The audience at Severance Hall for the Cleveland Orchestra’s recent humanities festival, which centered around Puccini’s “La Fanciulla del West.” Photo: Dustin Franz for The New York Times.

“For the superb Cleveland Orchestra, which recently finished … concert performances of [Puccini’s ‘La Fanciulla del West’], the 2022-23 season is ending happily, with little nostalgia for how things were going just a few months ago,” writes Zachary Woolfe in Tuesday’s (5/23) New York Times. “At the first performance … ‘Fanciulla’ was enthusiastically received by an audience that the orchestra said was at about 70 percent capacity … more than satisfying after a grim fall for attendance…. Orchestra leaders around the country [said] that things had been deeply disappointing early on this season … and that their panic had calmed amid winter and spring sales that were, if not boffo, at least not devastating…. Then a turnaround appeared most everywhere, which many leaders ascribed to an easing of lingering health concerns around the pandemic … Simon Woods, leader of the League of American Orchestras, said: ‘Holiday sales were very strong, some stronger than in 2019. And that, I think, turbocharged audiences.’… For orchestras beyond the largest and most famous, Woods said, the story was much the same: A brutal beginning to the season, followed by a heartening uptick later in fall that accelerated through the holidays.” The article quotes executives from the orchestras of Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Detroit, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and St. Louis.