A Study in How We Get Young People Into Opera Houses(Without Applying Excessive Force)

As the weekend winds down, I thought you dear readers would appreciate a treat.

As an assignment in English class last month, we were assigned to write a research paper about a topic of our choice. Being the operaphile I am, my choice was to examine the way opera companies are attracting younger audiences and what they have done to do so in the past.

Some of you on Twitter have asked to read it, and I figured that some of you might find it interesting(Or at least I really hope some of you find it interesting…). So, you can read my essay on Opera and Young Audiences and as usual, please be respectful and don’t plagiarize. Contact me if you have any questions at operateenblog@gmail.com.

A special thank you for help on this essay goes out to blogger and long time opera fan, Mirto Picchi, who you can find here.

Please leave your thoughts and comments in the comments section. Comments have been a little slow recently, and don’t pretend that I don’t know all the interesting things you have to say!




8 comments on “A Study in How We Get Young People Into Opera Houses(Without Applying Excessive Force)

  1. Long, long, longtime opera fan. πŸ˜‰

  2. No one can say you don’t know your Met Opera history. πŸ™‚
    Perhaps you could consider doing a mini-series of posts that are similar to the content in your essay, wherein you flesh out a couple more specific “modernizing” opera efforts? While the Met is certainly a big and internationally-influential player -like La Scala- there are lots of opera houses/programs in smaller cities around the US that are doing radical things with the idea of attracting younger patrons in mind. (e.g. I had written about an effort by Opera Memphis to try and convince Justin Timberlake to take the lead in their production of Die Fledermaus. http://nice-dice.blogspot.com/2011/05/its-gonna-be-justin-memphis-hopes.html)

    Just a friendly suggestion. Your reference to shying away from “high art” and “elitism” is something I’m quite passionate about as well. Particularly when it comes to an easily boxed medium like opera.

  3. I like ypur essey very much. This is a theme anyone who love opera shoild thi k about and try to do something about it. Perhaps I would mention the “Live in HD” transmissions.
    And I don’t think you have to repeat that sb said skmething in an interview if it’s from only one and not more of them πŸ™‚

  4. The ticket prices are a great one, OT. I would add to that one additional idea. Back in the 60s & 70s when my teachers were singing, the matinee performances and some off- nights were done by younger artists. For instance, my teacher got to do Boris Gudonov when Cesare Sieppi had a night off. Not only was it incredible exposure for my teacher, it was a chance for him to me for a role with an idol. So many companies treat covers like they have to be hidden from the stars for fear of egos being hurt. But this has always been an apprentice and mentoring business. And conservatory students watching young professionals would also be invigorating to their studies. It would also solve the push to make casts younger/ sexier… Young People could choose to go see young cast or go see great voices. Just an idea.

  5. You make some good points about the difficulty of attracting new audiences to opera today.
    I do think, though, that it might be harder for the Met to finance and support some of the student programs you brought up because of the way the arts are funded in the United States compared to European countries.

  6. Hey OT! I read this I found it so interesting but forgot to comment. But it’s quite a challenge bringing new younger audiences in plus giving so many discounts. But the live in HD itself is already a great way to make opera fans, so many people I know started to like opera after they saw one streamed live from the met πŸ™‚ We’ll keep on the good fight of trying to bring as many of our acquaintances as possible to the side of opera πŸ˜‰

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