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Full text of "American participation in opera and musical theater, 1992"

erican Participation in 
pera and Musical Theater 
!992 



Maya Cherbo and Monnie Peters 
*arch Division Report #32 






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National Endowment for the Arts 







AMERICAN PARTICIPATION 

in 
Opera and Musical Theater 

1992 



AMERICAN PARTICIPATION 

in 
Opera and Musical Theater 

1992 



Joni Maya Cherbo and Monnie Peters 



Research Division Report #32 



National Endowment for the Arts 
Seven Locks Press 
Carson, California 



American Participation in Opera and Musical Theater — 1992 is Report #32 in a series 
on matters of interest to the arts community commissioned by the Research Division 
of the National Endowment for the Arts. 

Cover: OperaDelaware's production of Die Fledermaus, with tenor Gerald Grahame 
and soprano Candace Goetz. Photo by John Prettyman. 

First printed 1995 

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data 
Cherbo, Joni Maya, 1941- 

American participation in opera and musical theater, 1992 / Joni Maya Cherbo 
and Monnie Peters 
p. cm. 
ISBN 0-929765-38-9 (pbk.) 

1. Opera — United States — Statistics. 2. Musical theater — United States — 
Statistics. 3. Music surveys — United States. I. Peters, Monnie, 1948- . II. Title. 
ML3795.C45 1995 

782. Y 0973— dc20 95-32894 

CIP 
MN 

Manufactured in the United States of America 

Seven Locks Press 
Carson, California 
1-800-354-5348 



Table of Contents 



List of Figures vii 

List of Tables vii 

Foreword xi 

Introduction 1 

The 1982 and 1992 SPPAs 1 

Executive Summary 3 

Opera 3 

Musical Theater/Operetta 6 

PART I: Arts Participation Through Attendance 9 

High-Frequency Attendees 10 

Cross-Attendance Among Arts Attendees 1 
Demographic Characteristics of Opera and 

Musical Theater Attendees 12 
Demographic Characteristics of High-Frequency Attendees 30 

Summary 30 

PART II: Arts Participation Through Media 34 

Summary 39 

PART III: Arts Participation Through Performance, Creation, 

and Study 41 

Personal Arts Participation 41 

Demographic Characteristics of Opera and 

Musical Theater Attendees Who Are Amateur 

Arts Participants 46 

Taking Arts Lessons and Classes 48 

Summary 54 

PART IV: Leisure Activities — Artistic and Other 56 

Involvement in Other Arts and Cultural Activities 56 

Comparing Types of Arts Participation 57 

Involvement in Nonartistic Leisure Activities 58 

Summary 62 



v 



vi I Contents 

PART V: Attitudes Toward the Arts 64 

The Desire to Attend More Arts Performances 64 
Demographic Profiles of Those Who Want to 

Attend More Performances 67 

Music Preferences 70 

Summary 72 

PART VI: Related Research 75 

Opera 75 

Musical Theater 76 

Summary 77 

APPENDIX A: Survey of Public Participation in the Arts 

Questionnaire, 1992 ^8 

APPENDIX B: Additional Tables and Text on Media 

Participation 85 

APPENDIX C: Additional Tables on Personal Arts 

Participation and Lessons/Classes 92 

APPENDIX D: Methodology and Measuring Sampling Error 96 

Notes 101 

About the Authors 103 

Other Reports on the 1 992 SPPA 104 



Contents I vii 

Figures 

Figure 1 . Opera and Musical Theater Attendance by Gender, 

1982 and 1992 14 

Figure 2. Opera and Musical Theater Attendance by Marital Status, 

1982 and 1992 16 

Figure 3. Opera and Musical Theater Attendance by Race, 

1982 and 1992 18 

Figure 4. Opera and Musical Theater Attendance by Age, 

1982 and 1992 21 

Figure 5. Opera and Musical Theater Attendance by Place of 

Residence, 1982 and 1992 25 

Figure 6. Opera and Musical Theater Attendance by Education, 

1982 and 1992 27 



Tables 

Table 1 . Attendance Rates and Audience for Selected Arts 

Activities, 1992 9 

Table 2. Changes in Attendance Rates at Selected Arts Activities, 

1982-1992 10 

Table 3. Number and Percentages of High-Frequency Attendees 

of Selected Arts Activities, 1 992 1 1 

Table 4. Cross-Attendance at Eight Selected Arts Activities, 

1992 (%) 11 

Table 5. Attendance at Selected Arts Activities by Gender, 

1982 and 1992 (%) 13 

Table 6. Attendance at Selected Arts Activities by Marital Status, 

1982 and 1992 (%) 15 

Table 7. Attendance at Selected Arts Activities by Race, 

1982 and 1992 (%) 17 

Table 8. Attendance at Selected Arts Activities by Age, 

1982 and 1992 (%) 20 

Table 9. Attendance at Selected Arts Activities by Income, 

1982 and 1992 (%) 22 

Table 10. Attendance at Selected Arts Activities by Place of 

Residence, 1982 and 1992 (%) 24 

Table 1 1 . Attendance at Selected Arts Activities by Education, 

1982 and 1992 (%) 26 



viii I Contents 

Table 12. Attendance Rates for Selected Arts Activities by Parents' 

Education, 1982 and 1992 (%) 29 

Table 13. Demographic Characteristics of Opera and Musical 

Theater Attendees, 1992 31 

Table 14. Arts Media Participation and Live Attendance, 

1982 and 1992 (% of U.S. Adult Population) 35 

Table 15. Demographic Characteristics of Opera and 

Musical Theater Media Participants and Performance 

Attendees, 1992 (%) 36 

Table 16. Selected Arts Attendees' Participation in Arts 

via Media, 1992 (%) 38 

Table 1 7. Participation in Arts via Media, 1 982 and 1 992 (%) 39 

Table 18. Rank Order of Amateur Arts Participation, 1992 42 

Table 19. Rank Order of Amateur-Professional Arts Participation, 

1992 42 

Table 20. Selected Arts Attendees' Participation in Amateur Arts, 

1992 (%) 44 

Table 21 . Selected Arts Attendees' Participation in Amateur- 
Professional Arts, 1992 (%) 45 
Table 22. Demographic Characteristics of Opera Attendees 

Who Are Amateur Arts Participants, 1992 (%) 47 

Table 23. Demographic Characteristics of Musical Theater Attendees 

Who Are Amateur Arts Participants, 1992 (%) 49 

Table 24. Arts Lessons/Classes Taken During Previous Year, 

1992 (%) 51 

Table 25. Age at Which Adult Population and Opera and Musical 

Theater Attendees Took Arts Lessons/Classes, 1992 (%) 52 

Table 26. Percentages of Adult Population and Selected Arts 

Attendees Who Have Ever Taken Arts Lessons/Classes, 1992 53 
Table 27. Participation in Other Arts and Cultural Activities, 

1992 (%) 56 

Table 28. Adult Population's Participation in Any Selected Arts 

Activities, Opera Activities, and Musical Theater 

Activities, 1992 57 

Table 29. Comparison of Types of Arts Participation, 1992 (%) 59 

Table 30. Involvement in Non-Artistic/Cultural Activities by Adult 

Population and Selected Arts Attendees, 1992 (%) 61 

Table 3 1 . Rank Order of Leisure Activities Among U.S. Adult 

Population, 1992 62 

Table 32. Rank Order of Leisure Activities Among Opera and 

Musical Theater Attendees, 1992 63 



Contents ix 



Table 33. Percentages of Adult Population Who Want to Attend 

More Selected Arts Performances, 1982 and 1992 64 

Table 34. Percentages and Numbers of Adults and Selected Arts 

Attendees Who Want to Attend More Arts Performances, 

1992 66 

Table 35. Demographic Characteristics of Those Wanting to Attend 

More Opera and Musical Theater, 1992 (%) 68 

Table 36. Music Preferences, 1982 and 1992 (%) 71 

Table 37. Favorite Type of Music, 1982 and 1992 (%) 73 

Table B-l. Arts Participation via TV or VCR by Selected Arts 

Attendees, 1982 and 1992 (%) 86 

Table B-2. Arts Participation via Tapes/Records/CDs by Selected Arts 

Attendees, 1982 and 1992 (%) 87 

Table B-3. Arts Participation via Radio by Selected Arts Attendees, 

1982 and 1992 (%) 89 

Table B-4. Demographic Characteristics of Opera and Operetta/ 

Musical Theater Media Participants, 1992 (%) 90 

Table C- 1 . Amateur Arts Participation by Attendance at Selected Arts 

Activities, 1982 (%) 93 

Table C-2. Amateur-Professional Arts Participation by Attendance at 

Selected Arts Activities, 1 982 (%) 94 

Table C-3. Arts Lessons/Classes by Attendance at Selected Arts 

Activities, 1982 and 1992 (%) 95 

Table D- 1 . Sampling Error Calculations: 1 992 SPPA Data 1 00 



Foreword 



According to OPERA America's most recent Professional Opera Survey, 
opera companies in the United States collectively spent more than 
$32 million to market performances to current and prospective audiences in 
1994. OPERA America research also reveals, however, that many of these opera 
companies do not engage in a regular program of research. Some companies 
survey current attendees, audience surveys being the preferred method. Few 
companies study the attitudes and behaviors of prospective attendees. 

An illogical and potentially wasteful situation results. Millions of dollars are 
spent to promote opera through brochures and advertising that only guess at 
what it takes to motivate the purchase of a subscription or single ticket. 

The National Endowment for the Arts has taken admirable steps to assist 
the field in learning more about its current audience through the research 
monograph American Participation in Opera and Musical Theater — 1992. 
Undertaken in association with the U.S. Bureau of the Census, this monograph 
analyzes arts participation in opera and musical theater/operetta in 1992 and 
compares it with participation 10 years earlier. 

As in any research project, there are definitions and assumptions established 
by the researchers with which professionals working in the field may take issue. 
Similarly, some audience development strategies suggested in the report may 
seem obvious or elementary to the seasoned professional. However, much of 
the data contained in the monograph is informative, thought-provoking, and 
encouraging. 

Consider the following findings: 

■ Concern over the graying of the audience appears unwarranted. The opera 
audience appears to be perpetuating itself . . . the largest proportion of 
today's audience consists of middle-aged persons (25 to 49 years old), not 
senior citizens. 

■ Clearly, opera's appeal surpasses its audience demographics The number 

of persons who watch or listen to opera on the media is far greater than the 
number who attend live performances. . . . Many more individuals claimed 
they wanted to attend more opera than actually attended (7.4 percent 
expressed such a desire in 1982, and 1 1.0 percent did so in 1992). This 1 1 
percent of the general population who desired to attend more opera 
consisted of the 1.6 percent who were current opera attendees and 9.3 
percent who were not. . . . Over 17 million adults are not opera-goers but 
wish to attend. 



xii I American Participation in Opera and Musical Theater — 1992 



■ The . . . data show a strong relationship between early general arts education 
and adult opera attendance. . . . [Opera-goers] tend to be introduced to 
music at an early age and stay connected either by attending live perform- 
ances, playing a musical instrument, or taking voice lessons. 

■ The proportion of Asians who attend opera is larger than their proportion 
in the population as a whole. ... In 1992, Asians made up 2.6 percent of 
the adult U.S. population; yet they accounted for 3.7 percent of the general 
opera audience and 14.5 percent of the high-frequency audience. 

■ Opera, like the other [selected arts activities] , tends to attract more women 
than men, but the proportion of men has grown significantly since 1982. 

Additional analysis will encourage professionals responsible for building 
audiences. As the report states, "Fondness for opera exceeds what live audience 
numbers indicate." 

Between 1982 and 1992, the percentage of the general public that attends 
opera increased. Indeed, the rate of increase was among the largest of all the arts 
activities studied. The percentage of high-frequency attenders among opera 
audiences — defined as those attending three times or more within a year — is 
lower than for most of the arts activities covered in the study. Increasing repeat 
attendance among current audiences could yield significant gains in earned 
revenue. The report indicates that "almost 3 million adults are opera-goers who 
want to attend more opera." 

Among the arts activities covered in the monograph, opera has the widest 
gap between the rate of participation via the media versus attendance at live 
performances. While 3.3 percent of the adult U.S. population attends opera, 
18.1 percent enjoys opera via the media, representing an enormous potential 
audience base. 

The report verifies many of the audience characteristics that have been 
revealed by surveys administered by opera companies across North America. 
"Opera fans are . . . true arts buffs. Opera attendees are more likely than any 
other arts attendee group studied to attend all the other fine arts." 

Yet, the report contains interesting surprises, too, that open up new possi- 
bilities for audience development activities: 

Curiously, visual arts activities, not musical activities, predominate among 
opera-goers at the amateur level. . . . Opera attendees are the most likely of all 
the selected arts attendees to own original art, [or] to have recently purchased 
a piece of art. 

Contemplating their findings, the authors of the monograph pose a chal- 
lenging question: "How, then, to bring persons to the muse? Understanding 



Foreword 



the potential audience for opera, how to reach them, and whether they are 
candidates for live productions remain questions for the field." 

Thanks to additional support from the National Endowment for the Arts, 
OPERA America and the agency soon will embark on a multiyear program of 
additional research to answer these questions. The first phase of the initiative 
will investigate the attitudes of first-time ticket buyers. The results of this study 
will be released in 1996. 

This additional research will build on the strong foundation laid by the 
authors of the present monograph. With thanks to them and to the NEA, I 
commend this report to you, knowing it will answer some questions and lead 
to many new ones we will work together to understand. 

Marc A. Scorca 

Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer 

OPERA America 



Introduction 



In 1982, 1985, and 1992, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) funded 
nationwide surveys conducted by the U.S. Bureau of the Census on arts 
participation among adults in the United States. The purpose of these Surveys 
of Public Participation in the Arts (SPPAs) was to track Americans participation 
in the arts and document other aspects of arts participation. Summary reports 
and secondary analyses for all three surveys are available from the NEA. 

This monograph analyzes participation in opera and musical theater/operetta 
in 1992 and compares it with participation 10 years earlier. It is one of 15 
secondary analyses of the 1992 SPPA. 

The 1 982 and 1 992 SPPAs 

The 1982 survey interviewed 17,254 Americans aged 18 and over. Respon- 
dents were part of a larger survey that used revolving panels. The SPPA portion 
was administered for each of the 12 months of 1 982. The response rate was over 
85 percent. Three-fourths of the respondents were interviewed in person, the 
remainder by telephone. The demographic data were weighted to reflect U.S. 
population characteristics so that the results could be projected to the total U.S. 
population. 

The 1992 survey interviewed 12,736 Americans aged 18 years and older. 
Respondents were part of an ongoing larger, monthly survey that used revolving 
panels of approximately 1,000 persons each. The response rate was 80 percent. 
Three-fourths of the interviews were by telephone, one-fourth were conducted 
in person. As in 1982, the data were weighted to reflect the U.S. population. 

Survey questions covered several aspects of arts participation, including live 
attendance, watching or listening via the media, and creating and performing 
art. Questions also asked about background characteristics of respondents, 
nonartistic and other leisure activities, and attitudes toward the arts. Many of 
the questions facilitated comparisons between 1982 and 1992 data; others did 
not. The 1992 questionnaire asked more in-depth questions on arts participa- 
tion. 2 Despite these limitations, many instructive comparisons between the two 
sets of data were possible. 

Musical theater/operetta and opera are two distinct art forms among eight 
that were covered in the 1992 survey. The other art forms were classical music, 
jazz, plays, ballet, other dance forms, and art museums. 3 These "selected arts 
activities," or "benchmark arts activities," were considered core arts, although 



2 I American Participation in Opera and Musical Theater — 1992 

the survey also included participation in many other art forms, such as photog- 
raphy and sewing. Throughout this monograph, the phrases "benchmark arts 
activities" and "selected arts activites" are interchangeable. 

Opera is generally considered a musical drama that is sung in its entirety 
without spoken dialogue, while musical theater/operetta is both sung and 
spoken. Certain productions have blurred this distinction. For instance, Phan- 
tom of the Opera, though done entirely in song, is considered musical theater; 
The Houston Grand Opera produced Showboat, a musical. Yet the difference 
between the two forms is fairly well accepted within the popular vernacular. 
Thus, confusion in answering the survey questions regarding these two art forms 
would be miniscule. 

This monograph discusses four ways in which an individual can participate 
in the arts: (1) attending arts events; (2) watching or listening to arts programs 
on the media; (3) creating, performing, or displaying an art; and (4) studying 
the arts in classes. First we look at aspects of each means of participation 
individually, then we examine their interrelationships. The demographic back- 
grounds of arts participants are reviewed. We look at participation in arts other 
than the benchmark activities and compare participation in artistic versus 
nonartistic activities. We review select attitudes toward the arts and offer some 
observations on marketing the arts. Finally, we look at studies done by arts 
service organizations and others related to opera and musical theater attendance. 



Executive Summary 



Opera and musical theater/operetta are both musical and dramatic an 
forms. However, our findings indicate that they are very different in terms 
of popularity and the type of persons they attract. Therefore, this summary 
addresses each separately. 



Opera 

Participation 

Opera is the least popular of the fine arts. Between 1982 and 1992 it 
remained the least attended of all the arts surveyed in the SPPA (see Tables 1 
and 2). In 1992, only 3.3 percent of the population, representing 6.1 million 
persons, attended opera at least once during the year before the survey date. 

Similarly, in 1992 opera ranked lowest of all the selected arts activities in 
overall rates of media participation (see Table 14). A total of 18.1 percent of 
the population, or 33.6 million adults, watched or listened to opera on the 
media. 

Opera ranked 1 3th in popularity among 1 4 amateur arts activities (see Table 
18). The survey data show that 1.2 percent of the adult population, or 2.23 
million persons, sang opera either as a hobby or for a public performance. 

Combining these three dimensions of arts participation, we find that overall 
opera participation involved 18.7 percent of the adult population, or 34.7 
million persons (see Table 28). Many people participated in more than one 
dimension: for example, of those who went to live performances, over two-thirds 
(66.8 percent) also watched and/or listened to opera via the media, and 8.1 
percent also sang opera. 

Though opera remains the least frequented of all the fine arts, between 1982 
and 1992, the actual number of persons involved increased. The proportion of 
adults attending opera increased by 0.3 percentage points. As well, the U.S. 
adult population grew by over 21 million persons. Thus in 1992, 6.1 million 
persons attended live opera versus 4.9 million in 1982. 

Overall opera media participation also grew slightly during this 10-year 
period, from 17.4 percent in 1982 to 18.1 percent in 1992. Because of the 
population growth, the actual number of persons enjoying opera via the media 
rose from 28.6 million persons to 33.6 million. 



American Participation in Opera and Musical Theater — 1992 



When asked which of the selected arts activities they would like to attend 
more often, opera is the last choice among both the general population and 
among selected arts attendees. 

Arts Involvement 

While the numbers of adult Americans involved in opera are relatively few, 
the extent of their involvement in the arts in general is substantial. Opera fans 
are the artistic elite and true arts buffs. Opera attendees are more likely than any 
other arts attendee group to attend allthe other fine arts. More of their numbers 
attend musicals, classical music concerts, jazz performances, plays, ballet, other 
dance performances, and art museums. They are also more likely than all other 
arts attendees to express a desire to attend more of all of the other fine arts. 

Music is introduced early in the lives of opera-goers. In comparison with 
the other arts attendees, opera-goers are more likely to have taken music lessons 
(either voice training or playing an instrument) before age 18. Over 79 percent 
of those who took music lessons did so before they were 18 years old. 

Music in general seems to pervade the lives of opera-goers. Asked about 21 
different types of music in both 1982 and 1992, opera-goers showed a signifi- 
cant interest in more types of music than any other arts attendee group. 

Demographic Profiles 

Looking at the demographic profiles of opera attendees, we find that in 
comparison with other arts-goers, they are better educated, wealthier, and 
somewhat older. Opera audiences are predominantly white, college educated, 
suburban residents; 55 percent of the audience are female; the majority are 
married; and over 45 percent have incomes over $50,000. While this profile 
characterizes the opera audience, it does not describe the wide spectrum of 
individuals who attend opera. 

More men and Asians were in the opera audience in 1992 than in 1982, as 
were more central-city dwellers. The education level of opera attendees rose, as 
did the proportion of attendees with high incomes. This profile is exaggerated 
for high-frequency opera attendees: more of their numbers are older, Asian, and 
almost half have postcollege education and are in the highest income bracket 
(see Table 13). 

Concern over the graying of the audience appears unwarranted. The opera 
audience appears to be perpetuating itself. Younger persons are attending in 
about the same proportions in 1992 as they did in 1982, and the largest 
proportion of today's audience consists of middle-aged persons (25 to 49 years 
old), not senior citizens. 



Executive Summary I 5 

The number of persons who watch or listen to opera on the media is far 
greater than the number who attend live performances (18.1 percent versus 
3.3 percent). Media accessibility allows for a much wider audience. The 
demographic profile of opera media participants differs from attendees in that 
more elderly, less affluent, more rural, and fewer highly educated persons are 
involved with opera via the media. From this profile, we can conclude that 
opera has a wider appeal than live audience numbers alone indicate. It suggests 
that barriers such as cost and accessibility may continue to limit attendance at 
live performances. 

While media demographics suggest that barriers to live attendance exist, 
other factors should also be considered. Over the last 10 years technological 
advances in media have been significant. Music listening in general has risen in 
the United States. Opera is more available on videos, CDs, and tape cassettes. 
Yet increased availability does not seem connected with greater media involve- 
ment, as opera media participation has remained fairly stable between 1982 and 
1992, rising less than 1 percentage point. 

Rather it appears that a substantial portion of the population who are opera 
listeners or watchers are not predisposed to attend live opera. They prefer to 
hear or see opera more casually in the privacy of their homes and cars. They 
may be predominantly listeners rather than viewers. What may engage them is 
the music, not the visual drama. 

Expanding Audiences 

The thrust among the opera organizations has been to expand opera 
audiences. Significant thought and funds have been devoted to this end, but 
with modest success. Introducing and expanding access to opera music both for 
adults and children might be more productive. Attendance may be a logical next 
step for those individuals who find opera music compelling. Many more 
individuals claimed they wanted to attend more opera than actually attended 
(7.4 percent expressed such a desire in 1982, and 1 1.0 percent did so in 1992). 
This 1 1 percent of the general population who desired to attend more opera 
consisted of 1 .6 percent who were current opera attendees and 9.3 percent who 
were not. 

Demographic profiles of current opera-goers who said they wanted to attend 
more opera are similar to the profiles for current attendees in general, although 
there are higher percentages of Asians, older persons, and suburban residents. 
Among the aspirants who do not currently attend, however, more tend to be 
female, Hispanic, older, less well educated, and less affluent. 

Clearly, opera's appeal surpasses its general audience profile. How, then, to 
bring persons to the muse? Understanding the potential audience for opera, how 



American Participation in Opera and Musical Theater — 1992 



to reach them, and whether they are candidates for live productions remain 
questions for the field. The SPPA data suggest possible avenues to explore in 
this regard. 

The field could look at groups whose profiles are not those of opera's 
mainstream attendees: for example, attendees who express the desire to attend 
more, especially infrequent goers; nonattendees who attend other selected arts 
events; opera media buffs; those who sing opera but do not attend. Barriers to 
attendance identified by the field, such as cost, travel, age, intimidation, and so 
forth, have to be factored into audience development. 

Both K-12 and adult education programs have to be considered as a means 
of introducing persons to operatic music and drama. Without exposure poten- 
tial opera buffs could be stillborn. The SPPA data show a strong relationship 
between early general arts education and adult opera attendance. Opera educa- 
tion within a general arts education might strengthen this connection. 



Musical Theater/Operetta 
Participation 

Musical theater is a true American art form both in terms of its popularity 
and the type of individuals it draws. Second only to art museums in popularity, 
musical theater/operetta draws 17.4 percent of the adult population, or 32.3 
million persons. 

In contrast to opera, musical theater/operetta's primary appeal is live 
performance. Media participation for musicals is about equal to live attendance: 
20.6 percent, or 38.3 million adults. Singing musicals/operettas as an amateur 
activity is not very popular, engaging only 3.8 percent of the population. 

Arts Involvement and Demographic Profiles 

As is the case with opera, the significance of early arts education emerged 
in the SPPA data. While 57.4 percent of the general population had taken arts 
lessons or classes at some point in their lifetime, 82.2 percent of musical theater 
attendees had done so; 70.6 percent of those who had taken music or voice 
lessons had done so before age 18. An early introduction to the arts appears to 
be an important factor in producing adult arts participants. 

Demographic profiles of attendees are closer to the profiles of the American 
public in general than are the profiles of any of the other selected arts attendees. 
In other words, the American musical theater audience is most representative 
of the American population. 



Executive Summary I 7 

The typical musical theater attendee is a white, married, female, suburban 
resident between the ages of 25 and 54, college educated, with an income 
between $25,000 and $49,999. This profile changed little between 1982 and 
1992, except that more of the audience is in the 45-to-54 age bracket. 

Expanding Audiences 

Musical theater's popularity is further substantiated by the numbers who 
want to attend more musicals. In both 1982 and 1992, SPPA respondents 
picked musicals and art museums as their top two choices among the selected 
art forms they would like to attend more of. Also, the desire to attend more 
musical theater grew by 3.8 percentage points during the period. In 1992, 36.2 
percent of the population (over 67 million adults) said they wanted to attend 
more musical theater. 

More than twice the number of people wanted to attend more musical 
theater as actually attended (36.2 percent versus 17.4 percent). Among the 
aspirants, about one-third were already attendees, and two-thirds did not attend. 
While the profiles of musical theater-goers who want to attend more frequently 
parallel those of current goers, profiles of nonattendees showed a higher 
proportion of Asians, older folks, less educated persons, less affluent persons, 
and rural residents. 

Once again, significant barriers appear to keep some people from attending. 
But other factors must be considered as well. Attendance at musical theater 
decreased between 1982 and 1992 by 1.2 percentage points. In addition, 
listening to and watching musicals via the media dropped by 4.8 percentage 
points (see Table 14). The decreased demand represented by these statistics may 
be due to decreased supply. The number of new musicals produced continued 
to drop during the 1982-1992 period from its all-time high in the early 1980s. 
Fewer revivals were produced as well. Yet the SPPA study indicates that the 
demand for musicals remains high. 

