Aug 5, 2016

Opera audiences might be growing?

In searching for a way to justify my PhD thesis of the composition of opera for young people, I have tried to look at some of the maths. Opera is funded very well by the state. The Royal Opera House alone received an Arts Council grant of £25m in 2012/13, which is appoximately 40p per person if averaged over the estimated UK population of 62m.

Mainstream opera audiences are believed to be mostly in the 60-69 year old age bracket, according to the 2014 study 'Opera Audiences and Cultural Value: A Study of Audience Experience' published by Creativeworks London.

Now, I had previously - and wrongly - assumed that this was a relative minority of our national population here in the UK. In actuality, the Office of National Statistics reveals that since 2014 there are more people over 60 (14.9 million in 2014) than there are under 18. It's almost a quarter of our population.

So I'm now wondering: if our population is aging, perhaps it's not the young 'uns that opera houses need to convert, but more of the middle aged group.

Unfortunately for me, none of this helps my PhD thesis. Rather, I think I have some more statistics to uncover...