Exploring partnering as a tool for developing European opera audiences

Macarena Cuenca-Amigo


Purpose: The paper explores partnering as a tool for developing European opera audiences.

Methodology: The methodology employed in this study is based on a qualitative analysis, which relies on two techniques: content analysis and in-depth interviews. Concretely, the research has been conducted in two different stages: (1) a broad content analysis at European level; (2) an in-depth analysis at a national and local level, interviewing both relevant artistic directors and opera-goers.

Findings: The study reveals that in European opera companies, most collaborations aimed at developing audiences occur when companies seek to diversify audiences, but they seem to be underused when the goal is to broaden and deepen participation.

Practical implications: Although implementation of partnerships with opera houses may have practical difficulties due to the complex programming process involved in the coordination of an opera season, collaboration should not be dismissed as a method for developing opera audiences.

Originality: The paper deals with a main topic in the contemporary cultural management field: the audience development, particularly in the opera domain. Addressing this issue by the role of partnerships is an original way to consider it, as this external perspective is frequently mentioned as one of the most efficient ways of managing in a financial crisis context.

Research limitations: Only 10 in-depth interviews have been conducted so as to capture the voice of opera-goers and they are made in a restrictive context. Therefore, this paper should be considered as an exploratory research that could inspire cultural managers in their practice or that could be the seed for an advanced research. 


Keywords: audience development; opera; partnerships.




Título: "Explorando a parceria como uma ferramenta para o desenvolvimento do público europeu de ópera"


Objetivo: O artigo explora as parcerias como uma ferramenta para o desenvolvimento do público europeu de ópera.

Metodologia: A metodologia empregada neste estudo é baseada em uma análise qualitativa, que se baseia em duas técnicas: análise de conteúdo e entrevistas em profundidade. Concretamente, a pesquisa foi conduzida em duas etapas diferentes: (1) uma ampla análise de conteúdo a nível europeu; (2) uma análise aprofundada em nível nacional e local, entrevistando diretores artísticos relevantes e frequentadores de ópera.

Resultados: O estudo revela que, nas companhias de ópera européias, a maioria das colaborações destinadas ao desenvolvimento de audiências ocorre quando as empresas buscam diversificar as audiências, mas elas parecem ser subutilizadas quando o objetivo é ampliar e aprofundar a participação.

Limitações: Apenas 10 entrevistas em profundidade foram realizadas para capturar a voz dos frequentadores da ópera e elas são feitas em um contexto restritivo. Portanto, este artigo deve ser considerado como uma pesquisa exploratória que possa inspirar os gestores culturais em sua prática ou que possa ser a semente de uma pesquisa avançada.

Implicações: embora a implementação de parcerias com casas de ópera possa ter dificuldades práticas devido ao complexo processo de programação envolvido na coordenação de uma temporada de ópera, a colaboração não deve ser descartada como um método para o desenvolvimento de audiências de ópera.

Originalidade/valor: Embora as óperas colaborem frequentemente no processo criativo executando co-produções, as parcerias não são tão comuns quando se trata de desenvolver audiências. Este artigo aborda o campo da administração de ópera a partir de uma perspectiva inovadora, refletindo sobre colaborações com o objetivo de desenvolver audiências de ópera.


Palavras-chave: desenvolvimento de audiência, ópera, parcerias


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