In Sunday’s (8/9) Seattle Times, Janet I. Tu writes, “Long before tonight’s opening of that most epic of Seattle Opera productions—the ‘Ring’ cycle—a college student out to demystify the Wagner saga for other young people already has filmed an online reality series: ‘Confessions of a First-Time Operagoer.’ … As core arts audiences grow older and attendance declines among young people, big arts organizations across the country are reaching out to potential new audiences in innovative ways. Seattle has become a center for this kind of outreach. The attempts to create a broader base of attendees are taking many forms and using many tools, from reality TV-style webcasts to social-networking sites, dance nights and scavenger hunts. … A National Endowment for the Arts survey conducted last year showed that arts audiences in general are older than they were 26 years ago and that the rate of attendance among 18- to 44-year-olds has declined. … In addition to ‘Confessions,’ Seattle Opera has another set of behind-the-scenes ‘Ring’ videos, called ‘Road to Valhalla.’ And during the run of ‘Ring,’ it will have computer kiosks at McCaw Hall and Fisher Pavilion, where people can send electronic postcards of video-captured scenes to their friends or to their Facebook pages.”

Posted August 12, 2009