On the surface it appears as if the American public adores musicals. Many 
more would attend if factors such as cost and accessibility were not issues. And 
even more would perhaps attend if new musicals were produced. The research 
and development branches of the American musical theater industry need to 
proceed accordingly. Encouraging new writers and composers and bringing new 
musicals to fruition might spawn a new efflorescence in musical theater. 

In sum, opera and musical theater are alive and well in the United States. 
Live opera and opera music command a small but consistent group of devotees 
who have replenished themselves over the decade. Evolving out of an amalgam 
of European opera and American vaudeville, musical theater has become a 



8 I American Participation in Opera and Musical Theater — 1992 

popular American art form, one of the most favored of the fine arts, and one 
whose audience is most representative of the larger population. Both opera and 
musical theater appeal to a wider audience than presently attends. Both have 
room to grow! 



Arts Participation 
Through Attendance 




Opera and musical theater/operetta were two of the seven benchmark arts 
activities covered in each of the SPPA surveys. An eighth arts activity, 
"other dance," was added in the 1992 SPPA. Table 1 shows the attendance rate 
and audience size for each of the benchmark arts activities in 1992. Attendance 
rates were computed from the SPPA survey questions that asked respondents 
whether they had attended each of the selected arts within the last 1 2 months 
and if so, how often. Audience size was computed by multiplying attendance 
rates for each selected art by the U.S. adult population of 185.838 million 
persons in mid- 1992. As the data make clear, opera and musical theater are 
almost at opposite ends of the attendance spectrum. Opera has the lowest 
attendance rate and draws a small audience (about 6.1 million adults), while 
musical theater has an attendance rate and audience (more than 32.3 million 
adults) exceeded only by art museums. 

Table 2 shows the changes in rates of attendance between 1982 and 1992. 
The rank order of the selected arts activities remained consistent. 

Overall, 42.5 percent of the adult United States population attended at least 
one of the selected arts activities in 1992. Excluding "other dance," which was 
not a category in 1982, the rate for attendance at benchmark arts activities is 
41.3 percent. This represents an increase of approximately 2 percentage points 
over the 1982 attendance rate of 39 percent. 



TABLE 1. 


Attendance Rates and Audience 
Selected Arts Activities, 1 992 


for 








Attendance Rate 




Estimated U.S. 


Arts Activity 




(%) 


Audience (millions) 


Opera 




3.3 




6.1 


Ballet 




4.7 




8.7 


Other dance 




7.1 




13.2 


Jazz 




10.6 




19.7 


Classical music 


12.5 




23.2 


Plays 




13.5 




25.1 


Musicals 




17.4 




32.3 


Art museums 




26.7 




49.6 


Any selected 


arts activities 


42.5 




79.0 



10 I American Participation in Opera and Musical Theater — 1992 



TABLE 2. 


Changes in Attendance Rates at Selected Arts 




Activities, 1982- 


-1992 










Attendance Rate (%) 


Change 


Arts Activity 




1982 


1992 


1982-92 


Opera 




3.0 


3.3 


0.3 


Ballet 




4.2 


4.7 


0.5 


Other dance 




* 


7.1 


* 


Jazz 




9.6 


10.6 


1.0 


Classical music 


13.0 


12.5 


-0.5 


Plays 




11.9 


13.5 


1.6 


Musicals 




18.6 


17.4 


-1.2 


Art museums 




22.1 


26.7 


4.6 


Any of seven 


selected arts activities 


39.3 


41.3 


2.0 


Note: Information is statistically significant at the 95% confidence level 




(see Appendix D). 








*The 1982 su 


rvey did not include "other dance." 






Comparison 


of any selected art includes all arts except 


"other dance." 





High-Frequency Attendees 

Frequent attendees tend to be the "hard core," those for whom attending 
an artistic form is a preferred activity or a vocational pursuit. They are also the 
mainstay of artistic organizations. Table 3 presents numbers and percentages 
for high-frequency attendees — those who went three times or more to a given 
art form during the year. 

While one might expect the more rarefied art forms, such as opera and ballet, 
to have the highest proportion of high-frequency attendees, art museums have 
the highest number of "repeaters." Among opera attendees, 15.2 percent of the 
3.3 percent who attended opera in 1992, or about 930,000 individuals (0.5 
percent of the general population), were high-frequency attendees. 

Among musical theater attendees, 22.4 percent of the 17.4 percent who 
attended musical theater in 1992, or about 7.25 million persons (3.9 percent 
of the general population), were high-frequency attendees. 



Cross-Attendance Among Arts Attendees 

Individuals tend to frequent more than one art form. While one might 
expect that attendees of the various selected arts activities would differ in their 



Arts Participation Through Attendance I 1 1 



TABLE 3. 


Number and Percentages of High-Frequency 
Attendees of Selected Arts Activities, 1 992 


Arts Activity 


Attendance 

Rate Among 

General 

Population (%) 


High-Frequency 
(3+ times) Attendees 


Estimated # 
(millions) of 

Frequent 
Attendees* 


%of 
Attendees 


% of General 
Population 


Opera 


3.3 


15.2 


0.5 


0.929 


Musicals 


17.4 


22.4 


3.9 


7.248 


Classical music 12.5 


30.4 


3.8 


7.062 


Jazz 


10.6 


30.2 


3.2 


5.947 


Plays 


13.5 


27.4 


3.7 


6.876 


Ballet 


4.7 


10.6 


0.5 


0.929 


Other dance 


7.1 


21.1 


1.5 


2.788 


Art museums 


26.7 


35.2 


9.4 


1 7.469 


*Based on a total national adult population of 185.838 


million 





preferences for other arts activities, attending art museums and musicals uni- 
formly appealed to all. Among attendees of each of the selected arts, the highest 
proportion attend art museums, followed by musical theater. Thereafter, the 
choices among the arts attendees differed, as shown in Table 4. 

Attending opera is the last choice among attendees of the other selected arts. 
Opera-goers, however, are true arts buffs. (Ballet patrons rank second.) They 



TABLE 4. 


Cross-Attendance at 


Eight 


Selected Arts 








Activities, 1992 (%) 
















Musical 


Classical 








Other 


Art 




Opera 


Theater 


Music 


Jazz 


Plays 


Ballet 


Dance 


Museums 


Opera 


— 


11.7 


16.3 


10.9 


11.7 


21.4 


10.2 


8.9 


Musicals 


62.3 


— 


51.4 


44.0 


53.2 


54.0 


43.6 


38.7 


Classical music 


; 62.2 


36.8 


— 


39.1 


40.0 


51.2 


39.0 


31.5 


Jazz 


35.2 


26.8 


33.3 


— 


33.3 


34.4 


32.3 


25.3 


Plays 


48.1 


41.1 


43.2 


39.7 


— 


45.5 


36.5 


32.0 


Ballet 


30.2 


14.5 


19.1 


15.1 


15.7 


— 


18.9 


12.3 


Other dance 


22.1 


17.9 


22.3 


21.7 


19.4 


29.0 


— 


16.9 


Art museums 


72.3 


59.3 


67.3 


63.7 


63.4 


70.7 


63.2 


— 


Note: Read table down. For exampl 


e, amon 


g those who attend opera, 


72.3% 


also 


attend art museums. 

















12 I American Participation in Opera and Musical Theater — 1992 



personify the concept "the more, the more" in arts attendance, being more likely 
to attend six of the other selected arts activites ("other dance" being the 
exception) than any of the other selected arts attendees. Musical theater atten- 
dees (along with art museum patrons) are least likely to go to the other art forms. 



Demographic Characteristics of Opera and 
Musical Theater Attendees 

The 1982 and 1992 SPPAs examined arts attendance according to seven 
demographic variables: gender, marital status, race, age, income, residential 
location, and education level of both the attendees and their parents. 

Gender 

Table 5 presents the data regarding gender among attendees of the selected 
arts activities. For all the art forms except jazz, women attendees outnumber 
men. This gender gap is about 10 percentage points for all selected arts activities 
except "other dance" and 1992 attendance at art museums. 

Opera is attracting more men than in years past. In 1982, the opera 
attendance rate for women was 16.2 percentage points greater than the rate for 
men; but by 1992, the gender gap had narrowed to 10 percentage points. In 
1 992, the percentage of men attending opera increased by 3. 1 percentage points. 
(See Figure 1 .) 

The gender gap for musical theater was tipped toward women by more than 
16 percentage points in 1982 and about 17 percentage points in 1992, remain- 
ing fairly constant over the decade. 

Compared with the other surveyed arts, musical theater falls in the middle 
in terms of the proportion of women to men. Ballet performances attract 
significantly more women than men, and art museums attract a more equal 
contingent of both sexes. 

Marital Status 

Statistics on the marital status of most of the arts attendees, including those 
who attend opera and musical theater, remained relatively consistent between 
1982 and 1992, and they tend to follow the general population profile. As 
shown in Table 6, well over 50 percent of all attendees except those for jazz are 
married, about 24 percent never married, about 6 percent are widowed, more 
than 9 percent are divorced, and about 2 percent are separated. Only the 
proportion of divorced persons has risen slightly, by about 2 percentage points. 



Arts Participation Through Attendance I 13 



TABLE 5. 


Attendance at Selected Arts Activities by 
1982 and 1992 (%) 


Gender, 


U.S. Adult Pop 


illation 






/Viale 


Female 




Total 


1982 
1992 


164,575,000 
185,838,000 


47.1 
47.9 


52.9 
52.1 




100.0 
100.0 


Arts Activity 






Attendance Rate 

Among U.S. Adult 

Population 










Opera 




1982 
1992 


3.0 
3.3 


41.9 
45.0 


58.1 
55.0 




100.0 
100.0 


Musicals 




1982 
1992 


18.6 
17.4 


41.9 
41.5 


58.1 
58.5 




100.0 
100.0 


Classical music 


1982 
1992 


13.0 
12.5 


40.7 
44.1 


59.3 
55.9 




100.0 
100.0 


Jazz 




1982 
1992 


9.6 
10.6 


50.4 
53.6 


49.6 
46.4 




100.0 
100.0 


Plays 




1982 
1992 


11.9 
13.5 


42.6 
43.6 


57.4 
56.4 




100.0 
100.0 


Ballet 




1982 
1992 


4.2 
4.7 


30.0 
36.9 


70.0 
63.1 




100.0 
100.0 


Other dance* 




1982 
1992 


7.1 


45.2 


54.8 




100.0 


Art museums 




1982 
1992 


22.1 
26.7 


44.8 

47.5 


55.2 
52.5 




100.0 
100.0 


Note: All the tables in this section on demographics read across. For example, of the 
3.3% of the general population who attended opera in 1992, 45% were male and 
55% were female. 
*The 1982 survey did not include "other dance." 



This reflects a comparable change in the general population from 1982 to 1992. 
(See Figure 2.) 

Race 

As shown in Table 7, significantly more whites than nonwhites attend the 
selected arts activities, but a notable increase in nonwhite attendance occurred 
between 1982 and 1992. Though this is a noteworthy trend, the data do not 
show which racial groups experienced an increase. The 1992 questionnaire 



1 4 I American Participation in Opera and Musical Theater — 1 992 



FIGURE 1 . Opera and Musical Theater Attendance 
by Gender, 1982 and 1992 



200.0- 




1982 1992 1982 1992 1982 1992 

General population Musical theater attendees Opera attendees 



] male tW±\ female 



Arts Participation Through Attendance I 15 



TABLE 6. Attendance at Selected Arts Activities by Marital 
Status, 1982 and 1992 (%) 



Never 
U.S. Adult Population Married Widowed Divorced Separated Married Total 



1982 164,575,000 




62.8 


7.6 


6.3 


2.6 


20.6 


99.9 


1992 185,838,000 




58.8 


7.2 


8.7 


2.9 


22.3 


99.9 






Attendance 


















Rate Among 
U.S. Adult 














Arts Activity 




Population 














Opera 


1982 


3.0 


54.0 


8.2 


7.3 


2.0 


28.5 


100.0 




1992 


3.3 


57.9 


6.4 


9.4 


2.1 


24.1 


99.9 


Musicals 


1982 


18.6 


62.4 


5.5 


7.0 


2.0 


23.0 


99.9 




1992 


17.4 


59.3 


5.9 


9.4 


2.1 


23.3 


100.0 


Classical 


1982 


13.0 


58.9 


6.4 


8.7 


1.9 


24.1 


100.0 


music 


1992 


12.5 


57.8 


5.8 


10.0 


2.0 


24.4 


100.0 


Jazz 


1982 


9.6 


44.3 


1.9 


9.7 


3.3 


40.8 


100.0 




1992 


10.6 


48.1 


3.0 


13.1 


2.6 


33.3 


100.1 


Plays 


1982 


11.9 


60.1 


5.0 


7.6 


2.1 


25.2 


100.0 




1992 


13.5 


56.3 


6.0 


10.0 


1.7 


26.1 


100.1 


Ballet 


1982 


4.2 


53.7 


5.5 


9.1 


2.0 


29.7 


100.0 




1992 


4.7 


53.6 


4.3 


11.7 


2.4 


28.0 


100.0 


Other 


1982 























dance* 


1992 


7.1 


52.6 


5.7 


10.7 


2.5 


28.5 


100.0 


Art 


1982 


22.1 


60.6 


4.0 


7.5 


2.1 


25.7 


99.9 


museums 


1992 


26.7 


56.9 


3.9 


9.8 


2.3 


27.0 


99.9 



Note: Not all percentages add up to 100.0% due to rounding. 
*The 1982 survey did not include the category " other dance." 



separated Hispanic, Native American, and Asian from the "other" category. The 
1982 questionnaire did not break down the "other" race category, and most 
Hispanics were coded under the category "white." The increase in the number 
of nonwhite attendees between 1982 and 1992 is a marked trend in the arts, 
indicating a growing pool of potential arts-goers. (See Figure 3.) 

The data indicate that 15.3 percent of the audience for opera in 1992 was 
nonwhite; blacks accounted for 6.6 percent, Hispanics for 4.4 percent, Asians 
for 3.7 percent, and Native Americans for 0.6 percent. The proportion of Asians 



1 6 I American Participation in Opera and Musical Theater — 1992 



FIGURE 2. Opera and Musical Theater Attendance 
by Marital Status, 1982 and 1992 



200 



J\ 






" / 

100.0- 



20.0- 



0.0' 




5.0 



1982 1992 

General population 




2.0% 







7.0% 



s^: 



mh* 



7777; 
5.9% { 



62.4= 



9.4% 



59.3 s 



28.5% 
2.0% 
7.3% 
8.2% 



f 



54.0% 



a<u% 



2.1% 
9.4% 
6.4% 




57.9% 1 

I 



1982 1992 1982 1992 

Musical theater attendees Opera attendees 



I j married 
R^ separated 



widowed [] divorced 

never married 



Note: Not all percentages add up to 1 00% due to rounding. 



Arts Participation Through Attendance I 1 7 



TABLE 7 


. Attendance at Selected Arts Activities by Race, 






1982 and 1992 (%) 
























1 992 Breakdown of 
















"Other" Cate 


gory* 


Native 




U.S. Adult Population 




White 


Black 


Other 


Total 


HispanicAmer. 


Asian 


1982 164,575,000 




87.1 


10.6 


2.3 


100.0 






1992 185,838,000 


982 format 


)85.5 


11.3 


3.2 


100.0 










(1992 format) 77.5 


11.2 


11.4 


100.1 


8.3 0.5 


2.6 






Attendance 
















Rate Among 
















U.S. Adult 














Arts Activity 




Populatior 


i 












Opera 


1982 


3.0 


93.0 


4.7 


2.3 


100.0 








1992 


3.3 


89.0 


6.6 


4.5 


100.1 








1992 


3.3 


84.7 


6.6 


8.7 


100.0 


4.4 0.6 


3.7 


Musicals 


1982 


18.6 


92.7 


5.7 


1.6 


100.0 








1992 


17.4 


88.8 


9.3 


2.0 


100.1 








1992 


17.4 


84.7 


9.2 


6.2 


100.1 


4.2 0.4 


1.6 


Classical 


1982 


13.0 


92.9 


5.4 


1.6 


99.9 






music 


1992 


12.5 


90.7 


6.3 


3.1 


100.1 








1992 


12.5 


87.0 


6.2 


6.9 


100.1 


3.8 0.4 


2.7 


Jazz 


1982 


9.6 


80.9 


17.1 


2.0 


100.0 








1992 


10.6 


81.1 


17.3 


1.6 


100.0 








1992 


10.6 


76.6 


17.1 


6.2 


99.9 


4.6 0.4 


1.2 


Plays 


1982 


11.9 


93.4 


5.1 


1.5 


100.0 








1992 


13.5 


87.5 


10.2 


2.3 


100.0 








1992 


13.5 


82.4 


10.0 


7.6 


100.0 


5.3 0.7 


1.6 


Ballet 


1982 


4.2 


93.8 


4.2 


2.0 


100.0 








1992 


4.7 


89.7 


6.6 


3.7 


100.0 








1992 


4.7 


83.8 


6.3 


9.9 


100.0 


6.2 0.1 


3.6 


Other 


1992 


7.1 


84.4 


11.6 


4.1 


100.1 






dance 


1992 


7.1 


76.9 


11.2 


12.0 


100.1 


8.0 1.7 


2.3 


Art 


1982 


22.1 


91.3 


5.9 


2.8 


100.0 






museums 


1992 


26.7 


88.5 


8.1 


3.4 


100.0 








1992 


26.7 


83.2 


8.1 


8.7 


100.0 


5.4 1.5 


2.8 


Note: Not all percentages add 


up to 100.0% due to rou 


nding. 






*The1982 


survey did not brea 


k down the "oth 


er" race category; 


it also did not 




include Hispanic (much of the 


Hispan 


ic popul 


ation was 


includec 


under "white") 




because Hi 


spanic is an ethnic 


groupin 


g, not a 


race grou 


ping. 






+ The1982 


survey did not inch 


jde the category 


"other d 


ance." 







1 8 I American Participation in Opera and Musical Theater — 1 992 



FIGURE 3. Opera and Musical Theater Attendance 
by Race, 1982 and 1992 



1982 1992 

General population 




1982 1992 1982 1992 

Musical theater attendees Opera attendees 



VZ\ white rj-nO black ggg other 



Note: Not all percentages add up to 100% due to rounding. 



Arts Participation Through Attendance I 19 



who attend opera is larger than their proportion in the population as a whole 
(3.7 percent versus 2.6 percent). 

The 1992 audience for musical theater performances was 15.4 percent 
nonwhite. Blacks accounted for 9.2 percent, Kispanics for 4.2 percent, Asians 
for 1.6 percent, and Native Americans for 0.4 percent. 

Racial groups seem to have distinct preferences among the selected arts 
activities. Asians make up larger segments of the opera and ballet audiences than 
they do for the other arts; blacks are more likely to attend jazz than the other 
arts activities; Native Americans appear to prefer "other dance" performances 
and art museums; and Hispanics favor "other dance." 

Age 

Data for both 1982 and 1992 show that opera attendees tend to cluster in 
the middle-age categories, from 25 to 54 years old. As Table 8 indicates, this 
segment accounted for 58.3 percent of the audience in 1982 and 59.7 percent 
in 1992. In 1982, the opera audience was older than the audiences for every 
other selected arts activity, having a higher percentage in each age category from 
45 years up. This distinguishing characteristic of the opera audience was less 
pronounced in 1992. In contrast, older attendees (those 45 years old or older) 
of classical music performances increased dramatically, from 40.9 percent in 
1982 to 49.6 percent in 1992. (See Figure 4.) 

Though seniors, those aged 75 and older, account for 6.6 percent of the 
adult population, few attend the surveyed art forms. Those who do attend make 
up a larger share of the audience for opera than for any other selected arts 
activity except classical music (3.5 percent versus 4.5 percent). In both 1982 
and 1992, persons aged 18 to 24 and 25 to 34 accounted for a smaller 
proportion of the audience for opera than for any other surveyed art form 
except classical music. However, the proportion of the opera audience in these 
age groups remained more consistent between 1982 and 1992. In other words, 
opera appears to be drawing younger persons to its ranks at the same rate as it 
did in 1982. 

The musical theater audience looks like the general population in terms of 
age. The bulk of the audience is 25 to 54 years old (61.2 percent in 1982 and 
62.7 percent in 1992). Musical theater lost some of its younger audience 
between 1982 and 1992. Audience share decreased by 3.7 percentage points 
among those aged 18 to 24 and 4.1 percentage points among those aged 25 to 
34. This was offset by an increase in audience share among older attendees, in 
particular by an increase of 3.6 percentage points among those 45 to 54 years 
of age. 



20 I American Participation in Opera and Musical Theater — 1992 



TABLE 8 


I. Attendance at Selected Arts Activities 
1982 and 1992 (%) 


by Age, 




U.S. Adult Population 






Age 


Group 


Distribution 






18-24 


25-34 


35-44 


45-54 


55-64 


65-74 


75+ 


Total 


1982 164,575,000 
1992 185,838,000 


17.4 
13.0 


23.5 
22.8 


16.7 
21.4 


13.5 
14.9 


13.4 
11.4 


9.7 
9.9 


5.9 
6.6 


100.1 
100,0 


Arts Activity 




Attendance 

Rate Among 

U.S. Adult 

Population 
















Opera 


1982 
1992 


3.0 
3.3 


11.2 

10.7 


20.4 
19.0 


20.2 
21.5 


17.7 
19.2 


15.5 
14.0 


11.2 
12.1 


3.8 
3.5 


100.0 
100.0 


Musicals 


1982 
1992 


18.6 

17.4 


15.5 
11.8 


25.0 
20.9 


20.7 
22.7 


15.5 
19.1 


13.4 
12.6 


7.2 
9.5 


2.8 
3.3 


100.1 
99.9 


Classical 
music 


1982 
1992 


13.0 
12.5 


14.7 
10.7 


23.5 
18.5 


21.0 
21.2 


15.5 
20.0 


13.2 
14.0 


9.0 
11.1 


3.2 
4.5 


100.1 
100.0 


jazz 


1982 
1992 


9.6 
10.6 


31.8 
13.8 


35.2 
28.9 


13.4 

25.7 


9.8 
15.2 


6.8 
8.9 


2.0 
6.0 


0.8 
1.4 


99.8 
99.9 


Plays 


1982 
1992 


11.9 
13.5 


15.7 
12.7 


23.9 
20.6 


21.5 
22.0 


15.3 
19.0 


12.9 
12.6 


8.1 
9.7 


2.6 
3.3 


100.0 
99.9 


Ballet 


1982 
1992 


4.2 
4.7 


16.3 
14.8 


27.0 
23.6 


23.5 
22.5 


12.1 
16.0 


11.9 
11.7 


6.9 
8.6 


2.2 

2.7 


99.9 
99.9 


Other 
dance* 


1982 
1992 


7.1 


14.4 


22.8 


23.7 


14.6 


11.9 


9.0 


3.6 


100.0 


Art 
museums 


1982 
1992 


22.1 

26.7 


17.9 
14.0 


28.2 
25.1 


20.4 
23.8 


13.5 
16.4 


11.4 
10.6 


6.4 

7.5 


2.2 
2.6 


100.0 
100.0 


Note: Not < 
*The1982 


all percentages 
survey did not 


add up to 1 00.0% due to rounding, 
include the category "other dance." 









Income 

Comparing income differences among arts attendees between 1982 and 
1992 is problematic. An adequate interpretation of differences between the 
years would have to take into account inflation, which between 1982 and 1992 
was 45.4 percent, according to the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The income 
categories in the questionnaire are not adjusted for inflation. However, a rough 



Arts Participation Through Attendance I 21 



FIGURE 4. Opera and Musical Theater Attendance 
by Age, 1 982 and 1 992 



200 



180. 



160. 



140. 



120. 



J 



ID 
(0 



Z / 

O 100.0- 



1982 1992 

General population 




29,7% 



14.0% 



1982 1992 1982 1992 

Musical theater attendees Opera attendees 



m 

5S3 


18 
55 


•34 
■64 


EZ23 


35-44 
65 + 


UD 


45 


54 



Note: Not all percentages add up to 100% due to rounding. 



22 I American Participation in Opera and Musical Theater — 1992 

comparison of the highest income brackets in both years can be made. The 
highest annual income bracket in the 1982 questionnaire was $50,000 and 
over. Those in that category can be roughly compared with those making 
$75,000 and over in 1992. (Adjusted for inflation, those making $50,000 and 
over in 1982 would have been comparable to those making $72,700 and over 
in 1992.) 

Comparing the data for 1982 and 1992 in every selected art form, as shown 
in Table 9, the percentage of the audience in the highest income bracket 



TABLE 9. 


Attendance at Selected Arts Activities 
1982 and 1992 (%) 


by Income, 


U.S. Adult Population 


1 




Income Category Distribution 




Total 


So- 
il 4,999 


$15,000- 
24,999 


$25,000- 
$49,000 


$50,000- 
$74,999 


$75,000 
and over 


1982 164,575,000 
1992 185,838,000 




41.7 
25.2 


28.0 
19.3 


25.4 
36.6 


5.0 
11.9 


* 
7.0 


100.1 
100.0 


Arts Activity 




Attendance 

Rate Amonj 

U.S. Adult 

Population 


■ 












Opera 


1982 
1992 


3.0 
3.3 


26.4 
12.8 


20.4 
11.3 


35.9 
29.2 


17.3 
20.3 


26.4 


100.0 
100.0 


Musicals 


1982 
1992 


18.6 

17.4 


24.4 
10.9 


25.8 

15.7 


38.2 
37.1 


11.7 
19.2 


17.1 


100.1 
100.0 


Classical 
music 


1982 
1992 


13.0 
12.5 


28.2 
11.3 


24.2 
16.5 


35.9 

37.2 


11.7 
18.9 


16.2 


100.0 
100.1 


Jazz 


1982 
1992 


9.6 
10.6 


33.8 

12.4 


26.6 
16.2 


30.9 
39.2 


8.6 
17.5 


14.6 


99.9 
99.9 


Plays 


1982 
1992 


11.9 
13.5 


24.2 
12.6 


24.1 
15.7 


37.8 

37.4 


13.8 
17.5 


16.7 


99.9 
99.9 


Ballet 


1982 
1992 


4.2 

4.7 


26.4 
12.3 


24.7 
12.1 


36.0 
36.9 


12.9 
20.0 


18.6 


100.0 
99.9 


Other 
dance 


1982 
1992 


7.1 


16.2 


18.5 


41.3 


14.7 


9.4 


100.1 


Art 
museums 


1982 
1992 


22.1 
26.7 


27.7 
12.4 


26.4 
16.9 


35.2 
39.3 


10.7 
18.2 


13.2 


100.0 
100.0 


Note: Not all percentages add up to 100.0% due to rounding. 
*The 1982 survey's highest income category was $50,000 and over 
The 1982 survey did not include the category "other dance." 







