World Opera Day 2023: Learn about the positive impact of theaters
Like every year, on October 25, Ópera Latinoamérica (OLA) joins the global celebrations of World Opera Day. A date on which we take the opportunity to highlight the contributions of opera to society in general. This year, we focus on advocating for the work done in theaters and everyone who contributes to the production of the shows. That is why 22 theaters in the OLA network responded a survey to learn more about the positive impact of opera on society. Find out some of the results below.
How many people work, on average, in an Ibero-American theater? How many productions were scheduled last season? How many people attended the theaters? How do these questions translate into the contributions of opera houses to society at large?
Every October 25th, Ópera Latinoamérica, together with Opera Europa and Opera America, joins the global celebrations of World Opera Day. On this date we commemorate the birth of the composers Georges Bizet and Johan Strauss, but we also take the opportunity to highlight the positive impact that theaters and opera in general have on communities around the world.
This 2023, the focus was on advocacy for the work done in theaters and, in particular, the work of everyone who contributes to the production and creation of shows, whether opera, theater or dance.
“At OLA we believe that it is crucial to have data and sustained measurement over time to gain a closer understanding of the reality of the institutions that are part of this network. Along these lines, this October 25th we present the results of a survey answered by 22 theaters in the OLA network that shows, through figures, the contribution of cultural activity to society at an artistic, social and productive level. We invite those who want to join this study – still exploratory – to share their experiences and we can, together, build this knowledge about the positive impact of their work,” comments Alejandra Martí, executive director of Ópera Latinoamérica.
The recovery of theaters in the post-pandemic stage can be seen in the number of shows scheduled and tickets sold. According to the results obtained, during the last season, Ibero-American theaters presented an average of 5 opera, operetta and musical titles, 5.5 dance/ballet productions, 4.3 theatrical productions and 5.4 children’s productions. This season, the organizations surveyed sold an average of 83,426 tickets, that is, approximately 75.86% of the available tickets were sold.
Regarding the economic and labor impact, the 16 institutions that answered this question employ, on average, 391 people in their different areas. The organization with the largest number of employees has 853 workers, while the one with the smallest number has 21.
Of the total theaters surveyed, 50% have their own set design workshops and 40% have their own costume workshops. As for residency, 37.5% have their own ensembles of soloists, choirs and orchestras, while 25% have their own ballet or dance company.
Regarding financing, of the total responses received, 56.8% of the theaters’ total budget corresponds to public contributions. Looking a little closer, the responses received by Latin American theaters indicate that 76.8% of their total budget corresponds to public contributions, while for Spanish theaters, this contribution corresponds to 48.5% of the total budget.
As part of the annual World Opera Day campaign, the same questionnaire was also applied to theaters from Opera Europe, which will allow for a systematization of data at a global level.