As the classical-music world continues to struggle with graying and shrinking audiences, companies are experimenting with ways to attract new crowds. On Tuesday, 13 opera companies across the nation were named recipients of a new grant from Opera America designed to foster attendance growth.
Based in New York, Opera America is a nonprofit organization whose goal is to promote and raise general awareness of opera as an art form. The group said it awarded a total of $300,000 in grants -- ranging from $7,500 to $30,000 -- under the new program, which is titled "Building Opera Audiences."
Los Angeles Opera is receiving $30,000 to help fund its "Newcomer Project," whose goal is to "demystify" opera and to "bring it back to its roots as a popular and ubiquitous art form," according to Opera America.
L.A. Opera is offering a "Newcomer" package that includes discounted tickets to certain productions. The company said on its website that prices for the packages start as low as $54 for three operas in the coming season.
Other companies to receive grants include the San Francisco Opera and the Seattle Opera, which are receiving $25,000 and $30,000, respectively.
Opera America said it received 67 applications for a total of $2 million. The program is funded by the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation.
Other grant recipients include American Opera Projects, Arizona Opera, Florentine Opera Company, Madison Opera, Opera on the James, Opera Memphis, Opera Theater of Pittsburgh, Sarasota Opera, Syracuse Opera and Vancouver Opera.