Arts Participation Through Attendance I 23 



increases. In other words, audiences in 1992 were wealthier. In 1982, about 17 
percent of the opera audience were in the wealthiest income category; in 1992, 
this segment had grown to over 26 percent. Unfortunately, because of the 
comparison problems mentioned above, it is impossible to say whether the shift 
came from the lower- or middle-income groups. 

Opera attendees are wealthier than the other selected arts attendees. In 1992 
more were in the $75,000 and above category (26.4 percent). Opera also had 
the highest proportion of individuals in the $50,000 to $74,999 income 
category (20.3 percent). However, as is the case with the other surveyed art 
forms, the largest proportion of the opera audience still falls in the $25,000 to 
$49,999 bracket (29.2 percent). Because of the inability to adjust for inflation, 
no bar chart is presented for income. 

Just over 37 percent of musical theater attendees fall in the $25,000 to 
$49,999 income bracket. Musicals rank third after opera and ballet in the 
proportion of attendees in the $50,000 and $75,000 income brackets (19.2 
percent and 17.1 percent, respectively). Compared with the other arts audi- 
ences, the musical theater audience includes a smaller proportion of attendees 
in the lowest income bracket of $14,999 and below (10.9 percent). 

Residency 

The selected arts attendees in general are more likely to reside in the suburbs 
than in cities or rural areas, although the audience share made up of city dwellers 
rose between 1982 and 1992. Table 10 shows that around 45 to 50 percent of 
the selected arts attendees reside in the suburbs, and about 35 to 40 percent live 
in cities. The share of the arts audience coming from rural areas decreased 
dramatically between 1982 and 1992, while the share made up of suburban 
residents increased somewhat, and the share made up of city dwellers increased 
even more. 

In 1992 about 9 percent more opera attendees resided in the suburbs than 
in the cities. Yet, city dwellers' share of the audience rose by 5.4 percentage 
points between 1982 and 1992, suburbanites' share decreased slightly (by only 
0.2 percentage points), and rural residents' share fell by 5.2 percentage points. 
This reflects the decline in the rural population in general. 

In 1992, almost 17 percent more musical theater attendees came from the 
suburbs than from the cities. Compared with attendees for the other selected 
arts, fewer musical theater attendees are city residents (34.4 percent). Between 
1982 and 1992 the proportion who resided in the cities increased by 3.9 
percentage points, and in the suburbs by 3.2 percentage points. The proportion 
from rural areas decreased by 7.1 percentage points. (See Figure 5.) 



24 I American Participation in Opera and Musical Theater — 1992 



TABLE 10. Attendance at Selected Arts Activities by Place of 
Residence, 1982 and 1992 (%) 

Residency Distribution 



U.S. Adult Popi 


ilation 




Central City* 


Suburbs* 


Rural 


Total 


1982 164,575,000 
1992 185,838,000 




26.9 
32.6 


40.4 
45.0 


32.8 
22.4 


100.1 
100.0 


Arts Activity 




Attendance 

Rate Among 

U.S. Adult 

Population 








- 


Opera 


1982 
1992 


3.0 
3.3 


35.2 
40.6 


49.7 
49.5 


15.1 
9.9 


100.0 
100.0 


Musicals 


1982 
1992 


18.6 
17.4 


30.5 
34.4 


48.0 
51.2 


21.5 
14.4 


100.0 
100.0 


Classical 
music 


1982 
1992 


13.0 
12.5 


30.4 
37.2 


44.2 
46.7 


25.4 
16.2 


100.0 
100.1 


Jazz 


1982 
1992 


9.6 
10.6 


35.5 

42.7 


44.0 
45.2 


20.5 
12.1 


100.0 
100.0 


Plays 


1982 
1992 


11.9 
13.5 


32.0 
38.4 


44.5 
47.4 


23.4 
14.2 


99.9 
100.0 


Ballet 


1982 
1992 


4.2 

4.7 


35.7 
41.7 


48.1 
49.4 


16.2 
8.9 


100.0 
100.0 


Other 
dance 


1982 
1992 


7.1 


34.8 


45.1 


20.1 


100.0 


Art 
museums 


1982 
1992 


22.1 
26.7 


31.2 
36.1 


45.2 
47.7 


23.6 
16.2 


100.0 
100.0 



Note: Not all percentages add up to 1 00.0% due to rounding. 

*Central City and Suburbs are the two parts of Standard Metropolitan Statistical Areas 
(SMSAs). 
The 1982 survey did not include the category "other dance." 



Education 

Arts attendees are more highly educated than the general population. The 
strong relationship between arts attendance and education increased between 
1982 and 1992. The proportions of attendees with college degrees and post- 
graduate education have increased for all selected arts activities, as shown in 
Table 11. 



Arts Participation Through Attendance I 25 



FIGURE 5. Opera and Musical Theater Attendance 
by Place of Residence, 1982 and 1992 



200 



J 






° 100.0-' 




1982 1992 

General population 



1982 1992 1982 1992 

Musical theater attendees Opera attendees 



Central City (SMSA) ^ Suburb (of SMSA) ^ Rural (not SMSA) 



Note: Not all percentages add up to 1 00% due to rounding. 



26 I American Participation in Opera and Musical Theater — 1992 



TABLE 11 


. Attendance at Selected Arts Activities 


by 






Education, 1982 and 1992 (%) 








U.S. Adult Population 


r 




Education 


Category Distribution 


Total 


Some/ 
Jo High 
School 


High 

School 

Grad 


Some 
College 


College 
Grad 


Post- 
Grad 


1982 164,575,000 




25.1 


37.5 


19.5 


10.4 


7.5 


100.0 


1992 185,835,000 




17.9 


37.3 


21.0 


14.0 


9.7 


99.9 






Attendance 


















Rate Among 
U.S. Adult 














Arts Activity 




Population 














Opera 


1982 


3.0 


4.2 


23.9 


24.7 


22.5 


24.9 


100.2 




1992 


3.3 


3.9 


16.4 


21.3 


23.8 


34.6 


100.0 


Musicals 


1982 


18.6 


7.0 


26.8 


27.3 


20.9 


18.0 


100.0 




1992 


17.4 


4.1 


25.4 


25.8 


23.9 


20.8 


100.0 


Classical 


1982 


13.0 


5.6 


21.9 


26.7 


23.5 


22.3 


100.0 


music 


1992 


12.5 


3.5 


19.6 


23.6 


25.7 


27.7 


100.1 


Jazz 


1982 


9.6 


7.3 


26.6 


30.0 


20.7 


15.4 


100.0 




1992 


10.6 


2.7 


19.7 


28.2 


26.9 


22.5 


100.0 


Plays 


1982 


11.9 


5.5 


22.2 


26.9 


22.6 


22.9 


100.1 




1992 


13.5 


3.7 


21.7 


24.9 


24.2 


25.5 


100.0 


Ballet 


1982 


4.2 


3.8 


21.4 


27.6 


23.8 


23.4 


100.0 




1992 


4.7 


- 4.0 


17.3 


27.1 


27.2 


24.5 


100.1 


Other 


1982 


— 


— 


— 


— 


— 


— 


— 


dance* 


1992 


7.1 


6.0 


25.2 


27.9 


19.8 


21.1 


100.0 


Art 


1982 


22.1 


5.3 


27.0 


27.8 


21.0 


18.9 


100.0 


museums 


1992 


26.7 


3.7 


23.0 


27.3 


24.4 


21.6 


100.0 


Note: Notal 


percentages add u 


p to 1 00.0% due to round 


ng. 






*The 1 982 survey did not include the category " 


other dance." 







Opera attendees are the most highly educated of all selected arts attendees. 
In 1992, 79.2 percent had at least some college education. They are more likely 
than the attendees for all the other selected arts activities to have postgraduate 
education (24.9 percent in 1982 and 34.6 percent in 1992). Between 1982 and 
1992, the share of the opera audience with postgraduate education increased 
9.7 percentage points. The next highest increase among the other selected arts 
attendees was among jazz attendees, whose share increased by 7.1 percentage 
points. (See Figure 6.) 

Musical theater, like all the surveyed arts, attracts an educated audience. In 
1992, 70.5 percent had at least some college education. However, musical 



Arts Participation Through Attendance I 27 



FIGURE 6. Opera and Musical Theater Attendance 
by Education, 1982 and 1992 



200 



J 



160.0 



1982 1992 

General Population 




1982 1992 1982 1992 

Musical theater attendees Opera attendees 



some high V/A high sch grad I I some college 

S5 college grad K&A post grad 



Note: Not all percentages add up to 1 00% due to rounding. 



28 I American Participation in Opera and Musical Theater — 1992 

theater appeals to a wide educational range. In 1992, compared with the 
audience for the other selected arts activities, the musical theater audience had 
the highest percentage of those with only a high school degree (25.4 percent) 
and the second highest percentage (4.1 percent) of those with some or no high 
school. ("Other dance" had the largest segment of this category, with 6 percent.) 
While 20.8 percent of the musical theater attendees had some postgraduate 
education, this education group accounted for the lowest proportion among all 
the selected arts activities. Between 1982 and 1992, educational levels among 
musical theater attendees did not fluctuate significantly. 

Table 12 presents data regarding the education of arts attendees' parents. 
While the parents of arts attendees are more highly educated than the general 
population, arts attendees themselves are significantly better educated than their 
parents. In 1992, the majority of their mothers and fathers (over 50 percent for 
most selected art forms) had high school diplomas or less. A slight rise in 
educational attainment among the parents of all selected arts attendees occurred 
between 1982 and 1992. 

In 1992, the mothers of opera-goers were among the more distinguished 
educationally compared with the mothers of arts attendees in general. More 
than 19 percent had a college degree or more. The mothers of ballet-goers are 
the most highly educated; almost 24 percent have a college degree or postgradu- 
ate education. In comparison, only 8.1 percent of the mothers in the general 
population had college degrees or postgraduate education. 

Among fathers of selected arts attendees in general, fathers of opera-goers 
ranked third in educational accomplishment. The 1992 data show that 27.7 
percent of the fathers of opera-goers had a college degree or had done postgradu- 
ate work, which placed them behind the fathers of ballet-goers (34.6 percent) 
and the fathers of classical music attendees (28.7 percent). In comparison, 1 1.9 
percent of fathers in the general population had attained that level of education. 

The 1 992 data reveal no particular distinction educationally among mothers 
of musical theater attendees compared with the mothers of other selected arts 
attendees. Only 1 5 percent had a college degree or more. Similarly, 21.5 percent 
of the fathers of musical theater patrons had a college degree or more, which 
did not distinguish them from the fathers of other selected arts attendees. 

The parents of selected arts attendees value education: they are better 
educated than the general public; they show modest gains in educational 
achievement between 1982 and 1992; and their offspring are much more 
educated than they are or than the general population is. The value parents place 
on education appears to be one of the factors that relates to a possible involve- 
ment in the arts. 



Arts Participation Through Attendance I 29 



TABLE 12. Attendance Rates for Selected Arts Activities by 


Parents' Education, 1982 and 1992 (%) 






Parents' 


U.S. Adult 








Arts 


Groups 










Musical Classical 








Other 


Art 


Educational Level 


Population 


Opera 


Theater 


Music 


Jazz 


Plays 


Ballet 


Dance* 


Museums 












1982 










Mother's education 




















no/some high school 


39.8 


33.1 


29.5 


28.8 


27.8 


29.1 


27.3 


— 


29.0 


high school grad 


30.8 


28.4 


36.0 


32.4 


40.0 


34.7 


33.0 


— 


36.3 


some college 


7.1 


11.3 


13.2 


15.4 


14.0 


14.9 


14.2 


— 


14.8 


college grad 
postgrad 


6.7 


16.5 


14.0 


16.0 


13.5 


15.1 


17.7 


— 


14.1 




















don't know 


15.6 


10.8 


7.3 


7.5 


4.7 


6.2 


7.8 


— 


5.8 




100.0 


100.1 


100.0 


100.1 


100.0 


100.0 


100.0 


0.0 


100.0 


Father's education 




















no/some high school 


41.6 


42.0 


34.6 


33.4 


31.7 


32.9 


28.0 


— 


32.3 


high school grad 


21.7 


15.8 


25.4 


24.8 


28.5 


23.7 


23.4 


— 


26.7 


some college 


5.7 


9.2 


8.5 


9.6 


8.9 


10.0 


7.6 


— 


9.3 


college grad 
postgrad 


10.7 


22.8 


21.6 


22.3 


21.3 


24.9 


31.1 


— 


22.3 




















don't know 


20.4 


10.1 


9.9 


9.9 


9.6 


8.5 


9.8 


— 


9.4 




100.1 


99.9 


100.0 


100.0 


100.0 
-1992 


100.0 


99.9 


0.0 


100.0 


Mother's education 




















no/some high school 


31.5 


20.2 


22.2 


22.3 


17.0 


21.9 


21.4 


25.8 


19.4 


high school grad 


38.3 


38.8 


43.2 


39.2 


45.6 


41.8 


34.5 


38.9 


44.2 


some college 


8.7 


17.6 


13.8 


15.7 


15.8 


16.2 


16.8 


15.5 


14.6 


college grad 


6.3 


13.5 


11.5 


13.6 


13.2 


10.9 


18.6 


10.4 


12.4 


postgrad 


1.8 


6.2 


3.5 


6.2 


3.9 


3.6 


5.3 


5.0 


4.3 


don't know 


13.4 


3.8 


5.9 


3.0 


4.4 


5.7 


3.4 


4.3 


5.1 




100.0 


100.1 


100.1 


100.0 


99.9 


100.1 


100.0 


99.9 


100.0 


Father's education 




















no/some high school 


34.0 


20.1 


25.7 


25.5 


25.5 


25.8 


23.5 


27.7 


24.3 


high school grad 


29.2 


34.4 


32.6 


28.8 


31.8 


30.0 


22.9 


32.8 


31.8 


some college 


7.1 


11.3 


10.8 


11.1 


11.2 


10.0 


11.5 


9.8 


11.5 


college grad 


7.3 


11.9 


12.5 


16.0 


13.7 


13.7 


18.7 


13.6 


13.3 


postgrad 


4.6 


15.8 


9.0 


12.7 


9.6 


9.9 


15.9 


7.7 


10.0 


don't know 


17.8 


6.4 


9.4 


5.9 


8.2 


10.6 


7.5 


8.5 


9.2 




100.0 


99.9 


100.0 


100.0 


100.0 


100.0 


100.0 


100.1 


100.1 


Note: Not all percentages adc 


up to 1 00.0% due to rounc 


ling. 








*The 1982 survey did not include the categ 


ory "other dance." 








The 1982 survey did not inc 


ude the category "postgrad' 


'; those 


who were postgrad 


would be part of "college grad." 

















30 I American Participation in Opera and Musical Theater — 1992 

Demographic Characteristics of High-Frequency Attendees 

The demographic profiles of high-frequency opera attendees reflect those of 
opera-goers in general, except larger proportions of the high-frequency attendees 
are Asian, older, better educated, and wealthy. Similar to what the data show for 
opera attendees in general, the largest proportion of high-frequency opera 
attendees are white (81.6 percent). But while Asians account for 3.7 percent of 
the general opera audience, they account for 14.5 percent of the high-frequency 
audience. Those 55 and older make up 38.7 percent of the high-frequency 
audience, compared with 29.6 percent of the opera audience in general. Com- 
pared with the general opera audience, a larger proportion of the high-frequency 
attendees have a postcollege education (47.7 percent versus 34.6 percent), and 
the frequent attendees are even more likely than general opera-goers to be in the 
$75,000-and-above income bracket (49.4 percent versus 26.4 percent). It is 
noteworthy that almost half of all high-frequency opera-goers have some post- 
college education and are in the highest income bracket. (See Table 13.) 

The profiles of high-frequency musical theater attendees are strikingly 
similar to those of general musical theater attendees, with a couple of exceptions: 
compared with general musical theater attendees, a higher proportion of 
frequent attendees are over 65 (18.6 percent versus 12.8 percent), and a larger 
proportion have incomes over $75,000 (22.8 percent versus 17.1 percent). 



Summary 

In 1992, the estimated audience for opera was 6.1 million persons, or 3.3 
percent of the adult U.S. population. Opera attendance increased by 0.3 
percentage points between 1982 and 1992. Opera is the least attended of the 
arts covered in the SPPA. Among all opera-goers, 15.2 percent are high- 
frequency (three times or more per year) attendees. 

In 1992, the estimated audience for musical theater/operetta was 32.3 
million persons, or 17.4 percent of the adult U.S. population. While musical 
theater attendance decreased by 1.2 percentage points between 1982 and 1992, 
musicals remained second only to art museums in popularity among the selected 
arts activities. Of all musical theater patrons, 22.4 percent are high-frequency 
attendees. 



Opera Demographics 

Opera, like the other selected art forms, tends to attract more women than 
men, but the proportion of men has grown significantly since 1982. Audiences 



Arts Participation Through Attendance I 31 



TABLE 13. 


Demographic Characteristi 


cs of Opera and 






Musical Theater 


Attendees, 


1992 










U.S. Adult 


Opera 


Musical Theater 




High- 




High- 






Population 


All 


frequency* 


All 


frequency* 


Percentage 






3.3% 


0.5% 


17.4% 


3.9% 


Number (millions) 


185.838 


6.13 


0.93 


32.34 


7.25 


Of the percentage of opera and musical theater attendees, the 


percentage br 


'eakdown 


according to demographic 


factors is shown below. For exampl 


e, of the 0.5% of the 


adult population that atten 


ded opera 3 


or more times 


last year, 


42.0% are male and 


58.0% are female. 












Gender 














Male 




47.9 


45.0 


42.0 


41.5 


40.9 


Female 




52.1 


55.0 


58.0 


58.5 


59.1 


Race 














White 




77.5 


84.7 


81.6 


84.7 


85.2 


Black 




11.2 


6.6 


2.3 


9.2 


7.4 


Native American 


0.5 


0.6 


0.0 


0.4 


0.2 


Asian 




2.6 


3.7 


14.5 


1.6 


2.2 


Hispanic 




8.3 


4.4 


1.6 


4.2 


5.0 


Age 














18-24 




13.0 


10.7 


7.3 


11.8 


10.5 


25-34 




22.8 


19.0 


11.0 


20.9 


18.9 


35-44 




21.4 


21.5 


11.5 


22.7 


19.7 


45-54 




14.9 


19.2 


31.5 


19.1 


18.4 


55-64 




11.4 


14.0 


16.5 


12.6 


13.8 


65-74 




9.9 


12.1 


19.6 


9.5 


13.3 


75+ 




6.6 


3.5 


2.6 


3.3 


5.3 


Education 














0-some high 


school 


17.6 


3.9 


2.3 


4.1 


5.1 


High school j 


^rad 


37.3 


16.4 


18.4 


25.4 


22.8 


Some college 




21.0 


21.3 


15.4 


25.8 


23.3 


College grad 




14.0 


23.8 


16.3 


23.9 


23.9 


Postgrad 




9.7 


34.6 


47.7 


20.8 


24.8 


Marital Status 














Married 




58.8 


57.9 


61.4 


59.3 


54.5 


Widowed 




7.2 


6.4 


10.1 


5.9 


8.5 


Divorced 




8.7 


9.4 


7.7 


9.4 


9.2 


Separated 




2.9 


2.1 


0.0 


2.1 


1.5 


Never married 


22.3 


24.1 


20.8 


23.3 


26.3 



32 I American Participation in Opera and Musical Theater — 1992 



TABLE 13. Demographic Characteristics of Opera and 

Musical Theater Attendees, 1 992 (Continued) 





U.S. Adult 




Opera 


Musical Theater 






High- 




High- 




Population 


All 


frequency* 


All 


frequency* 


Place of residence 












Central city/SMSA 


32.6 


40.6 


41.5 


34.4 


37.3 


Suburbs/SMSA 


45.0 


49.5 


53.5 


51.2 


49.9 


Rural/non-SMSA 


22.4 


9.9 


5.0 


14.4 


12.8 


Income 












$0-$ 14,999 


25.2 


12.8 


7.7 


10.9 


11.7 


$15,000-$24,999 


19.3 


11.3 


7.6 


15.7 


15.4 


$25,000-$49 / 999 


36.6 


29.2 


24.2 


37.1 


32.2 


$50,000-$74 / 999 


11.9 


20.3 


11.1 


19.2 


17.9 


$75,000+ 


7.0 


26.4 


49.4 


17.1 


22.8 



Note: Not all percentages add up to 1 00.0% due to rounding. 
*High-frequency is defined as three times or more. Because there are fewer than 1 
million high-frequency opera attendees, caution should be used in interpreting the 
figures. 

About 8.4% of those in the survey did not answer the income question; therefore, 
caution should be used with these figures. 



consist mainly of married white persons, although the audience for opera (along 
with ballet) contains a larger proportion of Asians than is the case for the other 
selected arts activities. The majority of opera-goers are in their middle years 
(from 25 to 45), though opera attracts an older crowd than the other surveyed 
art forms. It also attracts a wealthier and more educated group. 

Like attendees of most of the other art forms, opera attendees are somewhat 
more likely to reside in the suburbs than in cities, though the proportion that 
lives in cities has risen since 1982. Opera's elite image is validated by its 
command of more educated, wealthier, older individuals; but this set of 
demographics does not apply exclusively. The opera audience embraces a wider 
group of persons. This is particularly the case among high-frequency attendees. 

Finally, the opera audience is perpetuating itself. Combatting the concern 
over the graying of the audience for the performing arts, younger persons 
attended in about the same proportions in 1992 as they did in 1982. 



Arts Participation Through Attendance I 33 

Musical Theater Demographics 

Musical theater attendees are most likely to be married, female, white, 
suburban residents, between the ages of 25 and 54. In 1992, more attendees 
came from the 45-to-54-year-old age group than in 1982. Musical theater 
patrons have higher incomes than the audiences for all but two of the other 
selected arts activites, opera and ballet, though the largest proportion earn 
between $25,000 and $49,000. Like the audiences for the other art forms, over 
70 percent have had at least some college education, yet they are the least 
educated of all the audiences for the selected arts. Fathers of musical theater 
attendees are least likely to have postgraduate education, compared with fathers 
of the other arts audiences; mothers are second least likely. Compared with the 
demographic profiles for the other selected arts, the demographic profile of 
musical theater attendees is closest to that of the general population. 

Demographics for High-Frequency Attendees 

High-frequency opera-goers are even older, better educated, and wealthier 
than opera attendees in general. Asians are more drawn to opera in proportion 
to their numbers in the general population than are other racial groups. In 1992, 
Asians made up 2.6 percent of the adult U.S. population; yet they accounted 
for 3.7 percent of the general opera audience and 14.5 percent of the high- 
frequency audience. 

High-frequency musical theater attendees are similar to attendees in general, 
except that a larger proportion are older and wealthier. 



Arts Participation 
Through Media 




Listening to or watching the arts on television, VCRs, radio, and recordings 
(compact discs, tapes, and records) represents another way individuals 
participate in the arts. Table 14 presents data for arts participation via the media, 
compared with live attendance, for 1982 and 1992. 

Americans are more likely to participate in all the selected arts activities via 
the media than by live attendance. Between 1982 and 1992, overall media 
participation increased significantly for all the arts except plays and musicals, 
which decreased by 7.8 and 4.8 percentage points, respectively. In both 1982 
and 1992 classical music was the most listened to or watched of the selected art 
forms, followed by jazz music. Outside of classical music and jazz, the popularity 
rankings of selected arts activities via the media changed. Plays dropped over 
the decade, and programs on artists and art museums gained in popularity. 
Either Americans' artistic tastes changed or arts programming changed some- 
what between 1982 and 1992. 

Americans are significantly more likely to watch and listen to opera via all 
forms of media than to attend live performances. They are most likely to watch 
opera on television or VCRs. Between 1982 and 1992, listening to opera on 
the radio increased slightly, but rates of participation remained about the same 
for other forms of opera media. 

Of all the selected arts activities, musicals have the narrowest gap between 
rates of participation via the media versus attendance at live performances. In 
1992, 17.4 percent of the adult population attended live musicals, while 20.6 
percent watched or listened to musicals via the media. Between 1982 and 1992, 
overall media participation for musicals decreased 4.8 percentage points. A 
decrease occurred in each medium: TV/VCR, recordings, and radio. It is unclear 
whether the decrease was due to fewer musicals being available on the media or 
musical theater audiences simply preferring live performances. 

Table 1 5 shows the demographic characteristics of opera and musical theater 
attendees and media participants for 1992. Opera media participants resemble 
opera attendees with the following exceptions: 

■ Media participants, when compared with attendees of live performances, 
command a larger number of seniors aged 65 andolder (21.3 percent versus 
15.6 percent). 



