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Four in 10 people would never go to the opera as it’s too hard to understand, says survey

London’s ‘Theatreland’ encompasses every type of theatre, from large proscenium arch spaces, such as the Royal Opera House Royal Opera House
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Expensive ticket prices, long running times and complicated plots have been cited as reasons why people are deterred from going to the opera, a survey has found.

The survey, commissioned by Classic FM, found that four in 10 people would never go to the opera due to it being too hard to understand.

It explored reasons why people did not attend opera shows as well as general public opinion on the art form.

In total, 2,000 people took part in the survey. When asked what puts them off attending, a quarter cited the length of opera shows as a reason, with 29% saying it was because of expensive tickets.

One in ten of the participants who had attended an opera performance in the past claimed that they “felt nervous, self conscious and like they didn’t fit in”.

When asked what would persuade respondents to see a performance, more than half (53%) said cheaper ticket prices, while 25% would consider attending if the opera was translated into English.

The survey found that holding performances in mainstream venues, wearing casual clothing and an app to follow the plot could result in more people going.

The study also revealed that 14% of the participants would prefer opera to adopt “every day relatable subjects” rather than “extravagant tales of sorrow and seduction”.

Earlier this year Classic FM partnered with the English National Opera to launch Opera Shorts, a series of three animated films that tell the stories of Carmen, La Boheme and The Barber of Seville in under a minute.

Narrated by Johnny Vaughan, the films were created in an attempt to modernise opera.

Classic FM’s managing editor, Sam Jackson said: “Our research shows that while people worry that opera might be dull and too intellectual for them, many would love to go. That’s why we’ve created these ‘opera shorts’, making the storylines accessible and appealing to a modern audience.”

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