you decide to become a subscriber?

The first year I lived in Adelaide, in 1980, my husband and I both loved orchestral music, so it seemed a logical thing to do. As soon as we went, we realised that this is one of the great orchestras. From all of our travels, it stands up against anything worldwide.

I’ve been a subscriber on and off, because I’ve lived overseas. So, years really, but not always consistently if I’ve lived overseas. 

What kind of concerts do you come and see?

I would always do the minimum subscription, so usually 3 upwards, and I get to every opera the ASO is involved in.

Do you remember your first concert with ASO?

Oh no.


I don’t remember that at all. Let me think of some of the great ones…

The concerts that have the giant screen with film scores, that was very exciting when that happened. I still go to some of those at big venues like the Adelaide Entertainment Centre.

There was a wonderful Chinese one a few years ago. That was great.

I think one of the things that I’ve loved recently is turning Shakespeare into things at the Town Hall. The Midsummer Nights Dream [Mendelssohn's Dream, 2015] one was particularly fun, and that appeals to a younger audience that doesn’t want to go to a full opera, but is very happy to do a concert version. So that’s been something interesting in recent years.

A moment from Mendelssohn's Dream in 2015.

How has the ASO changed since you first subscribed?

Oh, well it’s certainly bigger. We get some real blockbusters now that we didn’t. In recent years we’ve had more guest conductors and more variety coming in. There’s definitely more of a populists appeal, so people are prepared to innovate by new musical forms.

I think there’s so much that people could spend their money on now, all the time we’re getting masses more possibilities, and yet the ASO never looses its appeal. I mean, prices have gone up quite significantly in the last few years, but people are still prepared to pay and be loyal because the quality is so good.

So, I think the variety is great, and also I quite like the collaborations with other orchestras and groups. The ASO will often join in with another group when they can't do it just by themselves because it’s too expensive, so that’s worked out quite well.

What would you say to someone who is considering subscribing?

I’d say go for it! If you do the minimum number of subscriptions so that you get a discounted price, then if you can afford it, go for it. Because the quality has been consistent regardless, and I think there are some really wise choices always being made about balancing tried and true selections with more innovative music. So we’re very lucky that we’re able to get all the old favourites plus more new stuff.

So, anyone who is new to subscribing should pick a couple favourites and then have a wild choice of something they would never normally go for just to try it out. Then you get hooked!

Subscriptions for 2019 are now open. To browse, click here.

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