34 



Arts Participation Through Media I 35 



TABLE 14, 


, Arts Media Participation and Live Attendance, 
1982 and 1992 (% of U.S. Adult Population) 














Live 








Tapes/CDs 


Any Performance 


Arts Activity 




TV/VCR* 


Records 1 Radio 


Medium Attendance 


Opera 


1982 


12.0 


7.4 7.1 


17.4 


3.0 




1992 


12.1 


6.9 8.7 


18.1 


3.3 


Musicals/ 


1982 


20.3 


8.4 4.3 


25.4 


18.6 


Operetta 


1992 


16.9 


5.7 3.5 


20.6 


17.4 


Classical 


1982 


24.7 


22.1 19.9 


36.9 


13.0 


music 


1992 


26.3 


23.8 30.8 


43.0 


12.5 


Jazz 


1982 


18.1 


20.2 18.1 


31.8 


9.6 




1992 


21.9 


20.6 28.2 


37.3 


10.6 


Plays 


1982 


25.9 


NA 3.8 


27.1 


11.9 




1992 


18.1 


NA 2.8 


19.3 


13.5 


Ballet 


1982 


16.3 


NA NA 


16.3 


4.2 




1992 


19.6 


NA NA 


19.6 


4.7 


Artists/ 


1982 


22.8 


NA NA 


22.8 


22.1 


Art museums 


1992 


32.2 


NA NA 


32.2 


26.7 


All art forms 


1982 


50.4 


34.5 32.5 


59.3 


39.3 




1992 


54.5 


35.3 43.9 


65.1 


42.5 


Note: Not all 


percentages 


add up to 100.0% due to rounding. 






*"VCR" was not included 


in the 1982 


survey. Although VCRs 


existed, they were not in 


widespread use, and the number of tit 


es of videotapes was qu 


ite limited. 




The media products that 


can be pure 


nased for listening to the arts have chang 


;ed 


during the 10 


-year period. 


In 1982 records and cassette tapes 


were the mass m 


edia 


products available. In 1992, tapes and CDs were the products 


widely available 


■ 


Includes all 


media on wh 


ich art form 


is available. 







Media participants earn less: 34.9 percent of the media participants earned 
less than $25,000, compared with 24.1 percent of performance attendees. 
A significantly larger number of media participants live in rural areas 
compared with performance attendees (16 percent versus 9.9 percent). 
Media participants tend to be less educated. Compared with performance 
attendees, more of their numbers have a high school education or less (33.6 
percent versus 20.3 percent), and fewer have postgraduate education (22.0 
percent versus 34.6 percent). 



36 I American Participation in Opera and Musical Theater — 1992 



TABLE 15. 


Demographic Characteristi 


cs of Opera and 






Musical Theater 


Media Participants 


and 






Performance Attendees, 


1992 (%) 














Opera 


Musicals/Operetta 






Watch/ 




Watch/ 








Attend 




Listen 


Attend 


Listen 






U.S. Adult 


Live 




on Any 


Live 


on Any 


U.S. Adult Population 


Population 


Performance 


Medium 


Performance 


Medium 




3.3 




18.1 


17.4 


20.6 


Gender 




. 












Male 




47.9 


45.0 




45.3 


41.5 


44.1 


Female 




52.1 


55.0 




54.7 


58.5 


55.9 


Race 
















White 




77.5 


84.7 




80.9 


84.7 


82.6 


Black 




11.2 


6.6 




9.2 


9.2 


8.5 


Native Amer 


can 


0.5 


0.6 




0.5 


0.4 


0.7 


Asian 




2.6 


3.7 




2.7 


1.6 


2.6 


Hispanic 




8.3 


4.4 




6.8 


4.2 


5.5 


Age 
















18-24 




13.0 


10.7 




7.3 


11.8 


9.5 


25-34 




22.8 


19.0 




16.1 


20.9 


18.4 


35-44 




21.4 


21.5 




19.9 


22.7 


21.9 


45-54 




14.9 


19.2 




19.0 


19.1 


17.4 


55-64 




11.4 


14.0 




16.5 


12.6 


14.3 


65-74 




9.9 


12.1 




13.2 


9.5 


11.9 


75+ 




6.6 


3.5 




8.1 


3.3 


6.6 


Education 
















0-some high 


school 


17.6 


3.9 




7.8 


4.1 


7.3 


High school 


grad 


37.3 


16.4 




25.8 


25.4 


27.7 


Some college 


21.0 


21.3 




25.7 


25.8 


24.8 


College grad 




14.0 


23.8 




18.8 


23.9 


20.5 


Postgrad 




9.7 


34.6 




22.0 


20.8 


19.7 


Marital status 
















Married 




58.8 


57.9 




60.5 


59.3 


60.2 


Widowed 




7.2 


6.4 




8.4 


5.9 


7.4 


Divorced 




8.7 


9.4 




9.2 


9.4 


8.9 


Separated 




2.9 


2.1 




2.5 


2.1 


2.1 


Never married 


22.3 


24.1 




19.5 


23.3 


21.4 



Arts Participation Through Media I 37 



TABLE 15. Demographic Characteristics of Opera and 
Musical Theater Media Participants and 
Performance Attendees, 1992 (%) (Continued) 









Opera 


Musicals/Operetta 








Watch/ 




Watch/ 






Attend 




Listen 


Attend 


Listen 




U.S. Adult 


Live 




on Any 


Live 


on Any 




Population 


Performance 


Medium 


Performance 


Medium 


Place of residence 














Central city/SMSA 


32.6 


40.6 




36.9 


34.4 


34.7 


Suburbs/SMSA 


45.0 


49.5 




47.1 


51.2 


46.6 


Rural/non-SMSA 


22.4 


9.9 




16.0 


14.4 


18.7 


Income* 














$0-$ 14,999 


25.2 


12.8 




17.7 


10.9 


17.5 


$15,000-524,999 


19.3 


11.3 




17.2 


15.7 


17.7 


$25,000-$49,999 


36.6 


29.2 




37.2 


37.1 


38.0 


$50,000-$ 74,999 


11.9 


20.3 




15.2 


19.2 


15.4 


$75,000+ 


7.0 


26.4 




12.7 


17.1 


11.4 



Note: Read table down, except first line, which tells what percentage of the 
population attends opera, watches/listens, etc. Not all percentages add up to 100.0% 
due to rounding. 

*About 8.4% of those surveyed did not answer the income question; therefore caution 
should be used with these figures. 



Media allows for wider participation because of its potential to include 
individuals who are unable to attend live performances. It is not surprising to 
find that seniors, persons with more limited incomes, and those living in rural 
areas where opera is less likely to be performed are more likely to be media 
participants. Fondness for opera exceeds what live audience numbers and 
demographics indicate. 

Media participants for musical theater tend to resemble musical theater 
attendees, with the following exceptions: 

■ A larger proportion of media participants are 65 and older (18.5 percent 
versus 12.8 percent). 

■ Media participants are not as wealthy as performance attendees: 26.8 
percent have incomes above $50,000, compared with 36.3 percent of 
attendees; 17.5 percent have incomes below $15,000, compared with 10.9 
percent of attendees. 



38 I American Participation in Opera and Musical Theater — 1992 

■ Media participants are more likely to be rural residents (1 8.7 percent versus 
14.4 percent), and fewer live in the suburbs (46.6 percent versus 51.2 

percent). 

Like media participants for opera, media participants for musical theater are 
somewhat older, less wealthy, and more likely to live in rural areas than are 
performance attendees. Media make the arts accessible to a larger audience. 

The preceding tables and discussion have described media participation for 
opera and musical theater within the context of the general population. Tables 
1 6 and 1 7 and the accompanying discussion analyze media participation within 
the context of attendees of the selected arts activities. 

As expected, people who attend arts performances are significantly more 
likely to be media participants in the arts than is the general public. Over 90 
percent of the audience for each selected arts activity listen to or watch the arts 
on some form of media. In comparison, 65. 1 percent of the general public listen 
to or watch via the media. In effect, arts attendees are almost as likely to listen 
to or watch the arts as they are to attend live performances. 

All attendees of the selected arts activities are more likely to partake of the 
arts on television and VCRs than on recordings and radio. 

Between 1982 and 1992, media participation in the arts increased among 
the general population by 5.8 percentage points. Live attendance increased by 
only 2 percentage points (see Table 2). 

Among opera attendees, overall media participation remained fairly stable 
between 1982 and 1992 (94.7 percent versus 94.9 percent). However, partici- 



TABLE 16. Selected Arts Attendees' Participation in 


Arts 


via Media, 


1992 (%) 










Any Art on 


Any Art on 


Any Art or 


i Arts on Any 


U.S. Adult Population 


TV/VCR 


Tapes/CDs 


Radio 


Medium 


54.5 


35.3 


43.9 


65.1 


Arts Attendees 










Opera 


89.3 


76.4 


81.1 


94.9 


Musicals/Operetta 


83.2 


64.5 


72.9 


91.0 


Classical music 


90.2 


74.6 


82.7 


96.3 


Jazz 


86.9 


79.3 


84.8 


95.3 


Plays 


83.4 


68.4 


74.6 


91.7 


Ballet 


86.8 


75.7 


81.1 


93.9 


Other dance 


84.7 


66.1 


72.2 


91.3 


Art museums 


84.2 


65.6 


73.9 


91.6 



Arts Participation Through Media I 39 



Table 17. Participation in Arts 


via Media, 


1982 and 1992 (%) 




Any Art on 


Any Art on 


Any Art on 


Arts on Anv 


U.S. adult population 


TV/VCR 


Tapes/CDs 


Radio 


Medium 










1982 


50.4 


34.5 


32.5 


59.3 


1992 


54.5 


35.3 


43.9 


65.1 


Opera attendees 










1982 


86.7 


70.5 


74.2 


94.7 


1992 


89.3 


76.4 


81.1 


94.9 


Musical/Operetta attendees 










1982 


79.4 


59.9 


54.0 


86.8 


1992 


83.2 


64.5 


72.9 


91.0 



pation via each of the media forms increased: 2.6 percentage points for 
TV/VCRs, 5.9 for recordings, and 6.9 for radio listening. More opera attendees 
are listening to or watching the arts on more than one media form. 

Between 1982 and 1992, musical theater attendees experienced an overall 
4.2 percentage point increase in media participation: 3.8 for TV/VCRs, 4.6 for 
recordings, and a significant 18.9 for radio listening. 

An in-depth look at attendees' participation in each of the three individual 
forms of media (TV/VCR, recordings, radio) appears in Appendix B. 



Summary 

Participation in the arts via the media occurs at a higher rate than partici- 
pation through attendance at live performances for both the general public and 
for arts attendees. In 1992, 42.5 percent of the adult U.S. population attended 
at least one live performance of a selected arts activity; 65.1 percent watched or 
listened to the arts on the media. 

In 1992, significantly more people watched or listened to opera on the 
media than attended live opera performances (18.1 percent versus 3 . 3 percent) . 
Only 20.6 percent of the populous listened to or watched musical theater/ 
operetta on the media, compared with 17.4 percent who attended live per- 
formances. 

As expected, arts attendees are much more likely to also be arts media 
participants. Over 90 percent of each of the selected arts audiences were also 
media participants. Among opera-goers and musical theater patrons, 94.9 



40 I American Participation in Opera and Musical Theater — 1992 



percent and 9 1 percent, respectively, also watched or listened to the arts on the 
media. 

In 1992, compared with the other arts attendees, opera-goers displayed the 
highest rate of media participation. All selected arts attendees are most likely to 
participate via TV/VCR, followed by listening to recordings/tapes/CDs, and, 
last, listening to radio. 

Between 1982 and 1992, arts media participation remained stable for opera 
and decreased 4.8 percentage points for musical theater/operetta. 

While there are differences in types and frequencies of media participation, 
as well as changes between 1982 and 1992 for both the general population and 
the arts attendees, they are difficult to interpret. Television and radio program- 
ming and the production of arts recording products affect media participation. 
The decrease in media participation in musicals/operetta between 1982 and 
1992 may be due to fewer productions of musical theater available on the 
broadcast media. Similarly, few productions of plays are broadcast on the radio. 
Supply as well as taste affect media participation rates. 

Demographic profiles of opera and musical theater attendees and media 
participants are similar. Both groups tend to be dominated by people who are 
white, married, middle-aged, wealthy, well educated, and living in the suburbs. 
Both groups have more women than men. However, some significant differ- 
ences distinguish the groups; notably, media participants are somewhat 
younger, less educated, less wealthy, and are more likely to be rural residents 
than are performance attendees. This probably reflects the fact that for these 
groups, media are more accessible than live performances. 

While 65.1 percent of the general public watch or listen to the arts on the 
media, over 90 percent of all selected arts attendees are also arts media partici- 
pants. The two seem to go in tandem: individuals who attend live performances 
are also media participants. 



Arts Participation 
Through Performance, 
Creation, and Study 




Other ways in which individuals can participate in the arts are by perform- 
ing, creating, and studying the arts. This section looks first at personal 
performance and creation, then at studying the arts. 



Personal Arts Participation 

A plethora of different arts forms — weaving, sewing, photography, writing, 
dancing, potting, singing, and so on — present opportunities for involvement in 
the arts. The SPPA data looked at 14 arts activities involving personal arts 
participation. 

Performing or creating art can be done primarily for one's own satisfaction 
or for public consumption. Those who perform or create primarily for their 
own satisfaction are considered amateurs. Those who produce for public 
consumption may also be amateurs, or they may be professionals, for whom the 
arts are a livelihood. 

Table 18 gives the rank order and percentage of individuals involved in 14 
types of amateur arts participation in 1992. The overall rate of amateur arts 
participation for the general public is 57.9 percent, significantly higher than the 
rate for live attendance (42.5 percent), but lower than the rate for media 
participation (65. 1 percent). More than 107 million adult Americans participate 
in one of these 14 arts activities. 

The category including weaving and sewing is the most popular of all the 
categories of amateur arts activities (24.8 percent participation), involving over 
46 million adults. This is followed by owning an original piece of art (22.2 
percent), which involves more than 41 million adults, and making photo- 
graphs/movies/videos (11.7 percent), which involves over 21 million adults. 
Relatively few persons dance ballet (0.2 percent), sing opera (1.2 percent), or 
play jazz music (1.8 percent). However, the actual numbers of people involved 
in these activities is not that small. For instance, over 3 million perform jazz 
music, over 2 million sing opera, and about 370,000 dance ballet. 

Table 1 9 gives the rank order and percentage of individuals involved in 
amateur-professional arts activities in 1992. Amateur-professional activities are 



41 



42 I American Participation in Opera and Musical Theater — 1992 



Table 1 8. Rank Order of Amateur Arts Participation, 1 992 



Rank Amateur Art 



Percentage of Est. number 
Adult Americans (millions) 



1 . Weaving/crocheting/quilting/needlepoint/sewing 

2. Owning an original piece of art 

3. Making photographs/movies/videotapes 

4. Painting/drawing/sculpture/printmaking 

5. Creative writing (stories/poems/plays) 

6. Making pottery/ceramics/jewelry/leather/metal work 

7. Dancing modern/folk/tap dance (not ballet) 

8. Purchasing/acquiring art during last year 

9. Playing classical music 

10. Singing operetta/musicals 

11. Composing music 

12. Performing jazz music 

13. Singing opera music 

14. Dancing ballet 



24.8 


46.09 


22.2 


41.26 


11.7 


21.74 


9.7 


18.03 


8.6 


15.98 


8.4 


15.61 


8.1 


15.05 


7.2 


13.38 


4.3 


7.99 


3.8 


7.06 


2.1 


3.90 


1.8 


3.35 


1.2 


2.23 


.2 


0.37 



TABLE 19. Rank Order of Amateur-Professional Arts 






Participation, 1 992 












Percentage of 


Est. number 


Rank Amateur-Professional Activity / 


\dult Americans 


(millions) 


1. 


Public performance in a chorale/choir/glee club, etc 




6.7 


12.45 


2. 


Display of weaving/crocheting/quilting/needlepoint, 


etc. 


2.4 


4.46 


3. 


Display of painting/drawing/sculpture/printmaking 




2.0 


3.72 


4. 


Display of pottery/ceramics/jewelry/leather/metal work 


1.7 


3.16 


5. 


Display of photographs/movies/videos 




1.7 


3.16 


6. 


Public performance in a play 




1.6 


2.97 


7. 


Public performance/rehearsal of other dance 










(modern/folk/tap dance) 




1.2 


2.23 


8. 


Public performance/rehearsal of classical music 




1.0 


1.86 


9. 


Publication of creative writing (stories/poems/plays) 




.9 


1.67 


10. 


Public performance/rehearsal of music composition 




.7 


1.30 


11. 


Public performance/rehearsal of jazz music 




.7 


1.30 


12. 


Public performance/rehearsal of operetta/musicals 




.7 


1.30 


13. 


Public performance/rehearsal of opera music 




.3 


0.56 


14. 


Public performance/rehearsal of ballet 




.03 


0.06 



Arts Participation Through Performance, Creation, and Study I 43 



a subset of amateur activities. In other words, of those involved in amateur 
activities, over 1 in 4 (26.3 percent) publicly display or perform an art. This 
equals about 29 million adult Americans. 

The largest group of individuals who display or perform their art publicly 
are those who perform in choral groups (6.7 percent of the population, or over 
12 million adults), followed by those who display weaving and other textile arts 
(2.4 percent, or about 4.5 million persons). Very few adults — an estimated 
60,000 — perform ballet in public. 7 

Table 20 shows amateur arts participation among individuals who are 
attendees at selected arts activities. Some highlights of the table include the 
following: 

■ Over 77 percent of the attendees of each selected art were amateur arts 
participants, compared with 57.9 percent of the general population. 

■ For all eight arts groups, owning an original piece of art ranks first among 
the various means of participation, followed by the category that includes 
weaving and sewing. 

■ Dancing ballet is the least preferred of all amateur arts activities. 

■ In general, each arts group is more likely to participate in its respective art 
form than are the other groups. Thus, opera-goers are more likely to sing 
opera than are other arts attendees; classical music patrons are more likely 
to play classical music, and so forth. The two exceptions are musical theater 
and art museum attendees. 

As indicated in Table 20, 80.7 percent of the 6.1 million opera-goers, or 
4.95 million persons, are amateur arts participants. Curiously, visual arts 
activities, not musical activities, predominate among opera-goers at the amateur 
level: 52.3 percent own an original piece of art; 31.8 percent weave, sew, or do 
other related arts; and 20.9 percent have purchased an original piece of art in 
the last year. Opera attendees are the most likely of all the selected arts attendees 
to own original art, to have recently purchased a piece of art, and to sing opera 
or musical theater/operetta music. 

The data for musical theater show that 77.3 percent of the 32.3 million 
musical theater patrons, or 25 million persons, are amateur arts participants. 
Over 40 percent own an original piece of art, and 31.5 percent participate in 
such activities as weaving and sewing. Compared with the other seven arts 
attendee groups, musical theater attendees are the least likely to be involved in 
amateur arts activities. Fewer of their numbers own or have purchased an 
original piece of art recently, take photographs, paint, write creatively, or 
compose music. 

Table 21 presents data regarding amateur-professional arts participation. 



44 I American Participation in Opera and Musical Theater — 1992 



TABLE 20. Selected Arts Attendees' Participation in 






Amateur Arts, 


1992 (%) 












Participate in 
any activity 


U.S. Adult 
Population 








Arts Attendees 








Opera 


Musical 
Theater 


Classical 
Music 


Jazz 


Plays 


Ballet 


Other Art 
Dance Museums 


57.9 


80.7 


77.3 


83.5 


79.7 


80.0 


82.2 


86.6 


80.9 


Create... 




















pottery/ceramics/ 
jewelry/leather/ 
metal work 


8.4 


13.5 


11.3 


11.9 


14.6 


12.9 


9.7 


16.7 


13.2 


weavi ng/crocheti ng/ 
quilting/ 
needlepoint/ 
sewing 


24.8 


31.8 


31.5 


34.4 


26.2 


31.4 


35.5 


32.2 


29.5 


photographs/ 
movies/videotapes 


11.7 


19.2 


17.0 


22.9 


21.3 


19.5 


21.0 


24.6 


21.3 


painting/drawing/ 

sculpture/ 

printmaking 


9.7 


14.7 


14.7 


18.6 


16.1 


15.5 


18.9 


21.5 


18.0 


creative writing 
(stories/poems/plays) 


8.6 


15.7 


15.5 


21.0 


20.6 


18.9 


22.6 


20.0 


16.5 


Compose music 


2.1 


3.2 


2.9 


4.5 


6.8 


3.3 


3.2 


6.2 


3.7 


Own original 
pieces of art 


22.2 


52.3 


41.4 


49.5 


46.6 


44.8 


49.2 


44.5 


43.9 


Purchase/acquire art 
during last year 


7.2 


20.9 


15.8 


18.1 


18.1 


17.6 


19.6 


18.0 


16.4 


Perform jazz music* 


1.8 


7.0 


4.4 


5.9 


9.2 


3.9 


6.0 


5.2 


4.0 


Play classical music 


4.3 


12.8 


9.6 


15.3 


9.9 


9.4 


13.4 


11.0 


9.3 


Sing opera music 


1.2 


8.1 


3.3 


5.2 


2.5 


2.8 


5.3 


3.5 


2.6 


Sing operetta/musicals 


3.8 


13.5 


9.1 


11.8 


8.0 


8.5 


12.1 


12.0 


7.3 


Dance ballet 


0.2 


0.5 


0.6 


0.8 


0.3 


0.4 


2.2 


1.0 


0.5 


Dance other (modern/ 
folk/tap dance) 


8.1 


14.2 


12.9 


12.9 


14.0 


12.6 


14.5 


28.6 


12.2 


Note: Amateur participation has 
*Jazz music was the only catego 
terms "play" or "sing." 


no rehearsal, performance, or public display component. 
ry that used the term "perform" rather than the more general 



Arts Participation Through Performance, Creation, and Study I 45 



TABLE 21. Selected Arts Attendees' Participation in 






Amateur- 


Professional Arts, 


, 1992 (%) 








L 
P 

Public performance/ 
rehearsal of . . . 


I.S. Adult 
opulation 








Arts Attendees 








Opera 


Musical 
Theater 


Classical 
Music 


Jazz 


Plays 


Ballet 


Other 
Dance 


Art 
Museums 




















jazz music 


0.7 


3.7 


1.6 


2.3 


4.4 


1.1 


2.4 


1.6 


1.4 


classical music 


1.0 


2.9 


2.7 


4.6 


3.3 


2.6 


1.7 


2.6 


2.4 


opera music 


0.3 


2.4 


0.7 


1.7 


0.2 


0.4 


0.8 


1.4 


0.5 


operetta/musicals 


0.7 


4.4 


1.8 


4.1 


1.7 


2.6 


3.0 


2.9 


1.8 


chorale/choir/ 
glee club/ 


6.7 


13.1 


10.3 


15.8 


10.2 


11.0 


10.4 


11.3 


9.4 


a play 


1.6 


5.9 


4.2 


5.0 


3.9 


4.9 


3.9 


5.0 


3.1 


ballet 


0.03 


0.5 


0.2 


0.1 


0.0 


0.1 


0.7 


0.3 


0.1 


other dance 
(modern/folk/ 
tap dance) 


1.2 


3.1 


2.5 


2.8 


2.3 


3.2 


2.4 


7.8 


1.9 


Public display of works of . . . 


















pottery/ceramics/ 
jewelry/leather/ 
metal work 


1.7 


2.6 


2.7 


3.8 


3.6 


3.2 


2.2 


3.8 


3.6 


weaving/ 

crocheting/quilting/ 
needlepoint/ 
sewing 


2.4 


3.0 


3.3 


4.7 


2.2 


3.2 


3.7 


3.9 


3.3 


photographs/movies/ 
videotapes 


1.7 


6.9 


3.2 


4.5 


5.7 


3.6 


3.5 


4.4 


4.0 


painting/drawing/ 
sculpture/printmaking 


2.0 


3.4 


3.3 


4.7 


4.2 


3.7 


3.3 


4.2 


4.1 


Publish creative writing 
(stories/poems/plays) 


0.9 


4.8 


1.7 


3.0 


2.9 


1.8 


2.0 


2.8 


1.9 


Public performance/ 
rehearsal of music 
composition 


0.7 


0.9 


1.4 


1.7 


3.1 


0.8 


0.8 


1.9 


1.0 


Public display/ 
performance of any art 


15.2 


31.8 


25.4 


33.7 


30.0 


27.4 


26.8 


33.5 


25.1 


Note: Amateur-professional participation 
component. 


includes a rehearsal, performance, or pi 


jblic display 



46 I American Participation in Opera and Musical Theater — 1992 



Among the 57.9 percent of the population who are amateur arts participants, 
26.3 percent, or about 29 million individuals, are engaged in public displays or 
performances of their art, either as amateur-professionals or professionals. 

The data show that over 25 percent of attendees of each of the selected arts 
activities are amateur-professional participants of one type or another. For both 
the general population and all the selected arts attendees, singing in a chorale 
or glee club is the most popular form of public arts activity, involving about 10 
percent or more of each of the arts groups and 6.7 percent of the general 
population. Except for singing in a group and the public display of textiles 
(sewing/weaving, etc.), 2 percent or less of the general population is engaged in 
any of the other forms of public arts performances or displays. 

Among opera attendees, 31.8 percent, or 1.95 million, are involved in 
publicly displaying or performing their art. Amateur-professional activities vary 
considerably among arts attendees and do not necessarily coincide with the art 
form they attend. For example, while singing is the most popular activity among 
all attendees, opera attendees' second choice is displaying photographs, movies, 
or videos (6.9 percent); third is acting in a play (5.9 percent); and fourth is 
publishing a piece of creative writing (4.8 percent). 

Among musical theater attendees, 25.4 percent, or 8.1 million, publicly 
display or perform their art. After singing, musical theater attendees' second 
choice among amateur-professional activities is acting in a play (4.2 percent), 
and third is displaying either sewing/ weaving articles (3.3 percent) or paintings 
(3.3 percent). 



Demographic Characteristics of Opera and Musical 
Theater Attendees Who Are Amateur Arts Participants 

Because a high percentage of opera and musical theater attendees (80.7 
percent and 77.3 percent, respectively) also participate in one or another 
amateur art form, their profiles as a group are very similar to the profiles for all 
attendees. What is noteworthy, however, is that different amateur arts activities 
individually attract persons with quite different profiles. 

Among opera-goers who play an instrument, a high proportion are female 
(76.2 percent), young (36 percent are between 18 and 24 years old), and only 
about a third are married (33. 1 percent). By contrast, opera-goers who participate 
in dance are less likely to be women (60.6 percent), are not concentrated in 
younger age groups (22.4 percent are between 18 and 24, and 33.1 percent are 
between 65 and 74), and are more likely to be married (47.3 percent). Because 
"dance other" is so much larger than "dance ballet," the demographic charac- 
teristics reflect the "other" dancers rather than ballet dancers. (See Table 22.) 



