Journal of Social Sciences

Theater Activities for Jung Opera Audience: An Educational Urgency

Elita Maule

DOI : 10.3844/jssp.2012.182.188

Journal of Social Sciences

Volume 8, Issue 2

Pages 182-188

Abstract

Problem statement: Numerous studies have led researchers to conclude that the socio-demographic profile of the public of classical music appears to be quite generalizable. However, the survey of the opera public, a classical music subgenre that is often associated with theater performances, appears to be much more difficult to quantify and has not yet been the subject of specific investigations (1). The drastic decrease in audience attendance, especially among young people, has led to a radical change in the management of all the opera houses in Europe (2). The research here presented has explored, through a representative sample of twenty-four Theatres in twelve different European countries, all practitioners of Opera Education, the complex interaction of personal, social and cultural factors that have led the theatres to interact with the educational system and the school curricula (3). A research on the different methods applied for teaching Opera to young people has led to attention being given especially to what is now called “Dramatic Interpretation of Music Theatre”, a method developed within Germany but now accepted by the majority of Opera Houses in Northern Europe (4). Approach: The research on educational projects for young people was made through the analysis of the web-sites of 24 theatres: 12 of these were members of Reseo, the network of partners involved in opera education that was proposed and promoted by the European Community in 1999; 12 other theatres, although belonging to other such networks were not members of Reseo. Results: (1) Opera seems to attract a rather limited public that occupies, in terms of number, the last places in the classification; the amount of people who listen to classical music is double that of those who listen to opera. (2). Educating the audience and, therefore, organizing also didactic projects for young people, has become for theaters a means to ensure their future survival. (3). The European Opera theaters adopt common strategies to attract and increase the young audience. (4) The European Opera theaters adopt a common pedagogical approach. Conclusion: To cope with increasing costs and decreasing youth audience, the Opera theaters of Europe have adopted common organizational and pedagogical strategies focusing their activities on educational projects for schools.

Copyright

© 2012 Elita Maule. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.