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Thread: Is ballet less popular than opera?

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    Senior Member Albert7's Avatar
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    Default Is ballet less popular than opera?

    I am genuinely curious whether people here think that ballet is less popular than opera?

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    Senior Member Sloe's Avatar
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    I think it is obvious that Ballet is less popular than opera. Look at the activity on the ballet forum and compare it with the opera forum and compare also the number of ballets staged with the number of operas staged.

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    Senior Member Albert7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sloe View Post
    I think it is obvious that Ballet is less popular than opera. Look at the activity on the ballet forum and compare it with the opera forum and compare also the number of ballets staged with the number of operas staged.
    I know for crowds The Nutcracker always draws in a huge crowd when I work those shifts at Ballet West. Can't compare it easily to the Utah Opera crowds however.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Albert7 View Post
    I know for crowds The Nutcracker always draws in a huge crowd when I work those shifts at Ballet West. Can't compare it easily to the Utah Opera crowds however.
    I think The Nutcracker is a given in any scenario and one must exclude these "watched by everyone and their grandpa" works.
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    Senior Member GreenMamba's Avatar
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    I would have thought opera was way more popular, but click the link and scroll down for the table. Of course, this doesn't record how often people go. Maybe ballet has a lot of one-off visits to the Nutcracker or Swan Lake.

    http://www.wqxr.org/#!/story/nea-rep...-more-diverse/

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    That is what I figured out as much. I work for the ballet here in SLC and it seems like The Nutcracker and Swan Lake sold out quicker than the opera. However, I am looking for more hard figures than whatever my vague estimates can come up with.

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    It would seem ballet is far less popular with composers... and patrons. Off hand how many major ballets can you think of in comparison to operas?
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    Senior Member Sloe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GreenMamba View Post
    I would have thought opera was way more popular, but click the link and scroll down for the table. Of course, this doesn't record how often people go. Maybe ballet has a lot of one-off visits to the Nutcracker or Swan Lake.

    http://www.wqxr.org/#!/story/nea-rep...-more-diverse/
    I am more surprised that 8,1 % goes to see jazz.
    That is one reason to wonder if the survey really is relevant.
    We must also have preferences in different countries in perspective.
    Last edited by Sloe; Mar-27-2015 at 00:56.

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    I believe that Opera has always been more popular than Ballet in the past, and as mentioned, except for the Nutcracker, it’s more popular today. Not that either of them get huge ratings anymore. Opera lacks that super Christmas show. Most opera fans would probably turn up their noses at a work like that.

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    Not a big difference in attendances over here.

    Paris Opera/Ballet stats. There are other opera and ballet companies but this is the big one.

    Attendances:
    Opera - 465000 from 20 productions... plus 104000 for cinema/open air broadcasts.
    Ballet - 337000 from 12 productions ...plus 58000 from tour.
    This space for rent.

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    Senior Member Ingélou's Avatar
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    I imagine it's because Opera can provide more in-depth characterisation, in which audiences can become absorbed, and also songs that we can all sing at home. Ballet is more of a spectator sport. It's marginally easier for me to see opera, since Ellen Kent productions appear at our local theatre more often than ballet companies. I love both, but if asked to choose between seeing Madame Butterfly and Swan Lake - I have to admit, I'd go for Swan Lake. Butterfly is too painful & I prefer to be an observer.
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    Senior Member dgee's Avatar
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    Where I live the ballet puts on more shows than the opera and always has done. This totally stands to reason for me - ballets are easier to parse than the weird world of opera, they're generally shorter, the physicality is more immediately impressive and people take their kids to it. Many have also done or are doing ballet, so they identify with it more readily than opera.

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    Well, 'popular' is not the first thought I would associate either with ballet nor opera. But the existing repertoire of operas is much larger than that of ballets, so factually more people happen to have something with opera than with ballet. But personally, being a Prokofiev adept, I drown myself continually in Prokofiev's both his operas & ballets. Perhaps even more in his ballets... But than again there is his piano music begging for my ears, and his symphonies, violin concertos..............

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    Senior Member papsrus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GreenMamba View Post
    I would have thought opera was way more popular, but click the link and scroll down for the table. Of course, this doesn't record how often people go. Maybe ballet has a lot of one-off visits to the Nutcracker or Swan Lake.

    http://www.wqxr.org/#!/story/nea-rep...-more-diverse/
    It will be interesting to see if these trends hold over the next 5 years. The period for the survey was, as the article points out, a particularly rough one for household discretionary spending.

    I'm going to be taking a ballet appreciation class beginning in June -- no tutu necessary. It's an art form I haven't delved into yet. Hopefully this class will open a few doors. Seems like beautiful bodies flying around to the sound of beautiful music is worth a shot.
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    Based on the number of ballet tickets I sold this week, I couldn't complain about the lack of popularity of the ballet form .
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