Arts Participation Through Performance, Creation, and Study I 47 



TABLE 22. Demographic Characteristics of Opera Attendees 


Who Are Amateur Arts Participants, 


1992 (%) 










Play 


Sing 






Create 


Compose 


Own 








Jazz or 


Choir/ 




Dance 


Visual 


Music or 


Original 




U.S. Adult 


Opera 


Classical 


Opera/ 


Act in 


Ballet or 


Art 


Creative 


Art 


U.S. Adult Population 


Population 


Attendees 


Music 


Musicals 


a Play 


Other 


Works 


Writing 


Works 






5.4 


9.5 


1.6 


8.2 


40.2 


9.8 


22.2 


Opera Attendees* 




3.3 


15.3 


21.7 


5.9 


14.7 


49.7 


16.7 


52.3 


Of the percentage of opera attenc 


ees who played/sang/danced/created th 


e various arts (shown 


above), the breakdown 


according 


to demographic factors 


is shown below. For example, 


of the 


1 5.3% of opera attend* 


Bes who pi 


ay jazz or classical music, 23.8% are male and 76.2% < 


are 


female. 




















Gender 




















Male 


47.9 


45.0 


23.8 


30.2 


42.4 


39.4 


32.1 


41.4 


48.0 


Female 


52.1 


55.0 


76.2 


69.8 


57.6 


60.6 


67.9 


58.6 


52.0 


Race 




















White 


77.5 


84.7 


80.2 


81.4 


75.8 


83.8 


79.1 


86.5 


84.9 


Black 


11.2 


6.6 


8.3 


9.3 


24.2 


7.3 


9.9 


9.6 


5.1 


Native American 


0.5 


0.6 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


3.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


Asian 


2.6 


3.7 


8.2 


7.6 


0.0 


3.5 


4.2 


0.0 


3.6 


Hispanic 


8.3 


4.4 


3.4 


1.7 


0.0 


2.4 


6.8 


4.0 


6.4 


Age 




















18-24 


13.0 


10.7 


36.0 


16.1 


18.0 


22.4 


16.1 


17.3 


6.7 


25-34 


22.8 


19.0 


3.0 


4.4 


16.9 


4.5 


15.1 


13.3 


17.6 


35-44 


21.4 


21.5 


18.2 


24.7 


14.5 


20.2 


19.1 


22.5 


18.5 


45-54 


14.9 


19.2 


9.7 


11.1 


20.1 


10.8 


11.6 


16.5 


18.7 


55-64 


11.4 


14.0 


7.7 


16.9 


15.3 


9.0 


16.0 


9.4 


20.6 


65-74 


9.9 


12.1 


23.5 


19.9 


5.8 


33.1 


19.3 


19.2 


17.3 


75+ 


6.6 


3.5 


1.9 


6.9 


9.4 


0.0 


2.7 


1.8 


0.6 


Education 




















0-some high school 


17.6 


3.9 


0.0 


4.6 


0.0 


4.8 


5.7 


1.7 


1.9 


High school grad 


37.3 


16.4 


20.3 


29.6 


22.4 


16.6 


20.3 


26.9 


16.1 


Some college 


21.0 


21.3 


22.2 


23.2 


21.2 


18.0 


30.6 


17.5 


19.9 


College grad 


14.0 


23.8 


27.6 


11.9 


18.0 


26.7 


16.7 


21.5 


21.9 


Postgrad 


9.7 


34.6 


29.9 


30.8 


38.4 


33.8 


26.8 


32.3 


40.1 


Marital Status 




















Married 


58.8 


57.9 


33.1 


47.7 


25.0 


47.3 


60.8 


51.2 


63.8 


Widowed 


7.2 


6.4 


10.0 


15.3 


9.4 


3.4 


8.4 


7.3 


5.2 


Divorced 


8.7 


9.4 


12.4 


14.3 


33.0 


22.5 


8.0 


15.5 


10.7 


Separated 


2.9 


2.1 


5.4 


3.9 


14.5 


0.0 


2.6 


5.0 


3.0 


Never married 


22.3 


24.1 


39.0 


18.8 


18.0 


26.9 


20.1 


21.0 


17.3 


Place of Residence 




















Central city/SMSA 


32.6 


40.6 


40.2 


31.8 


57.7 


32.4 


37.3 


32.8 


30.2 


Suburbs/SMSA 


45.0 


49.5 


46.0 


55.2 


42.3 


61.0 


49.3 


59.9 


59.3 


Rural/non-SMSA 


22.4 


9.9 


13.8 


12.9 


0.0 


6.5 


13.5 


7.2 


10.4 



48 I American Participation in Opera and Musical Theater — 1992 



TABLE 22. Demographic Characteristics of Opera Attendees 
Who Are Amateur Arts Participants, 1992 (%) 
(Continued) 





U.S. Adult 
Population 


Opera 
Attendees 


Play 

Jazz or 

Classical 

Music 


Sing 

Choir/ 

Opera/ 

Musicals 


Act in 
a Play 


Dance 

Ballet or 

Other 


Create 
Visual 

Art 
Works 


Compose 
Music or 
Creative 
Writing 


Own 
Original 

Art 
Works 


t 
ncome 




















$0-$ 14,999 


25.2 


12.8 


32.0 


17.0 


19.1 


11.5 


21.6 


17.0 


11.1 


$15,000-$24,999 


19.3 


11.3 


4.0 


17.7 


10.0 


14.2 


10.3 


4.2 


4.0 


$25,000-$49,999 


36.6 


29.2 


32.2 


36.5 


43.8 


35.5 


29.4 


20.3 


25.0 


$50,000-$74,999 


11.9 


20.3 


10.0 


24.0 


9.5 


19.4 


19.2 


34.7 


28.4 


$75,000+ 


7.0 


26.4 


21.8 


4.7 


17.5 


19.3 


19.4 


23.9 


31.5 



Note: These amateur arts (some in combination) were chosen because the participation rates are 
high enough to give reasonable estimates. Not all percentages add up to 1 00.0% due to rounding. 
*Because there are relatively few opera attendees in the sample, caution should be used 
interpreting the figures in this table. 

About 8.4% of those in the survey did not answer the income question; therefore caution should 
be used with these figures. 



As with opera attendees, different amateur arts attract musical theater 
patrons with different demographic profiles. For example, among musical 
theater patrons who publicly act in plays, 40.4 percent are married, 45.8 percent 
are 34 or younger, and 20.8 percent are black. In contrast, among musical 
theater patrons who own original art works, 65 percent are married, over 50 
percent are 35 to 54 years old, and over 90 percent are white. (See Table 23.) 



Taking Arts Lessons and Classes 

Taking classes is yet another way individuals participate in the arts. The 
SPPA survey asked questions about lessons and classes taken the previous year 
and taken during one's lifetime. 

As Table 24 shows, over 22 percent of the attendees for any of the selected 
arts activities said they had taken arts lessons or classes within the previous year. 
This compares with only 8.6 percent of the general population that had taken 
lessons. For both the general population and all the selected arts attendees, the 
highest proportions had studied an instrument or had taken voice lessons within 
the previous year. 

Twenty-six percent of opera attendees, or 1.59 million persons, had taken 
arts lessons or classes within the last year. Compared with other arts attendees, 
opera and ballet attendees are the second most likely to have taken arts lessons 
or classes. (Both groups record a rate of 26 percent. Attendees for performances 



Arts Participation Through Performance, Creation, and Study I 49 



TABLE 23. Demographic Characteristics of Musical Theater 


Attendees Who Are Amateur Arts Participants, 




1992 (%) 
























Play 


Sing 






Create 


Compose 


Own 






Musical 


Jazz or 


Choir/ 




Dance 


Visual 


Music or 


Original 




U.S. Adult 


Theater 


Classical 


Opera/ 


Act in 


Ballet or 


Art 


Creative 


Art 


U.S. Adult Population 


Population 


Attendees 


Music 


Musicals 


a Play 


Other 


Works 


Writing 


Works 






5.4 


9.5 


1.6 


8.2 


40.2 


9.8 


22.2 


Musical Theater Attendees 


17.4 


11.6 


17.2 


4.2 


13.3 


51.5 


16.9 


41.4 


Of the percentage of musical theater attendees w 


ho played/sang/danced/created the various arts 


(shown above), the breakdown according 


to demographic factors 


is shown below. For example, 


of the 1 1 .6% of musical theater 


attendees who p 


ay jazz or classical music, 33.8% are male and 


66.2% are female. 




















Gender 




















Male 


47.9 


41.5 


33.8 


35.7 


48.0 


44.6 


29.5 


43.9 


44.2 


Female 


52.1 


58.5 


66.2 


64.3 


52.0 


55.4 


70.5 


56.1 


55.8 


Race 




















White 


77.5 


84.7 


80.4 


82.9 


76.7 


82.1 


85.9 


85.2 


90.2 


Black 


11.2 


9.2 


12.3 


12.8 


20.8 


8.9 


8.8 


9.1 


6.2 


Native American 


0.5 


0.4 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


0.6 


0.0 


0.0 


0.0 


Asian 


2.6 


1.6 


3.7 


2.8 


0.0 


2.9 


1.7 


3.8 


0.0 


Hispanic 


8.3 


4.2 


3.5 


1.5 


2.5 


5.4 


3.7 


1.9 


3.5 


Age 




















18-24 


13.0 


11.8 


23.1 


7.5 


31.0 


18.6 


14.6 


23.0 


6.2 


25-34 


22.8 


20.9 


12.8 


22.6 


14.8 


22.1 


20.1 


19.8 


17.7 


35-44 


21.4 


22.7 


23.6 


25.9 


27.6 


18.7 


23.7 


18.3 


26.8 


45-54 


14.9 


19.1 


21.1 


21.7 


13.6 


12.0 


18.8 


20.6 


24.3 


55-64 


11.4 


12.6 


11.3 


12.5 


5.7 


11.8 


11.1 


6.3 


12.2 


65-74 


9.9 


9.5 


6.0 


8.1 


2.5 


12.3 


7.7 


8.0 


9.2 


75+ 


6.6 


3.3 


2.2 


1.8 


4.8 


4.5 


4.0 


3.9 


3.6 


Education 




















0-some high school 


17.6 


4.1 


0.6 


1.4 


1.3 


1.8 


3.2 


1.4 


2.5 


High school grad 


37.3 


25.4 


20.9 


25.9 


27.0 


26.7 


25.5 


21.4 


18.8 


Some college 


21.0 


25.8 


19.4 


27.4 


28.0 


28.6 


28.3 


29.0 


27.4 


College grad 


14.0 


23.9 


35.3 


23.2 


22.3 


24.2 


25.9 


28.4 


26.1 


Postgrad 


9.7 


20.8 


23.7 


22.1 


21.4 


18.7 


17.1 


19.8 


25.2 


Marital Status 




















Married 


58.8 


59.3 


47.1 


61.9 


40.4 


55.8 


58.4 


48.6 


65.0 


Widowed 


7.2 


5.9 


5.0 


7.3 


4.8 


5.2 


5.4 


3.2 


4.1 


Divorced 


8.7 


9.4 


11.1 


10.2 


3.3 


9.4 


10.7 


13.0 


12.4 


Separated 


2.9 


2.1 


4.1 


2.4 


3.7 


3.8 


2.0 


3.8 


1.8 


Never married 


22.3 


23.3 


32.7 


18.2 


47.7 


25.9 


23.6 


31.5 


16.8 


Place of residence 




















Central city/SMSA 


32.6 


34.4 


40.6 


34.7 


47.6 


32.0 


36.2 


39.5 


32.8 


Suburbs/SMSA 


45.0 


51.2 


43.0 


47.4 


41.8 


50.9 


47.1 


46.5 


52.2 


Rural/non-SMSA 


22.4 


14.4 


16.4 


17.9 


10.6 


17.0 


16.6 


13.9 


15.0 



50 I American Participation in Opera and Musical Theater — 1992 



TABLE 23. Demographic Characteristics of Musical Theater 
Attendees Who Are Amateur Arts Participants, 
1992 (%) (Continued) 





U.S. Adult 
Population 


Musical 

Theater 

Attendees 


Play 

Jazz or 

Classical 

Music 


Sing 

Choir/ 

Opera/ 

Musicals 


Act in 
a Play 


Dance 

Ballet or 

Other 


Create 
Visual 

Art 
Works 


Compose 
Music or 
Creative 
Writing 


Own 
Original 

Art 
Works 


Income* 




















$0-$ 14,999 


25.2 


10.9 


13.6 


12.3 


10.4 


16.8 


13.0 


14.8 


7.9 


$15,000-$24,999 


19.3 


15.7 


18.0 


10.5 


15.6 


16.7 


15.8 


20.1 


11.6 


$25,000-$49,999 


36.6 


37.1 


36.1 


43.9 


41.8 


31.4 


38.2 


34.9 


33.8 


$50,000-$ 74,999 


11.9 


19.2 


16.8 


19.7 


14.4 


15.0 


15.4 


16.1 


21.5 


$75,000+ 


7.0 


17.1 


15.5 


13.6 


17.8 


20.0 


17.7 


14.0 


25.1 



Note: These amateur arts (some in combination) were chosen because the participation rates are 
high enough to give reasonable estimates. Not all percentages add up to 1 00.0% due to rounding. 
*About 8.4% of those in the survey did not answer the income question; therefore caution should 
be used with these figures. 



of "other dance" rank first, with a rate of 29.3 percent.) Among opera attendees, 
music is the most frequented type of lesson or class (8.2 percent), followed by 
dance other than ballet (6.9 percent), then creative writing (6 percent). Curi- 
ously, only 2.8 percent took music appreciation lessons. Compared with the 
other arts attendees, opera attendees are most likely to take music lessons and 
least likely to take visual arts lessons and art appreciation or art history. 

Twenty-four percent of musical theater attendees, or 1.1 million individu- 
als, took arts lessons or classes during the previous year. Music is the most 
popular type of lesson or class (5.3 percent), followed by dancing other than 
ballet (5 percent) and creative writing (4.5 percent). 

People have long questioned whether and to what degree arts socialization 
affects adult attendance. Tables 25 and 26 look at the relationship between arts 
lessons and attendance among patrons of musical theater and opera. 

Music is the reigning art form when it comes to lessons and classes. Almost 
twice as many persons take music lessons as take lessons in any other arts. Not 
unexpectedly, opera and musical theater attendees are more likely than the 
general public to have had arts lessons at every stage of their lives. The rank 
order of lessons taken by the general population and by opera and musical 
theater attendees is very similar: 



1 . music or voice lessons 

2. art appreciation 

3. music appreciation 



Arts Participation Through Performance, Creation, and Study I 51 



TABLE 24. Arts Lessons/Cl 


asses 


Taken Du 


ring Previous Year, 


1992 (%) 


















During the last year, 
took classes/lessons in 


U.S. Adult 
Population 








Arts Attendees 








Opera 


Musical 
Theater 


Classical 
Music 


Jazz 


Plays 


Ballet 


Other 
Dance 


Art 
Museums 


.. 


















music (either voice 




















training or an 
instrument) 


2.0 


8.2 


5.3 


7.2 


7.3 


5.9 


6.0 


7.4 


5.0 


acting or theater 


0.4 


2.0 


1.7 


1.8 


2.5 


2.6 


2.7 


2.4 


1.1 


ballet 


0.1 


1.4 


0.3 


0.7 


0.2 


0.3 


2.0 


0.7 


0.3 


other dance (tap, 
modern, folk, etc.) 


1.4 


6.9 


5.0 


5.0 


4.8 


3.6 


5.5 


9.0 


3.7 


visual arts (sculpture, 
painting, print making, 
photography, film 
making, etc.) 


1.6 


2.0 


3.7 


4.3 


3.8 


4.2 


4.3 


5.2 


4.0 


creative writing 


1.5 


6.0 


4.5 


4.5 


4.5 


5.2 


4.7 


4.8 


3.3 


art appreciation or 
art history 


1.2 


1.7 


3.9 


4.0 


3.1 


3.6 


5.8 


5.9 


3.3 


music appreciation 


0.8 


2.8 


2.4 


3.0 


1.4 


1.7 


3.2 


2.4 


2.2 


any type of lesson/clas 


; 8.6 


26.0 


24.0 


24.8 


23.3 


23.5 


26.0 


29.3 


22.4 



4. 

5. either 

6. 

7. acting or theater 

8. ballet 



visual arts lessons 
other dance 
l_ creative writing 



In addition, the ages at which arts lessons are taken tends to be very similar 
for all three groups. Thus, most people take music lessons during their elemen- 
tary/high school years (under age 18); they tend to take art and music apprecia- 
tion classes during their college years (age 18 to 24); they study ballet primarily 
during elementary school years (under age 12); the largest proportion study 
acting or theater in high school or college (age 12 to 24); they take lessons or 
classes related to visual arts mainly during high school/college years (age 12 to 
24) and after age 25; they learn "other dance" throughout life; and they take 



52 I American Participation in Opera and Musical Theater — 1992 



TABLE 25. Age at Which Adult 


Population and Opera 


and 


Musical Theater Attendees Took Arts 






Lessons/CI 


asses, 1992 (%) 










U.S. Adult 




Opera 


Musical Theater 


Attendance % 


Population 




Attendees 




Attendees 






3.3 




17.4 


Type of Lesson and Age When Taken 


% 


of Attendees 


% 


of Attendees 


Music (either voice training 












or an instrument) 


39.6 




65.3 




60.8 


Under 12 


20.0 




38.3 




33.6 


12-17 


24.5 




40.9 




37.0 


18-24 


6.3 




20.6 




12.6 


25 or older 


4.2 




10.4 




9.2 


Acting or theater 


7.4 




19.5 




15.4 


Under 12 


0.9 




1.5 




2.2 


12-17 


4.8 




11.2 




9.2 


18-24 


2.5 




10.0 




6.8 


25 or older 


0.8 




1.0 




2.3 


Ballet 


7.0 




13.3 




14.5 


Under 12 


5.3 




11.2 




10.9 


12-17 


2.0 




3.7 




3.9 


18-24 


' 1.1 




2.0 




2.8 


25 or older 


0.4 




1.2 




0.9 


Other dance (tap, modern, 












folk, etc.) 


15.8 




28.6 




30.6 


Under 12 


5.6 




7.4 




10.6 


12-17 


5.3 




10.2 




9.5 


18-24 


3.7 




8.1 




8.8 


25 or older 


4.4 




9.0 




10.3 


Visual arts (sculpture, 












painting, printmaking, 












photography, film making, 












etc.) 


17.6 




30.3 




32.5 


Under 12 


2.1 




2.6 




3.5 


12-17 


8.8 




10.0 




14.4 


18-24 


7.0 




13.2 




14.4 


25 or older 


4.9 




12.0 




10.6 



Arts Participation Through Performance, Creation, and Study I 53 



TABLE 25. 


Age at Which Adult Population and Opera 
Musical Theater Attendees Took Arts 


and 




Lessons/Classes, 1992 (%) 


(Continued) 






Creative writing 


U.S. Adult 
Population 




Opera 
Attendees 


Musical Theater 
Attendees 


15.6 




33.4 




30.8 


Under 12 




0.6 




0.8 




1.1 


12-17 




6.0 




13.1 




11.0 


18-24 




8.7 




17.2 




17.9 


25 or older 




3.1 




10.0 




7.8 


Art appreciation or 
art history 

Under 12 


22.9 
0.7 




49.6 
1.4 




38.7 
0.7 


12-17 




6.3 




9.3 




8.4 


18-24 




14.8 




34.5 




27.6 


25 or older 




3.3 




10.2 




0.7 


Music appreciation 

Under 12 


18.1 
1.2 




37.6 
2.8 




33.4 
2.0 


12-17 




7.3 




12.7 




10.8 


18-24 




9.9 




23.2 




20.9 


25 or older 




1.9 




7.3 




4.4 


Note: The four age categories are not mutually excl 


usive; they will add 


up 


> to more 


than the percentage i 


n the heading. 











TABLE 26. Percentages of Adult Population and Selected 


Arts Attendees Who Have Ever Taken Arts 


Lessons/Classes, 1 992 




Group 


Percentage 


U.S. adult population 


57.4 


Opera attendees 


86.6 


Musical theater attendees 


82.2 


Classical music attendees 


85.2 


Jazz attendees 


84.0 


Play attendees 


84.2 


Ballet attendees 


88.9 


Other dance attendees 


86.5 


Art museum attendees 


84.0 



54 I American Participation in Opera and Musical Theater — 1992 



creative writing classes primarily during high school and college years (age 12 
to 24). The congruence between the data for the general population and for 
opera and musical theater attendees suggests that a set of social norms guides 
whether and when a person is introduced to an artistic discipline. 

Of all the various lessons and classes available, opera attendees are most likely 
to have studied music at some time in their life (65.3 percent), followed by art 
appreciation (49.6 percent) and music appreciation (37.6 percent). Among 
those who studied music, 79.2 percent took music lessons and 15.5 percent had 
music appreciation classes before they were 18. Music clearly plays an important 
part in the life of opera attendees. They tend to be introduced to music at an 
early age and stay connected either by attending live performances, playing a 
musical instrument, or taking voice lessons. 

Choosing from the array of possibilities, musical theater attendees are most 
likely to have taken music lessons (60.8 percent), then art and music apprecia- 
tion (38.7 percent and 33.4 percent, respectively). Over 70 percent of those 
who took music lessons did so during their elementary or high school years; 
31.7 percent took music appreciation classes during high school or college. 

Over 80 percent of all selected arts attendees have taken a lesson or class in 
the arts at some point. This compares with less than 60 percent of the general 
adult population, suggesting a relationship between attendance at the live arts 
and classes or lessons taken. A table of 1982 data on lessons ever taken can be 
found in Appendix C. 



Summary 

Amateur arts attract a larger proportion of the American population than 
live attendance at the selected arts activities (57.9 percent versus 42.5 percent), 
but a smaller proportion than media participation (65.1 percent). Only 15.2 
percent of the general public are also engaged as amateur-professional arts 
participants. 

Of the many amateur arts included in the survey, opera singing attracts the 
second-smallest number: only 1.2 percent, or about 370,000 adults. (The 
smallest percentage, 0.2 percent, dance ballet.) In comparison, 3.8 percent, or 
7.06 million adults, are amateur musical theater and operetta singers. 

As expected, selected arts attendees are more likely than the general popu- 
lation to engage in "hands-on" arts activities: 80.7 percent of opera attendees 
and 77.3 percent of all musical theater attendees are also amateur arts partici- 
pants. The data show that 31.8 percent of the amateur opera participants and 
25.4 percent of the musical theater amateurs are amateur-professionals. 



Arts Participation Through Performance, Creation, and Study I 55 

Choosing among the many amateur arts activities included in the survey, 
8.1 percent of the opera-goers reported they are engaged in amateur opera 
singing; 2.4 percent sing as amateur-professionals. Opera-goers prefer visual 
amateur arts activities over musical activities. 

Musical theater patrons also prefer visual amateur arts activities, especially 
weaving/sewing/etc. , and owning original art. Only 9. 1 percent of their number 
are engaged in amateur musical theater/operetta singing; 1.8 percent perform 
as amateur-professionals. 

Because a high proportion of opera and musical theater attendees are 
amateur arts participants, their overall demographic profiles tend to be similar. 
However, when looking at distinct forms of amateur or amateur-professional 
activities, such as painting, acting in a play, performing an instrument, and so 
forth, the profiles of those involved differ significantly. 

Only 8.6 percent of the population surveyed had taken arts lessons or classes 
within the previous year. However, 57.4 percent had taken lessons or classes at 
some point in their lifetime. In contrast, more than 22 percent of all the selected 
arts attendees had taken arts lessons or classes within the previous year, and over 
80 percent had taken them at some point in their lifetime. 

About one quarter of the opera attendees and musical theater attendees (26 
percent and 24 percent, respectively) had taken arts lessons or classes within the 
last year. However, 86.6 percent of opera-goers and 82.2 percent of musical 
theater attendees had taken arts classes or lessons during their lifetimes. 

Both opera and musical theater attendees are introduced to music early in 
their life. The data show that 79.2 percent of all opera attendees and 70.6 percent 
of musical theater attendees who took music or voice lessons did so before age 
18. Clearly, early exposure to music has some bearing on an adult commitment 
to a musical art form. 



Leisure Activities - 
Artistic and Other 




Involvement in Other Arts and Cultural Activities 

We have addressed performance attendance, media involvement, personal 
creation and performance, and attending arts classes as ways in which Americans 
can be involved in the arts. The 1992 SPPA survey included five additional 
activities that individuals could engage in: going to art fairs, historical parks, 
and movies; and reading and listening to literature. 

As indicated in Table 27, the general population prefers going to movies 
and reading literature to attending any of the eight selected arts activities. As 
expected, arts attendees are significantly more likely to be involved in the five 
indicated activities than is the general population. This is particularly the case 
with going to movies and reading literature. About 80 percent of each attendee 
group enjoy each activity. 

Opera and musical theater attendees do not vary much from the other arts 
attendees in their involvement in the above activities. The percentage of selected 
arts attendees who go to movies ranges from 79 to 84.5; the percentage who 
read literature ranges from 78.5 to 83.5; the percentage who go to art fairs ranges 



TABLE 27. Participation in 


Other Arts and Cultural Activities, 


1992 (%) 


















Live attendance at a 
benchmark art 


U.S. Adult 
Population 






Selected Arts Attendees 






Opera 


Musical 
Theater 


Classical 
Music 


Jazz 


Plays 


Ballet 


Other 
Dance 


Art 
Museums 


42.5 


100.0 


100.0 


100.0 


100.0 


100.0 


100.0 


100.0 


100.0 


Art fairs 


40.7 


71.1 


71.2 


72.7 


72.2 


71.1 


71.8 


74.9 


72.9 


Historical parks 


34.5 


67.1 


64.3 


68.2 


65.8 


67.0 


68.5 


65.1 


68.6 


Movies 


59.0 


82.7 


82.0 


80.6 


84.5 


84.0 


82.0 


79.0 


81.4 


Reading literature 


54.2 


82.5 


78.5 


82.6 


78.9 


81.9 


83.5 


79.2 


80.0 


Listening to literature 


12.5 


33.8 


26.3 


31.9 


30.4 


29.1 


29.7 


31.5 


27.4 


Note: Read table down. In other words, < 


:>f those 


who attend opera, 71.1% also 


attend art fairs. 



