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Our brief from ENO was simple: ‘make opera more accessible’. But further to research, one of the key challenges was the perception and assumption that opera is elitist, expensive and sung in a foreign language. So ENO asked us to help them break down barriers and connect them with new culturally literate audiences they should be attracting.
So our approach to their marketing takes its inspiration from the publishing world, where a strong, simple, graphic approach to a cover will engage buyers visually, but it’s the synopsis on the back that often clinches a purchase. Consequently, all campaigns now lead with the stories (rather than a title only likely to mean something to opera lovers), and clarify that each production is either sung, or translated, into English, with tickets available for every production from only £12, to appeal to new and younger audiences, who may previously have concluded opera was not for them.
The Autumn 2018 season saw an increase of 40.5% in ticket sales year on year compared to the Autumn 2017 season. Porgy and Bess was particularly successful, exceeding box office targets by 51%. 42.7% of audiences for the season were first-time bookers. And 19% of audiences were aged under 44, which represented a 13% year-on-year increase.