Tessitura (software)

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Developer(s) Metropolitan Opera / Tessitura Network
Initial release 2000
Stable release
Development status Active
Written in Microsoft SQL Server ; .NET ; ASP.NET MVC ; Powerbuilder
Operating system Windows
Available in English
Type Arts enterprise software
License Proprietary; site-based
Website www.tessituranetwork.com

Tessitura is an enterprise application used by performing arts and cultural organisations to manage their activities in ticketing, fundraising, customer relationship management, and marketing. It refers to itself as "arts enterprise software".

History and business model[edit]

Tessitura was originally developed by and for the Metropolitan Opera of New York.

One of the most interesting aspects of the Tessitura system, which distinguishes it from most other commercial software, is the business model chosen by the Metropolitan Opera in order to commercialize what was originally custom software. The Metropolitan Opera maintains ownership of the intellectual property in the original software, but established a separate organization called Tessitura Network (as a not-for-profit corporation with 501(c)3 status under United States tax law) to manage the ongoing development and support of the system. The Tessitura Network now licenses users, handles management, maintenance and development of the system, and fosters an active exchange of best practices and knowledge sharing within the nonprofit arts and cultural sector. The Tessitura Network is effectively a cooperative enterprise, governed via a Board elected by and from, and representative of, the licensees of the system.[1][2][3]

This business model has an obvious resonance with the not-for-profit and self-governing ethos of the arts community, and is one reason why Tessitura has rapidly come to dominate the (deliberately restricted) market in which it operates - English-speaking, not-for-profit, arts organisations with a need for ticketing and fundraising systems.[4]

This model has resulted in a number of interesting characteristics for Tessitura Network as a software company.

  • There is a very high degree of user commitment and involvement in the community of users - so much so that one commentator has likened implementing Tessitura to a religious conversion, and the annual conference is frequently compared by attendees to a revival meeting.[citation needed]
  • There is a strong emphasis within the company on direct business involvement - most of the company staff are ex-employees of licensees, and almost all come from an arts management background, rather than an IT background[citation needed]
  • The strong involvement of users in the company, and the direct linking of maintenance fees to expenditures under licensee control, has enabled the company to run a very lean operation. For example, including a contractual commitment to taking each upgrade within a 90-day window puts a substantial limit on the costs of supporting old versions, but would be difficult to sustain in a more usual business model.[citation needed]

System functionality[edit]

The Tessitura system is designed to be flexible, customizable, and open, and therefore has a good capacity to be tailored for each organization. Functional areas include:

Some users of the system[edit]

In the United States[edit]

In Canada[edit]

In the UK[edit]

In Ireland[edit]

In Australia[edit]

In New Zealand[edit]


  1. ^ Ravanas, Phillippe (Spring 2007). "A quiet revolution: the Metropolitan Opera Reinvents Client Relations Management". International Journal of Arts Management. HEC - Montréal - Chair of Arts Management. 9 (3): 78–87. JSTOR 41064943. 
  2. ^ "Tiny Dallas company Tessitura provides technology platform to the stars". Retrieved 7 March 2014. 
  3. ^ "Tessitura - The Ticketing Institute". 2015-05-09. Retrieved 2015-05-09. 
  4. ^ Ravanas, Phillippe (Spring 2007). "A quiet revolution: the Metropolitan Opera Reinvents Client Relations Management". International Journal of Arts Management. 9 (3): 78–87. 

External links[edit]