56 



Leisure Activities — Artistic and Other 57 



from 71 . 1 to 74.9; and the percentage who frequent historical parks ranges from 
64.3 to 68.6. Listening to literature is not as popular, drawing only 12.5 percent 
of the general population and 26.3 to 33.8 percent of selected arts attendees. 



Comparing Types of Arts Participation 

Table 28 compares the four dimensions of arts participation that we have 
looked at separately in earlier sections of this monograph. As the data illustrate, 
the arts in America are a vital core of our society. For example, 65.1 percent of 
the population watch or listen to the arts on the media; 57.9 percent are engaged 
in artistic performance or creation, and 15.2 percent perform or display their 
work publicly; 42.5 percent attend one of the selected arts activities at least once 
a year; and 8.6 percent have taken a class in the arts within the last year. In all, 
over 150 million adults in the United States participated in the arts in 1992. 



TABLE 28. Adult Population's Participation in Any Selected 
Arts Activities, Opera Activities, and Musical 
Theater Activities, 1 992 





Any 


Selected 






Musical 




Art Activities 


Opera 


Activities 
Est. number 


Theater 


Activities 






Est. number 




Est. number 


Kinds of Participation 


Rate (%) 


(millions) 


Rate (%) 


(millions) 


Rate (%) 


(millions) 


Attendance at 














live arts event 


42.5 


78.98 


3.3 


6.13 


17.4 


32.34 


Media 


65.1 


120.98 


18.1 


33.64 


20.6 


38.28 


Personal arts 














participation 














Amateur 


57.9 


107.60 


1.2 


2.23 


3.8 


7.06 


Amateur-Professional 


15.2 


28.25 


0.3 


0.56 


0.7 


1.30 


Arts classes 














during last year 


8.6 


15.98 


NA* 




NA* 





Any arts participation 80.8 150.16 18.7 34.75 30.8 57.24 

*Questions about opera and musical theater lessons were not asked; the closest 
question asked whether the respondent had taken music lessons. While we cannot 
discern from the survey how many individuals specifically took opera or musical 
theater/operetta lessons as adults, the number would be small, as few persons take 
adult arts lessons. 



58 I American Participation in Opera and Musical Theater — 1992 

While only 3.3 percent of the population attend opera, 18.1 percent listen 
to or watch opera via the media. Only 1 .2 percent of the population sing opera 
professionally or for personal pleasure. Considering all of the dimensions of 
opera participation, 18.7 percent of the adult U.S. population (34.7 million 
persons) participate in operatic activities. 

By contrast, 17.4 percent of the population attend musical theater, 20.6 
percent listen to musicals/operettas on the media, and 3.8 percent sing musi- 
cals/operettas. Thus, about 30.8 percent (57.2 million persons) participate in 
musical theater/operetta in one form or another. 

Looking at all the types of arts participation included in the SPPA survey, 
we see that both the general population and the attendees of selected arts 
activities participate extensively. However, arts attendees, as expected, are 
significantly more involved in all aspects of arts participation. (See Table 29.) 

Among the general population, over half watch or listen to the arts via some 
form of media (65.1 percent), go to movies (59 percent), perform or create art 
(57.9 percent), and read literature (54.2 percent); 42.5 percent attend live arts 
events; and 40.7 percent go to art fairs. A smaller proportion visit historical 
parks (34.5 percent), perform or display their art publicly (15.2 percent), listen 
to literature (12.5 percent), and take arts classes (8.6 percent). 

For all the selected arts attendees, media commands the largest proportion 
of participants (91 to 96.3 percent), followed by attending movies (79 to 84.5 
percent), reading literature (78.5 to 83.5 percent), and involvement in any 
amateur arts (77.3 to 86.6 percent). 

Among opera attendees, 94.9 percent participate in the arts via the media, 
82.7 percent attend movies, 82.5 percent read literature, and 80.7 percent 
participate in amateur arts activities. While opera attendees participate in other 
arts activities at lower rates, these rates are still substantially higher than those 
for the general population. For example, 26 percent of opera-goers take arts 
classes, compared with 8.6 percent of the general population. 

Compared with the other selected arts attendees, musical theater attendees 
have either the lowest or next to lowest proportions for allot the activities except 
two: they are the most likely to participate in a public arts performance (32. 1 
percent) and rank fifth out of the eight arts groups in taking adult arts classes 
(24 percent). Thus, while they are more akin to other arts attendees than to the 
general population in their involvement in the arts, musical theater attendees 
are the closest of all the arts groups to the general population. 

Involvement in Nonartistic Leisure Activities 

Arts participation of any kind can be considered a leisure activity (excluding 
those who are arts professionals), representing a choice among other leisure 



Leisure Activities — Artistic and Other I 59 



TABLE 29. Comparison of Types of Arts Participation, 
1992 (%) 



Selected Arts Attendees 



U.S. Adult 
Population 



Musical Classical Other Art 

Opera Theater Music Jazz Plays Ballet Dance Museums 



Attendance at a live 
selected art event 


42.5 


Art fairs 


40.7 


Historical parks 


34.5 


Movies 


59.0 


Reading literature 


54.2 


Listening to literature 


12.5 


Any media arts 
participation (TV, 
radio, CDs, etc.) 


65.1 



100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 

71.1 71.2 72.7 72.2 71.1 71.8 74.9 72.9 

67.1 64.3 68.2 65.8 67.0 68.5 65.1 68.6 

82.7 82.0 80.6 84.5 84.0 82.0 79.0 81.4 
82.5 78.5 82.6 78.9 81.9 83.5 79.2 80.0 

33.8 26.3 31.9 30.4 29.1 29.7 31.5 27.4 



Watch arts on TV/VCR 54.5 
Listen to arts on radio 43.9 



Listen to arts on 
CDs/tapes/records 


35.3 


Any amateur arts 
involvement 


57.9 


Participate in 
visual arts 


49.1 


Write or compose 


9.8 


Participate in 
performing arts 


19.8 


Any amateur- 




professional 
involvement 


15.2 


Amateur-professional 




participation in 
visual arts 


6.3 


Writing or music 
composition published 


1.6 


Amateur-professional 




participation in 
performing arts 


9.4 


Adult art classes 


8.6 



94.9 91.0 96.3 95.3 91.7 93.9 91 ,3 91 .6 

89.3 83.2 90.2 86.9 83.4 86.8 84.7 84.2 
81.1 72.9 82.7 84.8 74.6 81.1 72.2 73.9 

76.4 64.5 74.6 79.3 68.4 75.7 66.1 65.6 
80.7 77.3 83.5 79.7 80.0 82.2 86.6 80.9 

72.5 68.0 75.4 68.9 71.5 72.9 74.2 72.4 

16.7 16.9 23.1 24.2 20.4 23.4 22.4 18.6 

37.1 34.5 40.8 37.3 34.2 40.8 50.2 31.6 

31.8 25,4 33.7 30.0 27.4 26.8 33.5 25.1 

12.2 10.1 13.6 12.4 10.4 11.2 13.1 11.6 
57 2.9 4.4 5.7 2.6 2.4 4.7 2.8 

20.9 32.1 29.6 22.2 26.0 8.4 14.8 14.6 
26.0 24.0 24.8 23.3 23.5 26.0 29.3 22.4 



60 I American Participation in Opera and Musical Theater — 1992 



activities. Thus, it is instructive to see how arts attendees are involved in 
non-artistic/cultural activities, and how their participation in arts activities 
compares with their participation in other leisure activities. Table 30 presents 
data related to involvement in non-artistic/ cultural activities. 

Individuals who attend the selected arts activities are more likely than the 
general population to engage in non-artistic/cultural activities. Among the 
general population, exercise attracts the largest proportion (59.7 percent), 
followed by gardening (54.7 percent) and going to amusement parks (50.2 
percent). The lowest ranking activities are outdoor activities (34.1 percent) and 
charitable activities (32.6 percent). In comparison, selected arts attendees 
participate in all of these non-artistic/cultural activities at higher rates. 

Like the general population, all the selected arts attendees rank exercising 
first as their activity of choice, participating at rates ranging from 78.4 to 81.6 
percent. With a participation rate ranging from 48.1 to 50.4 percent, outdoor 
activities place last for all arts groups except "other dance" and art museum 
attendees, for whom charity work ranks lowest. 

Among opera attendees, the first-choice activity is exercise, with a partici- 
pation rate of 80.7 percent, followed by gardening (61.7 percent) and home 
improvements (58.9 percent). Outdoor activities are the last choice among 
opera attendees, with a participation rate of 48.1 percent. 

Looking at musical theater attendees, 80.2 percent exercise, followed by 
63.1 percent who garden and 61.8 percent who go to amusement parks. 
Outdoor activities rank last, drawing 49.5 percent of the musical theater 
attendees. 

Table 31 compiles the data for all the artistic and nonartistic activities 
covered in the 1 992 SPPA survey and ranks the activities according to their rates 
of participation among the general population. 

Looking at the 19 artistic and nonartistic activities included in the 1992 
SPPA survey, the arts emerge as a vital part of American life. Four arts activities 
drew over 50 percent of the general population: arts participation via the media, 
movies, creating or performing art, and reading literature. Media participation 
in the arts ranked second among all leisure activites (65.1 percent); attending 
movies fourth (59 percent); amateur arts participation fifth (57.9 percent); 
reading literature seventh (54.2 percent). Attending selected arts activities 
ranked tenth (42.5 percent), three positions above attendance at professional 
sports events (36.8 percent). 

Table 32 ranks the top 18 leisure activities for opera and musical theater 
attendees. (Attendance at selected arts activities, which appears in Table 3 1 , does 
not appear in this list for the obvious reason that 100 percent of the surveyed 
population participates.) 

The most notable difference between the rank order of leisure activities by 



Leisure Activities — Artistic and Other 



61 



TABLE 30. 


Involvement in Non-Artistic/Cultural Activities by 
Adult Population and Selected Arts Attendees, 




1992 (%) 
















Professional 
sports events 




U.S. Adult 
Population 






Selected Arts Attendees 






Opera 


Musical Classical 
Theater Music Jazz 


Plays 


Ballet 


Other Art 
Dance Museums 


36.8 


52.1 


53.4 


56.7 59.4 


54.3 


53.9 


56.9 


53.4 


Playing sports 




38.8 


49.4 


53.8 


55.8 62.4 


55.3 


53.5 


57.7 


55.5 


Exercising 




59.7 


80.7 


80.2 


80.9 81.6 


78.4 


80.8 


78.4 


79.9 


Outdoor activities 


34.1 


48.1 


49.5 


49.3 50.4 


48.3 


44.9 


54.6 


52.5 


Home improvements 


47.6 


58.9 


59.7 


61.1 56.6 


55.9 


63.3 


59.0 


60.1 


Gardening 




54.7 


61.7 


63.1 


68.7 61.3 


63.4 


63.2 


65.4 


66.7 


Charity 




32.6 


49.9 


52.1 


58.7 50.8 


54.5 


53.4 


53.7 


50.3 


Amusement parks 


50.2 


53.0 


61.8 


56.5 65.6 


60.7 


60.5 


66.1 


63.4 


Note: Read table 
activities. 


down. For exarr 


pie, among those who attend c 


»pera, 48.1% en 


gage in 


outdoor 



the general population and by opera and musical theater attendees is that the 
latter two tend to participate at significantly higher rates, whether in artistic or 
nonartistic activities. However, it is remarkable how similar the rank order of 
leisure activities is for all three groups, in particular for opera and musical theater 
attendees. Watching or listening to the arts on the media ranks second among 
the general population, first for opera attendees, and second for musical theater 
attendees. 

Among arts activities, going to movies, reading literature, and participating 
in amateur arts rank among the top seven activities for all three groups. Going 
to art fairs ranks seventh for both opera and musical theater attendees and 
eleventh for the general population. 

Among nonartistic activities, exercising places among the top six for all three 
groups. Gardening ranks sixth for the general population and ninth for both 
opera and musical theater attendees. 

For all three groups, taking adult arts classes, participating in any amateur- 
professional activity, and listening to literature are the arts activities that rank 
the lowest. 



62 I American Participation in Opera and Musical Theater — 1992 



TABLE 31 . Rank Order of Leisure Activities Among 




U.S. Adult Population, 


1992 




Activity 




% Participating 


1. 


TV watching 




96.4 


2. 


Any arts on media 




65.1 


3. 


Exercising 




59.7 


4. 


Movies 




59.0 


5. 


Any amateur arts participation 




57.9 


6. 


Gardening 




54.7 


7. 


Reading literature 




54.2 


8. 


Amusement parks 




50.2 


9. 


Home improvements 




47.6 


TO. 


Selected arts attendance 




42.5 


11. 


Art fairs 




40.7 


12. 


Playing sports 




38.8 


13. 


Professional sports events 




36.8 


14. 


Historical parks 




34.5 


15. 


Outdoor activities 




34.1 


16. 


Charity 




32.6 


17. 


Any amateur-professional arts participat 


on 


15.2 


18. 


Listening to literature 




12.5 


19. 


Adult art classes 




8.6 



Summary 

Involvement in the arts can be seen as a choice among different types of 
leisure activities. Viewed as such, Americans show a strong preference for the 
arts. Choosing among the 19 leisure activities included in the SPPA survey, 
approximately 65 percent of the population indicated they watch or listen to 
an art form on the media, 59 percent go to movies, nearly 58 percent are involved 
in performing or creating art, and more than 54 percent read literature. Only 
watching TV, exercising, gardening, and going to amusement parks also attract 
over 50 percent of the population. 

Selected arts attendees are more involved than the general population in all 
forms of leisure activities (both artistic and nonartistic). Yet for the general 
population and for opera and musical theater attendees, the rank order of 
preferred leisure activities is remarkably similar: TV watching, participating in 
arts via the media, and attending movies top the list of preferred activities, with 
listening to literature, involvement in public arts performances or displays, and 
taking adult arts classes at the bottom. 



Leisure Activities — Artistic and Other 63 



TABLE 32. Rank Order of Leisure Activities Among Opera 




and Musical Theater Attendees, 1 992 




Opera Attendees 






Musical Theater Attendees 




% 
Activity Participating 




o/ 
/o 

Activity Participating 


1 . Any arts on media 


94.9 


1. 


TV watching 


96.3 


2. TV watching 


94.8 


2. 


Any arts on media 


91.0 


3. Movies 


82.7 


3. 


Movies 


82.0 


4. Reading literature 


82.5 


4. 


Exercising 


80.2 


5. Any amateur arts participation 


8C.7 


5. 


Reading literature 


78.5 


6. Exercising 


80.7 


6. 


Any amateur arts participation 


77.3 


7. Art fairs 


71.1 


7. 


Art fairs 


71.2 


8. Historical parks 


67.1 


8. 


Historical parks 


64.3 


9. Gardening 


61.7 


9. 


Gardening 


63.1 


10. Home improvements 


58.9 


10. 


Amusement parks 


61.8 


1 1 . Amusement parks 


53.0 


11. 


Home improvements 


59.7 


1 2. Professional sports events 


52.1 


12. 


Playing sports 


53.8 


13. Charity 


49.9 


13. 


Professional sports events 


53.4 


14. Playing sports 


49.4 


14. 


Charity 


52.1 


1 5. Outdoor activities 


48.1 


15. 


Outdoor activities 


49.5 


16. Listening to literature 


33.8 


16. 


Listening to literature 


26.3 


1 7. Any amateur-professional arts 




17. 


Any amateur-professionai arts 




participation 


31.8 




participation 


25.4 


18. Adult art classes 


26.0 


18. 


Adult art classes 


24.0 


Note: By definition, 100% of opera 


and musica 


I theater attendees attend a selected art; thus 


there are only 1 8 categories. 











Attitudes Toward 
the Arts 




The Desire to Attend More Arts Performances 

An adult's involvement in the arts is volitional. Thus, the status of present- 
day arts participation can be considered a fair reading of the degree to which 
the populous is involved in the arts. It is not, however, a measure of the degree 
to which they would like to be involved. The SPPA surveys attempted to measure 
a desire for greater or lesser involvement by asking whether individuals would 
like to attend selected arts performances more often and which ones they would 
choose to attend more often. The survey results are summarized in Table 33. 
A statistically significant increase took place between 1982 and 1992 in 
Americans' desire to attend more performances of all of the selected art forms. 
In 1992, 71.4 percent 10 of the population expressed a desire to attend more of 
these arts. Though the 71.4 percent includes both attendees and nonattendees, 
it is high, considering that only 42.5 percent of the population actually attend 
the selected arts. Although respondents may overstate their interest, this still 
suggests a fairly large untapped audience for the arts — an estimated 132 million 



TABLE 33. Percentages of Adult 


Population Who Want to 


Attend More Selected Arts Performances, 


1982 and 1992 












Change in Percent 


Arts Activity 


1982 (%) 


1992 (%) 


1982-1992 


Opera 


7.4 


11.0 


3.6 


Musicals 


32.5 


36.2 


3.8 


Classical music 


18.1 


25.4 


7.3 


Jazz 


18.1 


25.2 


7.1 


Plays 


24.5 


33.9 


9.4 


Ballet 


11.7 


18.3 


6.6 


Other dance* 


NA 


23.8 


NA 


Art museums 


30.7 


37.6 


6.9 


None of the above* 


NA 


28.6 


NA 


Note: All changes statistically 


significant at 95% confidence level 




*Questions referring to "none 


of the above" 


and "other dance" were 


not asked in 1982. 



64 



Attitudes Toward the Arts 65 



adults. The question remains how this predisposition can be brought to the 
muses. 

The 1992 survey shows that 3.3 percent of the U.S. adult population attend 
opera, while 1 1 percent desire to see more opera — more than three times the 
number that attend. This represents about 20.4 million persons. While this 
includes both those who already attend opera and those who do not, it probably 
indicates potential for an increased opera audience. 

In 1982, musicals ranked first among the art forms the general population 
wanted to see more of (32.5 percent of those surveyed expressed such a desire). 
In 1992, 36.2 percent of those surveyed said they want to see more musicals; but 
this art form dropped to second place, after art museums, which 37.6 percent of 
those surveyed said they wanted to attend more frequently. In terms of numbers 
of individuals, about 70 million persons wanted to attend art museums more 
frequently, and about 67 million wanted to attend more musicals. Notably, this 
correlates with attendance preferences: attendance at art museums is the most 
frequent selected arts activity, followed by attendance at musicals. 

Table 34 shows how arts attendees feel about attending more arts perform- 
ances. As expected, arts attendees are significantly more likely than the general 
population to express a desire to attend more of the arts (in 1992, 93.4 percent 
versus 71.4 percent). For most of the arts groups, their own art form is the first 
or second choice among those they would like to attend more often. 

However, opera attendees' first choice among the arts they desire to see more 
often is not opera, but musicals (72.5 percent express such a desire), followed 
by classical music (59.1 percent) and plays (54.8 percent). The selected arts 
groups and the general population place opera last among all the art forms they 
would like to see more of. A much larger percentage of opera-goers (49.4 
percent) want to attend more opera than do any of the other arts attendees. The 
opera-goers are followed by 3 1 . 1 percent of the ballet attendees and 26.7 percent 
of the classical music attendees. Of all the arts groups, jazz attendees are the least 
likely to want to attend more opera. (Only 17.5 percent express such a desire.) 

Musical theater attendees' first choice of an art form they would like to 
attend more often is musicals (71.6 percent express such a desire), followed by 
plays (60.5 percent) and art museums (48.2 percent). As noted, musicals are the 
first choice among opera-goers (72.5 percent), ballet attendees (65.8 percent), 
and classical music goers (63.0 percent). Attendees of jazz performances and 
plays rank musicals second among the art forms they would like to attend more 
of, and "other dance" and art museum attendees rank musicals third. Clearly 
musicals have a strong appeal both for the population as a whole and for the 
selected arts attendees. 

Using these tables as a guide, a development officer interested in increasing 
ticket sales within a particular art form would have to decide where the effort 



66 I American Participation in Opera and Musical Theater — 1992 



TABLE 34. Percentages and Numbers of Adults and 

Selected Arts Attendees Who Want to Attend 
More Arts Performances, 1 992 



Arts Attendees 



U.S. Adult Musical Classical Other Art 

Population Opera Theater Music Jazz Plays Ballet Dance Museums 



Attendance rate (%) 



Desire to Attend More 



3.3 17.4 12.5 10.6 13.5 



4.7 



7.1 26.7 



Percentage who want to attend more 



Opera 


11.0 


49.4 


19.8 


26.7 


17.5 


19.1 


31.1 


20.2 


19.6 


Musical theater 


36.2 


72.5 


, 71.6 


63.0 


58.0 


61.4 


65.8 


51.9 


56.1 


Classical music 


25.4 


59.1 


44.6 


62.0 


39.9 


45.8 


56.4 


43.8 


45.1 


Jazz 


25.2 


42.9 


37.9 


41.5 


69.4 


40.1 


40.7 


43.5 


40.1 


Plays 


33.9 


54.8 


60.5 


58.7 


57.5 


70.6 


59.3 


53.8 


57.0 


Ballet 


18.3 


41.4 


33.6 


39.7 


30.4 


33.6 


63.0 


35.9 


33.6 


Other dance 


23.8 


34.0 


36.9 


35.1 


36.2 


36.6 


41.0 


49.6 


34.2 


Art museums 


37.6 


43.1 


48.2 


50.1 


50.9 


48.8 


45.2 


54.0 


61.4 


None of the above 


28.6 


0.6 


4.4 


3.3 


3.8 


4.4 


3.1 


4.8 


4.8 








Estimated 


number ( 


millions)* 






Opera 


20.4 


3.0 


6.4 


6.2 


3.4 


4.8 


2.7 


2.7 


9.7 


Musical theater 


67.3 


4.4 


23.1 


14.6 


11.4 


15.4 


5.7 


6.8 


27.8 


Classical music 


47.2 


3.6 


14.4 


14.4 


7.9 


11.5 


4.9 


5.8 


22.4 


Jazz 


46.8 


2.6 


12.3 


9.6 


13.7 


10.1 


3.6 


5.7 


19.9 


Plays 


63.0 


3.4 


19.6 


13.6 


11.3 


17.7 


5.2 


7.1 


28.3 


Ballet 


34.0 


2.5 


10.9 


9.2 


6.0 


8.4 


5.5 


4.7 


16.7 


Other dance 


44.2 


2.1 


11.9 


8.2 


7.1 


9.2 


3.6 


6.5 


17.0 


Art museums 


69.9 


- 2.6 


15.6 


11.6 


10.0 


12.2 


3.9 


7.1 


30.5 


None of the above 


53.1 


0.0 


1.4 


0.8 


0.7 


1.1 


0.3 


0.6 


2.4 



*Estimated number of adults was calculated by multiplying 1 85.838 million by the percentages 
(to one decimal place) above. For benchmark attendees, percentage that want to attend more was 
multiplied by attendance rate, then by population figure. Thus, for opera attendees, 49.4% of 
3.3% of 1 85.838 million equals 3.0 million. 



would be best spent. For example, a development officer interested in increasing 
opera ticket sales could solicit from the 49.4 percent of the 6.13 million 
opera-goers who expressed a desire to attend more opera. This would net 3 
million potential candidates. On the other hand, the development officer could 
opt to solicit from the the larger pool of 49.6 million persons who attend arts 
museums; 19.6 percent of them stated a desire to attend more opera, resulting 
in 9.7 million potential candidates. One could net 60,000 new ticket sales if 2 
percent of all potential opera-goers bought tickets, whereas 97,000 new ticket 
sales would result if only 1 percent of the potential art museum candidates 
bought tickets. 



Attitudes Toward the Arts I 67 

Demographic Profiles of Those Who Want to 
Attend More Performances 

Opera 

Table 35 presents a demographic profile of people who want to attend more 
performances of opera and musical theater. 

Almost 3 million adults (1.6 percent of the adult U.S. population) are 
opera-goers who want to attend more opera. Looking at this group's demo- 
graphic characteristics, we find a large proportion are white (83.2 percent), are 
55 to 74 years old (38.5 percent), have postgraduate degrees (37.2 percent), are 
married (58.9 percent), live in the suburbs (60.5 percent), and have incomes of 
$50,000 or more (52.1 percent). Not surprisingly, this profile strongly resem- 
bles the profile of the larger group made up of all those who currently 
attend — with the following differences: opera-goers who want to attend more 
include a larger proportion of Asians, and they are older and more likely to live 
in the suburbs. 

Over 17 million adults (9.3 percent of the general population) are not 
opera-goers but wish to attend. This group tends to be predominantly female 
(61.1 percent), white (83.3 percent), falling about equally in the age categories 
between 25 and 64 years old, and spread over the educational spectrum (28.4 
percent are high school graduates; 28.5 percent have some college; 19.2 percent 
are college graduates; and 14.9 percent have postgraduate education). Most of 
them are married (59.2 percent) and middle class (41.6 percent in the $25,000 
to $49,999 annual income bracket). Compared with current opera attendees, 
non-opera-going aspirants are more likely to be female, Hispanic, 75 or older, 
less well educated, and less wealthy. 

Recalling that only 3.3 percent of the population currently attend opera, 
the percentage of nonattendees who want to see opera (9.3 percent of the 
population) is significant. Does opera appeal to a wider audience than has been 
assumed? Are opera companies missing individuals who have a genuine interest 
but who cannot attend due to a variety of barriers? Expanding the opera audience 
would require consideration of the potential audience. Among the 1 1 percent 
of the population who express a desire to attend more opera, those who already 
attend and those who do not reveal significantly different demographic profiles. 



Musical Theater 

As Table 35 indicates, 12.9 percent of all musical theater attendees would 
like to see more musical theater. Their demographics are strikingly similar to 
the larger group made up of all musical theater attendees. The aspirants are 



68 I American Participation in Opera and Musical Theater — 1992 



TABLE 35. 


Demographic Characteristics of Those 


Wanting 






to Attend More Opera and Musical Theater, 






1992 (%) 




























Those Wanting More 










Those 


Wanting 
Opera 




Musical Theater 










More 


All Curreiu 










All Current 
Opera 






Musical 
Theater 


Musical 
Theater 








U.S. Adult 


Opera 


Non- 


Non- 


U.S. Adult Population 


Population 


Attendees 


Attendees 


attendees 


Attendee 


> Attendees 


attendees 




3.3 


1.6 


9.3 


17.4 


12.9 


23.3 


Of the percentage of th 


e adult U.S. population that 


wishes to attend 


more opera 


and 


musical theater (shown above), the breakdown according to 


demographic factors is 


shown below. 


For example, of the 9.3% of the nonattending population who wish to 


attend more opera, 38.9% are male and 6' 


1.1% are 


female. 








Gender 


















Male 




47.9 


45.0 


45.7 


38.9 


41.5 


39.2 


39.5 


Female 




52.1 


55.0 


54.3 


61.1 


58.5 


60.8 


60.5 


Race 


















White 




77.5 


84.7 


83.2 


83.3 


84.7 


86.7 


82.7 


Black 




11.2 


6.6 


5.0 


7.6 


9.2 


8.5 


9.1 


Native American 


0.5 


0.6 


0.9 


0.2 


0.4 


0.1 


0.2 


Asian 




2.6 


3.7 


5.4 


2.6 


1.6 


1.4 


2.2 


Hispanic 




8.3 


4.4 


5.5 


6.3 


4.2 


3.3 


3.3 


Age 




- 














18-24 




13.0 


10.7 


12.9 


9.3 


11.8 


10.9 


11.5 


25-34 




22.8 


19.0 


14.8 


14.4 


20.9 


18.4 


23.4 


35-44 




21.4 


21.5 


14.9 


20.6 


22.7 


23.3 


20.0 


45-54 




14.9 


19.2 


16.6 


18.6 


19.1 


20.2 


14.7 


55-64 




11.4 


14.0 


20.9 


16.4 


12.6 


13.2 


11.7 


65-74 




9.9 


12.1 


17.6 


12.2 


9.5 


10.6 


11.9 


75+ 




6.6 


3.5 


2.3 


8.6 


3.3 


3.4 


6.8 


Education 


















0-some high 


school 


17.6 


3.9 


3.0 


9.1 


4.1 


2.7 


9.9 


High school 


grad 


37.3 


16.4 


21.5 


28.4 


25.4 


23.6 


34.6 


Some college 


21.0 


21.3 


22.5 


28.5 


25.8 


26.9 


27.3 


College grad 




14.0 


23.8 


15.8 


19.2 


23.9 


25.9 


17.1 


Postgrad 




9.7 


34.6 


37.2 


14.9 


20.8 


20.9 


20.9 


Marital status 


















Married 




58.8 


57.9 


58.9 


59.2 


59.3 


59.6 


60.8 


Widowed 




7.2 


6.4 


8.7 


9.0 


5.9 


6.0 


7.6 


Divorced 




8.7 


9.4 


9.4 


10.3 


9.4 


10.6 


7.4 


Separated 




2.9 


2.1 


2.3 


3.2 


2.1 


2.5 


2.9 


Never married 


22.3 


24.1 


20.7 


18.3 


23.3 


21.2 


21.3 



Attitudes Toward the Arts I 69 



TABLE 35. Demographic Characteristics of Those Wanting 
to Attend More Opera and Musical Theater, 
1992 (%) (Continued) 





U.S. Adult 
Population 


All Current 

Opera 
Attendees 


Those 
More 


Wanting 
Opera 


All Current 
Musical 
Theater 

Attendees 


Those Wanting More 
Musical Theater 




Musical 

Theater 

Attendees 






Opera 
Attendees 


Non- 
attendees 


Non- 
attendees 


Place of residence 
















Central city/SMSA 


32.6 


40.6 


33.3 


36.3 


34.4 


32.6 


33.0 


Suburbs/SMSA 


45.0 


49.5 


60.5 


44.0 


51.2 


53.6 


48.0 


Rural/non-SMSA 


22.4 


9.9 


6.2 


19.7 


14.4 


13.8 


19.1 


Income* 
















$0-$ 14,999 


25.2 


12.8 


10.3 


21.7 


10.9 


8.7 


21.4 


$15 / 000-$24 / 999 


19.3 


11.3 


8.7 


16.0 


15.7 


14.5 


18.1 


$25,000-549,999 


36.6 


29.2 


28.8 


41.6 


37.1 


36.4 


38.3 


$50,000-574,999 


11.9 


20.3 


25.1 


11.2 


19.2 


19.3 


14.3 


$75,000+ 


7.0 


26.4 


27.0 


66.0 


17.1 


21.2 


7.9 



Note: Not all percentages add up to 100.0% due to rounding. 

* About 8.4% of those in the survey did not answer the income question; therefore, 

caution should be used with these figures. 



predominantly female (60.8 percent), white (86.7 percent), middle-aged (56.7 
percent between ages 35 and 64), well educated (73.7 percent have at least some 
college education), married (59.6 percent), suburban residents (53.6 percent), 
and economically comfortable or wealthy (76.9 percent with incomes of 
$25,000 or more). 

Over 43 million adults (23.3 percent of the general population) do not 
attend musical theater, but would like to. The profiles of these aspirants vary 
significantly from those of the general musical theater attendees. The aspirants 
include more Asians (2.2 percent versus 1.6 percent); a much larger proportion 
of persons aged 65 years and older (28.7 percent versus 12.8 percent); more 
persons with less education (44.5 percent had high school diplomas or less versus 
29.5 percent of current attendees); more rural residents (19.1 percent versus 
14.4 percent); and more people with incomes below $14,999 (21.4 percent 
versus 10.9 percent). 

Combining the almost 24 million adults who currently attend musical 
theater and wish to see more with the over 43 million who do not attend but 
would like to, musical theater has a total potential audience of over 67 million. 
Persons involved in promoting musical theater may find it worthwhile to 



70 I American Participation in Opera and Musical Theater — 1992 



consider how the genre can become more inclusive, reaching out to include 
multicultural populations, the elderly, the less affluent, the less educated, and 
more rural residents. 



Music Preferences 

Table 36 shows that, among the general population, interest in almost all 
musical forms increased between 1982 and 1992. Country- western and folk 
(contemporary) were the only two that showed a decrease in the percentage of 
people expressing a preference (decreasing by 6.3 and 2.1 percentage points, 
respectively). Regardless, country- western remains the most preferred musical 
type, with 51.8 percent of the population expressing a liking for it, followed by 
mood/easy listening (48.9 percent), then rock (43.5 percent). Opera and rap 
are the least popular musical forms, attracting only 12.1 percent and 11.6 
percent of the population, respectively. 

Compared with the general population, selected arts attendees are more 
likely to listen to every type of music except country-western. More than 54 
percent of the arts attendees like classical/chamber music, for example, com- 
pared with slightly more than 33 percent of the general population. 

Compared with arts attendees as a whole and with the general population, 
opera attendees show a stronger preference for most types of music. Their first 
choice is classical music (preferred by 74.0 percent), followed by show tunes/ 
operetta (69.8 percent), then mood/easy listening (65.1 percent). Curiously, in 
1992 opera music ranked seventh among opera-goers' preferred types of music, 
with 56.4 percent expressing a liking for it. In 1982 opera music was opera- 
goers' third choice. 

Between 1982 and 1992 the percentage of opera attendees expressing a 
preference increased for all types of music except folk and — ironically — opera. 
The percentage of opera attendees expressing a preference for opera music 
dropped from 59.8 percent in 1982 to 56.4 percent in 1992. 

Musical theater attendees' first choice in music is mood/easy listening (liked 
by 67.7 percent), followed by classical/chamber music (58.2 percent), then 
blues/R&B (57.8 percent). Musicals/operetta ranked fourth in 1992, appealing 
to 55.5 percent of all musical theater attendees. In 1982 this genre ranked third. 
Between 1982 and 1992 there was an increased preference for all musical forms 
except folk and country-western. 

The question asking respondents to identify their favorite type of music 
reveals a somewhat altered picture (see Table 37). Country- western still emerges 
with the highest percentage of followers in the general population (21.4 
percent), followed by rock (14.2 percent), hymns/gospel (9.4 percent), and 



Attitudes Toward the Arts I 71 



TABLE 36. Music Preferences, 1982 and 1992 (%) 






Music Preferences 
("Do you like to 
listen to . . .") 


U.S. 
Popt 

1982 


Adult 
lation 

1992 


Attendees 

at Any 

Selected Arts* 


Opera 
Attendees 


Musical 

Theater 

Attendees 


1982 


1992 


1982 


1992 


1982 


1992 


Classical/Chamber 


27.4 


33.3 


45.2 


54.2 


68.0 


74.0 


47.0 


58.2 


Opera 


9.5 


12.1 


16.4 


19.8 


59.8 


56.4 


18.3 


23.6 


Show tunes/ 
Operetta 


22.9 


27.5 


41.0 


44.9 


64.0 


69.8 


48.8 


55.5 


Jazz 


26.0 


33.9 


40.1 


50.9 


52.2 


59.1 


38.0 


52.3 


Reggae 


NA 


19.1 


NA 


29.0 


NA 


27.3 


NA 


28.8 


Rap 


NA 


11.6 


NA 


14.1 


NA 


10.3 


NA 


13.8 


Soul/Blues/R&B 


26.7 




36.7 




40.9 




36.2 




Soul 




24.1 




33.2 




28.5 




32.9 


Blues/R&B 




40.3 




56.0 




61.5 




57.8 


Latin/Salsa 


NA 


19.7 


NA 


26.9 


NA 


29.7 


NA 


27.0 


Big band 


32.2 


34.8 


44.3 


48.1 


57.1 


60.8 


46.4 


53.0 


Parade/March 


NA 


18.3 


NA 


24.0 


NA 


29.4 


NA 


26.0 


Country- Western 


58.1 


51.8 


54.6 


50.6 


41.1 


45.8 


52.6 


49.1 


Bluegrass 


24.4 


29.4 


28.9 


34.6 


29.8 


36.8 


28.1 


34.1 


Rock 


35.3 


43.5 


41.9 


53.8 


32.8 


41.9 


37.5 


53.2 


Ethnic/National 


NA 


21.6 


NA 


30.3 


NA 


39.0 


NA 


31.9 


Folk 
(contemporary) 


24.8 


22.7 


36.2 


33.7 


42.6 


41.8 


39.2 


36.0 


Mood/Easy 
listening 


47.8 


48.9 


62.4 


62.5 


58.9 


65.1 


66.4 


67.7 


New Age 


NA 


15.3 


NA 


24.2 


NA 


33.7 


NA 


24.9 


Choral/Glee club 


NA 


14.2 


NA 


21.9 


NA 


30.8 


NA 


25.1 


Hymns/Gospel 


36.0 


38.4 


35.7 


42.7 


37.6 


37.7 


35.3 


43.4 


Barbershop 


14.5 


NA 


19.8 


NA 


28.4 


NA 


22.0 


NA 


Note: NA indicates questions were not asked. 

*Selected arts include opera, classical music, ballet, plays, jazz, musical theater, and 
art museums. "Other dance" was not included in 1982 and for comparative purposes 
is excluded in these figures for 1 992. 
The wording of the question was changed between 1 982 and 1 992. 



72 I American Participation in Opera and Musical Theater — 1992 



mood/easy listening (9.1 percent). These four musical forms were the four top 
favorites in 1982 as well. However, 13.3 percent of the general population 
claimed they had no favorite. 

Opera attendees' favorite music by far in both 1982 and 1992 was classi- 
cal/chamber, with 28.8 percent and 19 percent claiming this category as their 
favorite in the two years, respectively. Their next choices in 1992 were rock (8.6 
percent), then jazz (8.3 percent) and mood/easy listening (7.5 percent). Similar 
to the general population, a large proportion of opera attendees claimed they 
had no favorite type of music (14.5 percent). 

Musical theater attendees' favorite type of music in 1992 was rock (14.5 
percent), then mood/easy listening (12.3 percent) and country- western (12.1 
percent). The largest proportion claimed they had no favorite type of music 
(14.8 percent). 



Summary 

More people appear to want to frequent the fine arts than actually do so. In 
1992, 71.4 percent of the population expressed a desire to attend more of the 
eight selected arts, compared with the 42.5 percent who actually attended. As 
well, while the actual percentage of adults who attended the selected arts did 
not increase significantly between 1982 and 1992 (the increase was only about 
2 percentage points), the percentage of people who said they would like to attend 
more arts performances increased significantly in the various arts categories, 
ranging from 3.6 percentage points for opera to 9.4 percentage points for plays. 

In 1 992, 1 1 percent of the population wanted to see more opera (1.6 percent 
of the population identified themselves as opera-goers who want to see more 
opera, and 9.3 percent were nonattendees who want to attend). More than three 
times as many individuals expressed a desire to attend opera as actually attend 
(11 percent versus 3.3 percent). 

Opera attendees who want to attend more frequently resemble current 
attendees in general, although their numbers include slightly more Asians, 
suburbanites, and older folks. The nonattendees who want to attend more, on 
the other hand, are a different ilk. Compared with current attendees, more of 
their numbers are female, Hispanic, very old, less educated, and not as wealthy. 

In 1982, musicals ranked first as the surveyed art form individuals wanted 
to attend more frequently, with 32.5 percent of the population expressing such 
a desire. In 1992, musicals were second to art museums: 36.2 percent of the 
public wanted to attend more musicals, 37.6 percent wanted to go to art 
museums more frequently. Compared with the 36.2 percent who wanted to 
attend more, 17.4 percent of the adult public actually attended musicals. Among 



Attitudes Toward the Arts I 73 



TABLE 37. Favorite 


Type of Music, 1982 and 1992 (%) 








Attendees 




Musical 




U.S. Adult 


at Any 


Opera 


Theater 




Population 


Selected Arts* 


Attendees 


Attendeees 


Favorite Music 










("Which type do you like best?") 












198° 






Classical/Chamber 


6.8 


11.8 


28.8 


13.3 


Opera 


0.6 


0.8 


2.9 


1.0 


Show tunes/Operetta 


2.4 


4.1 


9.6 


6.1 


Jazz 


3.4 


6.2 


5.6 


5.8 


Soul/Blues/R&B 


4.5 


4.0 


2.6 


3.7 


Big band 


5.8 


5.4 


6.3 


5.9 


Country- Western 


23.6 


13.7 


2.3 


11.6 


Bluegrass 


0.9 


0.7 


0.0 


0.7 


Rock 


15.0 


14.9 


4.7 


12.6 


Folk (contemporary) 


1.3 


2.2 


1.9 


2.1 


Mood/Easy listening 


13.9 


17.6 


12.8 


18.8 


Hymns/Gospel 


11.0 


6.4 


4.2 


5.5 


Barbershop 


0.3 


0.2 


0.8 


0.4 


No type best 


7.6 


9.3 


10.5 


9.4 


Other/all 

Totals 1982 


2.9 


2.7 


7.0 


3.2 


100.0 


100.0 


100.0 


100.1 






1QQO 






Classical/Chamber 


6.0 


1 J J 1m 

9.3 


19.0 


9.6 


Opera 


0.6 


0.9 


5.5 


1.5 


Show tunes/Operetta 


1.5 


2.1 


5.4 


2.9 


Jazz 


5.2 


8.2 


8.3 


7.9 


Reggae 


0.9 


1.0 


2.3 


0.9 


Rap 


1.3 


0.9 


0.0 


0.6 


Soul 


1.7 


1.9 


2.9 


1.5 


Blues/R&B 


2.5 


3.2 


2.7 


3.0 


Latin/Salsa 


2.6 


1.2 


1.0 


0.6 


Big band 


4.0 


4.7 


4.8 


5.4 


Parade/March 


0.3 


0.4 


0.0 


0.4 


Country- Western 


21.4 


12.8 


5.6 


12.1 


Bluegrass 


0.6 


0.8 


0.0 


0.7 


Rock 


14.2 


15.6 


8.6 


14.5 


Ethnic/National 


2.7 


1.8 


1.5 


1.1 


Folk (contemporary) 1 


0.9 


1.5 


1.9 


1.2 


Mood/Easy listening 


9.1 


10.1 


7.5 


12.3 


New Age 


1.5 


2.7 


4.3 


2.5 


Choral/Glee Club 


0.2 


0.2 


0.0 


0.2 



74 I American Participation in Opera and Musical Theater — 1992 



TABLE 37. Favorite Type of Music, 1982 and 1992 (%) 
(Continued) 







U.S. Adult 
Population 


Attendees 

at Any 

Selected Arts* 


Opera 
Attendees 


Musical 

Theater 

Attendeees 


Hymns/Gospel 
No type best 


1992 


9.4 
13.3 

99.9 


6.8 
13.9 


4.2 

14.5 


6.2 
14.8 ' 


Totals 


100.0 


100.0 


99.9 



Note: The number of choices varied from 1 982 to 1 992, and so the exact percentages 
of the U.S. adult population are not comparable between years. Not all percentages 
add up to 1 00.0% due to rounding. 

*Selected arts include opera, classical music, ballet, plays, jazz, musicals, and art 
museums. "Other dance" was not included in 1982 and for comparative purposes is 
excluded in these figures for 1 992. 
The wording of the question was changed between 1 982 and 1 992. 



those who wanted to attend more, about one-third were current attendees 
(comprising 12.9 percent), and two-thirds were not current attendees (23.3 
percent). 

The profiles of musical theater attendees who want to attend more parallel 
those of the general musical theater attendees. However, the profiles of nonat- 
tendees who want to go are quite different. More of their ranks are Asian, older, 
less educated, rural, and less economically advantaged. 

Clearly there are categories of persons who express interest in attending 
opera and musical theater who are outside the traditional audiences. Whether 
and how they could be included may present a challenge for each art profession. 

Despite showing a decrease in attendance between 1982 and 1992, Ameri- 
can musicals/operetta remains popular among both the general population as 
well as attendees of other fine arts. For all of the selected arts attendees except 
those who attend jazz, plays, "other dance," and art museums, musicals/operetta 
is their first choice of art form they would like to see more of. Among these 
attendees, it is their second or third choice. 

Opera attendees appear to be real music buffs. Compared with the general 
population and with other arts attendees, a larger percentage of them express a 
liking for various types of music. 



Related Research 




Opera and musical theater companies submit records to service organiza- 
tions that publish regional and national overviews of their respective fields. 
Attendance rates and audience figures provided by some of these organizations 
allow some comparisons with SPPA attendance rates. 



Opera 

The national service organization that serves opera is OPERA America. It 
conducts annual surveys of its membership of professional American and 
Canadian opera companies. Although its attendance figures combine both 
American and Canadian companies, OPERA America estimates that about 10 
percent of its attendance is Canadian. In any given year, approximately 5 percent 
of all North American opera companies are not members of OPERA America, 
and the annual survey is not always inclusive of all members. 

OPERA America defines a professional opera company as a nonprofit 
organization with an annual budget of at least $100,000 that produces and 
performs at least two performances of two staged productions each season, 
employs at least one full-time general/artistic/music director plus a professional 
manager on a full-time or seasonal basis, and uses an orchestra and paid 
professional artists for production. Data from OPERA America show that the 
number of professional opera companies in the United States increased from 
80 in 1982 to 100 in 1992. 

Excluding the 10 percent attendance attributed to Canadian companies 
according to OPERA America, for 1992 the estimated total U.S. opera atten- 
dance was 6.3 million. This included attendance at performances with paid 
admissions, plus estimated attendance at free performances and other events 
sponsored by opera companies, including lectures, dress rehearsals, and educa- 
tional previews. The SPPA survey estimated the audience at 10.31 million by 
adding up the number of times respondents said they attended during the year. 12 
The higher SPPA attendance figure would include attendance at nonprofes- 
sional productions, such as those at colleges and universities and opera clubs. 



76 I American Participation in Opera and Musical Theater — 1992 



Musical Theater 

The League of American Theatres and Producers, Inc., tracks data on 
Broadway and touring companies and compiles data from a number of other 
national theater organizations. The following are their estimates of Broadway 
attendance from the 1981-82 to the 1992-93 seasons, including musicals and 
plays: 13 

Season Attendance (in millions) 



1981-82 


10.1 


1982-83 


8.4 


1983-84 


7.9 


1984-85 


7.4 


1985-86 


6.6 


1986-87 


7.05 


1987-88 


8.14 


1988-89 


7.97 


1989-90 


8.03 


1990-91 


7.32 


1991-92 


7.37 


1992-93 


7.86 



In any given Broadway season, musicals tend to outnumber plays. Broadway 
attendance reflects the SPPA national trend between 1982 and 1992 in terms 
of the declining attendance at musicals. 

The following are the League's estimates and calculations of theater (musi- 
cals and plays) attendance in the entire United States for the 1991 fiscal year 
(see Notes for sources of data): 

Professional Theater Total 5 1 ,665 ,198 

Broadway 7,320,000 14 

Broadway National and Bus and Truck Tours 17,700,000 

Nonprofit Professional Theater 16,645, 198 16 

Other Regional Musical Theater 5,000,000 17 

Dinner Theater 5,000,000 18 

The League calculated that musicals accounted for 67 percent of the 
attendance. This amounts to 36,265,682 persons attending musical theater in 
the 1990-91 season. 19 National data from the SPPA estimated U.S. attendance 



Related Research 77 



for musicals to be 65.25 million persons. This was calculated by adding up the 
number of times respondents said they attended during the year. 

The demographic data of Broadway musical theater attendees indicate that 
the majority are female (61.8 percent), about a third are between the ages of 35 
and 49 (32.7 percent), and another third are 50 or older (32.6 percent). Most 
are married (54.8 percent), although a large proportion are single (32. 1 percent). 
Twenty-one percent are in the $50,000 to $75,000 income bracket, while 46.7 
percent have incomes over $75,000. Nearly two-thirds (64.7 percent) have 

college degrees or more, and more than a fourth (28.8 percent) have graduate 

a 21 

degrees. 

The profile of the Broadway musical theater attendee reflects that of the 

SPPA musical theater attendee, but is more extreme. Broadway- goers are more 

likely to be female, somewhat older, wealthier, and more highly educated. 



Summary 

The larger audience estimates for both opera and musical theater/operetta 
tracked by the SPPA survey versus the service organizations are due, in part, to 
their different data sources. The service organizations obtain their data from 
ticket sales reported by professional opera and theater organizations. Neither 
OPERA America nor the League's membership includes the total universe of 
national professional and semiprofessional organizations; this reduces their 
audience estimates. 

The SPPA survey obtained attendance estimates by interviewing a random 
U.S. adult population sample based on their recollections of attending op- 
era/musicals within the last 12 months; recollections could be inflated. As well, 
attendance included semiprofessional and nonprofessional productions, such as 
those produced by colleges and community organizations, which would increase 
the attendance figures. 

Taking into consideration the differences in data sources, the discrepancy 
between the audience estimates collected by service organizations and the SPPA 
survey is still substantial and should be questioned further. 



Appendix A 

Survey of Public Participation in the 
Arts Questionnaire, 1 992 



INTRODUCTION - Now I have some questions about your leisure activities. The Bureau of the 
Census is collecting this information for the National Endowment for the Arts. The survey is 
authorized by Title 20, United States Code, section 954 and Title 13, United States Code, section 
8. Your participation in this interview is voluntary and there are no penalties for not answering 
some or all of the questions. (If PERSONAL INTERVIEW, hand respondent the Privacy Act Statement, 
SPPA-13.) i 



4. 



The following questions are about YOUR 
activities during the LAST 12 months — 

between 1,19 , and 

. 19 



With the exception of elementary or high 
school performances, did YOU go to a live 
jazz performance during the LAST 12 
MONTHS? 

oDNo 

Yes - About how many times did you do 
this during the LAST 12 MONTHS? 



Number of times 



(With the exception of elementary or high 
school performances,) Did you go to a live 
classical music performance such as 
symphony, chamber, or choral music 
during the LAST 12 MONTHS? 

oDNo 

Yes - About how many times did you do 
this during the LAST 12 MONTHS? 



Number of times 



(With the exception of elementary or high 
school performances,) Did you go to a live 
opera during the LAST 12 MONTHS? 

oDNo 

Yes - About how many times did you do 
this during the LAST 12 MONTHS? 



Number of times 



(With the exception of elementary or high 
school performances,) Did you go to a live 
musical stage play or an operetta during 
the LAST 12 MONTHS? 

oDNo 

Yes - About how many times did you do 
this during the LAST 12 MONTHS? 



Number of times 



014 



7. 



(With the exception of elementary or high 
school performances,) Did you go to a live 
performance of a non-musical stage play 
during the LAST 12 MONTHS? 

oDNo 

Yes - About how many times did you do 
this during the LAST 12 MONTHS? 



Number of times 



6. (With the exception of elementary or high 
school performances,) Did you go to a live 
ballet performance during the LAST 12 
MONTHS? 



oDNo 

Yes - About how many times did you do 
this during the LAST 12 MONTHS? 



Number of times 



(With the exception of elementary or high 
school performances,) Did you go to a live 
dance performance other than ballet, such 
as modern, folk, or tap during the LAST 12 
MONTHS? 

oDNo 

Yes - About how many times did you do 
this during the LAST 12 MONTHS? 



Number of times 



(During the LAST 12 MONTHS,) Did you 
visit an ART museum or gallery? 

oDNo 

Yes - About how many times did you do 
this during the LAST 12 MONTHS? 



Number of times 



(During the LAST 12 MONTHS,) Did you 
visit an ART fair or festival, or a CRAFT fair 
or festival? 

oDNo 

Yes - About how many times did you do 
this during the LAST 12 MONTHS? 



Number of times 



78 



Appendix A — Survey Questionnaire I 79 



10. (During the LAST 12 MONTHS.) Did you 
visit an historic park or monument, or 
tour buildings, or neighborhoods for their 
historic or design value? 



^U oDNo 

Yes - About how many times did you do 
this during the LAST 12 MONTHS? 



Number of times 



11. With the exception of books required for 
work or school, did you read any books 
during the LAST 12 MONTHS? 



oDNo 

Yes - About how many books did you 

read during the LAST 12 MONTHS? 



Number of books 



12. (During the LAST 12 MONTHS,) Did you 
read any - 

Read answer categories 



a. Plays? 



I 021 I iDNo 2 DYes 



b. Poetry? 



I 022 I iDNo 2 DYes 



Novels or short stories? I 023 I iDNo 2D Yes 



13. (During the LAST 12 MONTHS,) Did you 
listen to - 

a. A reading of poetry. 



either live or recorded? I 024 I :DNo 2D Yes 



b. A reading of novels or 
books either live or 
recorded? 



I 025 I iDNo 2 DYes 



14a. (During the LAST 12 MONTHS,) Did you 
watch a jazz performance on television or 
a video (VCR) tape? 



J 1 DNo - Skip to item 14c 

Yes - Was that on TV, VCR, or both? 

2DTV 
aDVCR 
4 □ Both 



b. About how many times did you do this in 
the LAST 12 MONTHS? 



Number of times 



c. (During the LAST 12 MONTHS,) Did you 
listen to jazz on radio? 



1DN0 
2D Yes 



d. (During the LAST 12 MONTHS,) Did you 
listen to jazz records, tapes, or compact 
discs? 



iDNo 

sD Yes 



Page 2 



15a. (During the LAST 12 MONTHS,) Did you 
watch a classical music performance on 
television or a video (VCR) tape? 

°ED iDNo - Skip to item 15c 

Yes - Was that on TV, VCR, or both? 

2DTV 
aDVCR 

4 □ Both 



b. About how many times did you do this (in 
the LAST 12 MONTHS)? 



Number of times 



c. (During the LAST 12 MONTHS,) Did you 
listen to classical music on radio? 



iDNo 
2D Yes 



d. (During the LAST 12 MONTHS.) Did you 
listen to classical music records, tapes or 
compact discs? 



iDNo 
2D Yes 



16a. (During the LAST 12 MONTHS,) Did you 
watch an opera on television or a video 
(VCR) tape? 

034 I 1 DNo - Skip to item 16c 

Yes - Was that on TV, VCR, or both? 

2DTV 
aDVCR 
4 D Both 



b. About how many times did you do this (in 
the LAST 12 MONTHS)? 



Number of times 



c. (During the LAST 12 MONTHS,) Did you 
listen to opera music on radio? 



1DN0 
2D Yes 



d. (During the LAST 12 MONTHS,) Did you 
listen to opera music records, tapes, or 
compact discs? 



1DN0 
2D Yes 



17a. With the exception of movies, did you 

watch a musical stage play or an operetta 
on television or a video (VCR) tape during 
the LAST 12 MONTHS? 



DNo - Skip to item 17c 
Yes - Was that on TV, VCR, or both? 

2DTV 
3D VCR 
4 D Both 



b. About how many times did you do this (in 
the LAST 12 MONTHS)? 



Number of times 



c. (During the LAST 12 MONTHS,) Did you 
listen to a musical stage play or an operetta 
on radio? 



1DN0 
2D Yes 



d. (During the LAST 12 MONTHS,) Did you 
listen to a musical stage play or an operetta 
on records, tapes, or compact discs? 



1DN0 
2D Yes 



FORM SPPA-2 (4-9-92I 



80 



American Participation in Opera and Musical Theater — 1992 



18a. With the exception of movies, situation 
comedies, or TV series, did you watch a 
non-musical stage play on television or a video 
(VCR) tape during the LAST 12 MONTHS? 



D No - Skip to item 13c 
Yes - Was that on TV, VCR, or both? 

2DTV 
sDVCR 
4 □ Both 



b. About how many times did you do this (in the 
LAST 12 MONTHS)? 



Number of times 



c. (During the LAST 12 MONTHS,) Did you listen 
to a radio performance of a non-musical stage 
play? 



iDNo 
zDYes 



19a. With the exception of music videos, did you 
watch on television or a video (VCR) tape 
dance such as ballet, modern, folk, or tap 
during the LAST 12 MONTHS? 



i D No - Skip to item 20a 

Yes - Was that on TV, VCR, or both? 

aDTV 
aDVCR 
4 □ Both 



b. About how many times did you do this (in 
the LAST 12 MONTHS)? 



Number of times 



20a. (During the LAST 12 MONTHS,) Did you watch 
a program about artists, art works, or art 
museums on television or a video (VCR) tape? 



iQNo - Skip to item 21a 

Yes - Was that on TV, VCR, or both? 

aDTV 
sD VCR 
4 □ Both 



b. About how many times did you do this (in 
the LAST 12 MONTHS)? 



Number of times 



21 a. I'm going to read a list of events that some 
people like to attend. If you could go to any of 
these events as often as you wanted, which 
ones would you go to MORE OFTEN than you 
do now? I'll read the list. Go to - 

Mark (X) all that apply. 



iDJazz music performances 

2 ZCiassical music performances 

3D Operas 

4 □ Musical plays or operettas 

sD Non-musical plays 

6 □ Ballet performances 

7 D Dance performances other than ballet 
s [J Art museums or galleries 

9 □ None of these - Skip to item 22a 



If only one is chosen, skip to item 22a. 
If more than one is chosen, ask - 

b. Which of these would you like to do most? 



Category number 



ooDNo one thing most 



22a. The following questions are about your 
participation in other leisure activities. 

Approximately how many hours of television 
do you watch on an average day? 



Number of hours 



b. During the LAST 12 MONTHS, did YOU go 
out to the movies? 



1DN0 
2D Yes 



c. With the exception of youth sports, did you 
go to any amateur or professional sports 
events during the LAST 12 MONTHS? 



1DN0 
2D Yes 



d. During the LAST 12 MONTHS, did you go to 
an amusement or theme park, a carnival, or 
a similar place of entertainment? 



1DN0 
2D Yes 



e. During the LAST 12 MONTHS, did you jog, 
lift weights, walk, or participate in any other 
exercise program? 



1DN0 
2D Yes 



During the LAST 12 MONTHS, did you 
participate in any sports activity, such as 
softball, basketball, golf, bowling, skiing, or 
tennis? 



1DN0 
2D Yes 



g. Did you participate in any outdoor activities, 
such as camping, hiking, or canoeing during 
the LAST 12 MONTHS? 



1DN0 
2D Yes 



h. Did you do volunteer or charity work during 
the LAST 12 MONTHS? 



1DN0 
2D Yes 



i. Did you make repairs or improvements on 
your own home during the LAST 12 
MONTHS? 



1DN0 
2D Yes 



Did you work with indoor plants or do any 
gardening for pleasure during the LAST 12 
MONTHS? 



1DN0 
2D Yes 



23a. (During the LAST 12 MONTHS,) Did you work 
with pottery, ceramics, jewelry, or do any 
leatherwork or metalwork? 



1 D No - Skip to item 24a 
2D Yes 



b. Did you publicly display any of your works? 



_2£U 1DN0 
2D Yes 



FORM SPPA-2 (4-9-92) 



Page 3 



Appendix A — Survey Questionnaire I 81 



24a 



(During the LAST 12 MONTHS,) Did you do 
any weaving, crocheting, quilting, 
needlepoint, or sewing? 

1 □ No - Skip to item 25a 

2 D Yes 



Did you publicly display any of your works? 

iDNo 
2 DYes 



25a 



069 | 



(During the LAST 12 MONTHS,) Did you 
make photographs, movies, or video tapes 
as an artistic activity? 

1 □ No - Skip to item 26a 

2D Yes 



b. Did you publicly display any of your works? 



iDNo 
2D Yes 



26a 



(During the LAST 12 MONTHS,) Did you do 
any painting, drawing, sculpture, or 
printmaking activities? 

1 □ No - Skip to item 27a 

2D Yes 



Did you publicly display any of your works? 

iDNo 
2D Yes 



27a. With the exception of work or school, did you 
do any creative writing such as stories, poems, 
or plays during the LAST 12 MONTHS? 



1 □ No - Skip to item 28a 
2D Yes 



b. Were any of your writings published? 

D iDNo 



>DYes 



28a. Did you write or compose any music during 
the LAST 12 MONTHS? 



JED 1 DNo - Skip to item 29a 
2 DYes 



b. Was your musical composition played in a 
public performance or rehearsed for a public 
performance? 



iDNo 
2 DYes 



29a. Do you own any original pieces of art, such 
as paintings, drawings, sculpture, prints, or 
lithographs? 



077 I 1 □ No - Skip to item 30a 
2 DYes 



b. Did you purchase or acquire any of these 
pieces during the LAST 12 MONTHS? 

i!£j iDNo 
2 DYes 



30a. During the LAST 12 MONTHS, did you 
perform or rehearse any jazz music? 



079 I 1 D No - Skip to item 31a 
2DYes 



Page 4 



30b. Did you play any jazz in a public performance 
or rehearse for a public performance? 



1DN0 
2 DYes 



31a. During the LAST 12 MONTHS, did you play 
any classical music? 



081 I 1 □ No - Skip to item 32a 
2 DYes 



b. Did you play classical music in a public 
performance or rehearse for a public 
performance? 



"JO iDNo 
2 DYes 



32a. During the LAST 12 MONTHS, did you sing any 
music from an opera? 



083 I 1 D No - Skip to item 33a 
2 DYes 



b. Did you sing in a public opera performance 
or rehearse for a public performance? 



1DN0 
2DYes 



33a. During the LAST 12 MONTHS, did you sing 
music from a musical play or operetta? 



HE] 1 D No - Skip to item 33c 
2 DYes 



b. Did you sing in a public performance of a 
musical play or operetta or rehearse for a 
public performance? 



1DN0 
2 DYes 



c. During the LAST 12 MONTHS, did you sing in 
a public performance with a chorale, choir, 
or glee club or other type of vocal group, or 
rehearse for a public performance? 



1DN0 
2 DYes 



34. 



(During the LAST 12 MONTHS,) Did you act in a 
public performance of a non-musical play or 
rehearse for a public performance? 

1DN0 
2 DYes 



35a. (During the LAST 12 MONTHS,) Did you dance 
any ballet? 



J 1 DNo - Skip to item 36a 
2 DYes 



b. Did you dance ballet in a public performance 
or rehearse for a public performance? 



1DN0 
2 DYes 



36a. (During the LAST 12 MONTHS,) Did you do any 
dancing other than ballet such as modern, folk, 
or tap? 



091 I 1 D No - Skip to item 37a 
2 DYes 



b. Did you dance modern, folk, or tap in a 
public performance? 



iDNo 
2 DYes 



FORM SPPA-2 (49-92I 



82 I American Participation in Opera and Musical Theater — 1992 



37a. I'm going to read a list of some types of 
music. As I read the list, tell me which of 
these types of music you like to listen to? 

Mark (X) all that apply. 



1 L Classical/Chamber music 

2D Opera 

3D Operetta/Broadway musicals/Show tunes 

4 D Jazz 

5 D Reggae (Reg gay) 

euRap music 

7 D Soul 

8 D Blues/Rhythm and blues 

9 D Latin/Spanish/Salsa 
ioDBig band 

11 D Parade/Marching band 
1 2 D Country- western 
isDBIuegrass 
uDRock 

isDThe music of a particular Ethnic/ 
National tradition 

16 D Contemporary folk music 

17 D Mood/Easy listening 
isDNew age music 
igDChoral/Glee club 

20 D Hymns/Gospel 

21 D All 

22 D None/Don't like to listen to music - Skip to item 38a 



39a. (Have you EVER taken lessons or 

classes) in visual arts such as sculpture, 
painting, print making, photography, or 
film making? 



1 D No - Skip to item 40a 
2D Yes 



b. Did you take these lessons when you were 

Read categories. (Do not read category 4 if 
respondent is under 25 years old.) 
Mark (X) all that apply. 



1 D Less than 1 2 years old 
2D 12-1 7 years old 
3D 18-24 years old 
4D25 or older 



b. If only one category is marked in 37a, enter code ir 
37b without asking. Which of these do you like 
best? 



099 



Category number 



00D No one type best 



38a. Have you EVER taken lessons or classes in 
music - either voice training or playing an 
instrument? 



Z°°J 1 D No - Skip to item 39a 

2D Yes 



b. Did you take these lessons when you were 

Read categories. (Do not read category 4 if 
respondent is under 25 years old.) 
Mark (X) all that apply. 



1 D Less than 1 2 years old 
2D 12-1 7 years old 
3D 18-24 years old 
-Z 25 or older 



CHECK 
ITEM A 



Refer to item 38b 

Is box 1 or 2 marked in item 38b? 

D No - Skip to Check Item B 
DYes - Ask item 38c 



38c. Were these lessons or classes offered by the 
elementary or high school you were 
attending or did you take these lessons 
elsewhere? 



1D Elementary/high school 
2D Elsewhere 
3D Both 



CHECK 
ITEM B 



38d.Did you take any of these lessons or 
classes in the past year? 



1DN0 
2 DYes 



CHECK 
ITEM C 



Refer to item 39b 
Is box 1 or 2 marked in item 39b? 
D No - Skip to Check Item D 
DYes - Ask item 39c 



39c. Were these lessons or classes offered by the 
elementary or high school you were 
attending or did you take these lessons 
elsewhere? 



1 D Elementary/high school 
2D Elsewhere 
3D Both 



CHECK 
ITEM D 



Refer to item 39b 

If box 4 is marked in item 39b, ASK item 39d. 

If not - Is box 2 or 3 marked in item 39b AND 
the respondent is under 25 years old? 

D No - Skip to item 40a 
DYes - Ask item 39d 



39d.Did you take any of these lessons or classes 
in the past year? 



1DN0 
2 DYes 



40a. (Have you EVER taken lessons or classes) in 
acting or theater? 



108 I 1 D No - Skip to item 4 1a 
2 DYes 



b. Did you take these lessons when you were 

Read categories. (Do not read category 4 if 
respondent is under 25 years old.) 
Mark (X) all that apply. 



iDLess than 12 years old 
2D 12-1 7 years old 
3D 18-24 years old 
4D25 or older 



Refer to item 38b 

If box 4 is marked in item 38b, ASK item 38d. 

If not - Is box 2 or 3 marked in item 38b AND 
the respondent is under 25 years old? 

D No - Skip to item 39a 
D Yes - Ask item 38d 



CHECK 
ITEM E 



Refer to item 40b 

Is box 1 or 2 marked in item 40b? 

DNo - Skip to Check Item F 

DYes - Ask item 40c 



40c. Were these lessons or classes offered by the 
elementary or high school you were 
attending or did you take these lessons 
elsewhere? 



1D Elementary/high school 

2DEIsewhere 

3D Both 



FORM SPPA-2 14-9-921 



Page 5 



Appendix A — Survey Questionnaire I 83 



CHECK 
ITEM F 



Refer to item 40b 

If box 4 is marked in item 40b, ASK item 40d. 

If not - Is box 2 or 3 marked in item 40b AND 
the respondent is under 25 years old? 

□ No - Skip to item 41a 

□ Yes- Ask item 40d 



40d.Did you take any of these lessons or classes 
in the past year? 



iDNo 

aOYes 



41 a. (Have you EVER taken lessons or classes) in 
ballet? 



ED 1 □ No -Skip to item 42a 

?□ Yes 



b. Did you take these lessons when you were 

Read categories. (Do not read category 4 if 
respondent is under 25 years old.) 
Mark (X) all that apply. 



HU DLess than 12 years old 
2 □ 1 2-1 7 years old 
3D 18-24 years old 
4 □ 25 or older 



CHECK 
ITEM G 



Refer to item 41b 

Is box 1 or 2 marked in item 41b? 

□ No - Skip to Check Item H 

□ Yes - Ask item 41c 



41c. Were these lessons or classes offered by the 
elementary or high school you were 
attending or did you take these lessons 
elsewhere? 



iD Elementary/high school 
2D Elsewhere 
3D Both 



CHECK 
ITEM H 



Refer to item 41b 

If box 4 is marked in item 41b, ASK item 41d. 

If not - Is box 2 or 3 marked in item 41b AND 
the respondent is under 25 years old? 

□ No - Skip to item 42a 

□ Yes - Ask item 41 d 



41 d. Did you take any of these lessons or classes 
in the past year? 



iDNo 

2 0Yes 



42a. (Have you EVER taken lessons or classes) in 
dance, other than ballet such as modern, folk 
or tap? 



HU 1 □ No - Skip to item 43a 
2D Yes 



Did you take these lessons when you were - 

Read categories. (Do not read category 4 if 
respondent is under 25 years old.) 
Mark (X) all that apply. 

1 □ Less than 1 2 years old 
2D 12-1 7 years old 
□ 18-24 years old 
4Q25 or older 



CHECK 
ITEM I 



Page 6 



Refer to item 42b 

Is box 1 or 2 marked in item 42b? 

□ No - Skip to Check Item J 

□ Yes- Ask item 42c 



42c. Were these lessons or classes offered by the 
elementary or high school you were 
attending or did you take these lessons 
elsewhere? 



118 I iD Elementary/high school 
2D Elsewhere 
3 □ Both 



CHECK 
ITEM J 



Refer to item 42b 

If box 4 is marked in item 42b, ASK item 42d. 

If not - Is box 2 or 3 marked in item 42b AND 
the respondent is under 25 years old? 

□ No - Skip to item 43a 

□ Yes - Ask item 42d 



42d.Did you take any of these lessons or classes 
in the past year? 



iDNo 
2D Yes 



43a. Have you EVER taken lessons or classes in 
creative writing? 



lED 1 □ No - Skip to item 44a 
2 0Yes 



b. Did you take these lessons when you were 

Read categories. (Do not read category 4 if 
respondent is under 25 years old.) 
Mark (X) all that apply. 



HD 1 □ Less than 12 years old 
2 □ 1 2-1 7 years old 

3D 18-24 years old 
4D25or older 



CHECK 
ITEM K 



Refer to item 43b 

Is box 1 or 2 marked in item 43b? 

□ No - Skip to Check Item L 

□ Yes - Ask item 43c 



43c 



Were these lessons or classes offered by the 
elementary or high school you were 
attending or did you take these lessons 
elsewhere? 

1 □ Elementary/high school 
2D Elsewhere 
3 □ Both 



CHECK 
ITEM L 



Refer to item 43b 

If box 4 is marked in item 43b, ASK item 43d. 

If not - Is box 2 or 3 marked in item 43b AND 
the respondent is under 25 years old? 

□ No - Skip to item 44a 

□ Yes - Ask item 43d 



43d. Did you take any of these lessons or classes 
in the past year? 



iDNo 

2D Yes 



44a. (Have you EVER taken a class) in art 
appreciation or art history? 



iEJ 1 □ No - Skip to item 45a 
2 0Yes 



b. Did you take this class when you were ■ 

Read categories. (Do not read category 4 if 
respondent is under 25 years old.) 
Mark (X) all that apply. 



J£U 1 □ Less than 1 2 years old 

% 2 □ 1 2- 1 7 years old 
□ 18-24 years old 
4D25 or older 



FORM SPPA-2 (4-9-92) 



84 I American Participation in Opera and Musical Theater — 1 992 



CHECK 
ITEM M 



Refer to item 44b 
Is box 1 or 2 marked in item 44b? 
□ No - Skip to Check Item N 
DYes - Ask item 44c 



44c. Was this class offered by the elementary or 
high school you were attending or did you 
take this class elsewhere? 



45c. Was this class offered by the elementary or 
high school you were attending or did you 
take this class elsewhere? 



iD Elementary/high school 
2D Elsewhere 
aD Both 



CHECK 
ITEM P 



1 □ Elementary/high school 
2D Elsewhere 
3D Both 



CHECK 
ITEM N 



Refer to item 44b 

If box 4 is marked in item 44b, ASK item 44d. 

If not - Is box 2 or 3 marked in item 44b AND 
the respondent is under 25 years old? 

□ No - Skip to item 45a 

□ Yes - Ask item 446 



44d.Did you take any of these lessons or classes 
in the past year? 



iDNo 
2 DYes 



45a. (Have you EVER taken a class) in music 
appreciation? 



128 I 1 □ No - Skip to item 46a 
2 DYes 



b. Did you take this class when you were ■ 

Read categories. (Do not read category 4 if 
respondent is under 25 years old.) 
Mark (X) all that apply. 



i!LJ 1 □ Less than 1 2 years old 
2D 12-1 7 years old 
3D 18-24 years old 
4 □ 25 or older 



Refer to item 45b 

If box 4 is marked in item 45b, ASK item 45d. 

If not - Is box 2 or 3 marked in item 45b AND 
the respondent is under 25 years old? 

□ No - Skip to item 46a 
DYes - Ask item 45d 



45d.Did you take this class in the past year? 



1DN0 
2DYes 



46a. What is the highest grade (or year) of regular 
school your FATHER completed? 



LI 01 D7th grade or less 
02 □ 8th grade 
03D9th-11th grades 
04 □ 12th grade 

05 □ College (did not complete) 
oeD Completed college (4+ years) 
07DPost graduate degree (M.A., Ph.D., M.D., J.D., etc.) 
08 D Don't know 

b. What is the highest grade (or year) of regular 
school your MOTHER completed? 



133 1 01 D7th grade or less 
02 D 8th grade 
03D9th-11th grades 

04 □ 12th grade 

05 □ College (did not complete) 

oe □ Completed college (4+ years) 

07QPost graduate degree (M.A., Ph.D., M.D., J.D., etc.) 

08 □ Don't know 



CHECK 
ITEM O 



Refer to item 45b 

Is box 1 or 2 marked in item 45b? 

□ No - Skip to Check Item P 

□ Yes - Ask item 45c 



CHECK 
ITEM Q 



Is this the LAST household member to be 
interviewed? 

□ No - Go back to the NCS-1 and interview the 

next eligible NCS household member 

□ Yes - END INTERVIEW 




FORM SPPA-2 I2-9-92) 



Page 7 



Appendix B 

Additional Tables and Text 
on Media Participation 



Arts Participation via TV or VCR by Selected 
Arts Attendees 

Arts attendees are significantly more likely to watch the arts on TV or VCR 
than is the general public. There is a tendency for each arts group to be 
high in both attendance and media participation within their own art form. 
That is, opera attendees also tend to be high TV and VCR watchers of opera; 
jazz-goers tend to be high consumers of jazz on TV and VCR, and so on. 

Opera-goers tend to be the arts buffs in comparison with the other arts 
groups. In both 1982 and 1992, opera attendees were more likely to watch all 
the art forms on TV and VCR than were the other arts groups, except for jazz 
and ballet attendees, who had higher rates of media participation in their 
respective art forms. Among opera-goers, between 1982 and 1992 watching 
classical music, jazz, and arts programs on TV/VCR increased 1.0, 7.6, and 
6.4 percentage points, respectively. Watching the other arts decreased, espe- 
cially plays and ballet, which dropped by 21 and 14.1 percentage points, 
respectively. 

The rank order of TV/VCR watching of various art forms has altered among 
opera-goers between 1982 and 1992. Watching classical music programs has 
remained first (66.2 percent and 67.2 percent). In 1982 plays were second (64.7 
percent), followed by ballet (56.5 percent); jazz was last (36 percent). In 1992, 
watching programs on artists/art museums was second (57.5 percent), and ballet 
was last (42.4 percent). 

Among musical theater patrons, between 1 982 and 1 992 watching perform- 
ances of classical music, jazz, and programs on artists/art museums increased by 
3.6, 8.6, and 15.9 percentage points, respectively. Watching musicals and plays 
on TV/VCR decreased significantly, by 6.5 and 15.1 percentage points, respec- 
tively. The rank order of preferred art forms on TV/VCR among musical theater 
attendees changed between 1982 and 1992. In 1982 their first choice was 
watching plays (50.8 percent). In 1992, it was watching programs on artists/art 
museums (55.1 percent). For both years, second choice was watching classical 
music programs, and least favored was watching opera. 



85 



86 I American Participation in Opera and Musical Theater — 1992 



TABLE B-1 . Arts Participation via TV 


or VCR by 


Selected Arts 




Attendees, 1982 and 1992 (%) 








Types of Arts on 
TV or VCR + 


U.S. 

Adult 

Populatio 






Selected Arts Attendees 






n Opera 


Musical 
Theater 


Classical 
Music 


Jazz Plays 


Ballet 


Other 
Dance* 


Art 
Museums 


















Opera 


1982 


12.0 


54.7 


23.8 


35.1 


19.7 26.8 


29.0 





25.8 




1992 


12.1 


48.2 


24.7 


31.3 


23.3 26.7 


34.1 


26.7 


24.5 


Musicals 


1982 


20.3 


49.5 


43.8 


49.1 


34.8 42.3 


44.5 





39.4 




1992 


16.9 


48.2 


37.3 


39.3 


32.0 37.1 


40.1 


35.1 


32.7 


Classical 


1982 


24.7 


66.2 


46.4 


62.1 


41 .4 48.4 


59.2 





48.8 


music 


1992 


26.3 


67.2. 


50.0 


64.8 


47.8 50.5 


58.3 


50.0 


49.7 


Jazz 


1982 


18.1 


36.0 


30.7 


37.6 


51.1 31.5 


38.7 





33.1 




1992 


21.9 


43.6 


39.3 


46.5 


60.4 40.3 


41.9 


45.2 


41.0 


Plays 


1982 


25.9 


64.7 


50.8 


56.4 


46.6 57.4 


60.9 





50.9 




1992 


18.1 


43.7 


35.7 


39.5 


35.5 42.0 


38.0 


38.0 


34.5 


Ballet/ 


1982 


16.3 


56.5 


34.1 


46.6 


36.0 37.7 


57.0 





36.5 


Dance 


1992 


19.6 


42.4 


35.8 


42.3 


36.8 35.5 


53.0 


49.2 


35.9 


Artists/ 


1982 


22.8 


51.1 


39.2 


50.1 


42.7 40.4 


46.8 





47.2 


Museums 


1992 


32.2 


57.5 


55.1 


62.3 


59.4 55.4 


58.7 


60.5 


59.7 


*"Other dance" was not a category 


in 1982. 










+ // VCR" was not included 


in 1982. 


Although VCRs 


existed, they were not in 




widespreac 


I use and the number of 


videotape titles was quite limited. 







Viewership has remained high over the years among arts attendees, especially 
opera-goers. Changes in preferences between art forms may be a function of 
shifting tastes and/or the availability of arts television programs and VCRs. 

Arts Participation via Tapes/Records/CDs 
Among Selected Arts Attendees 

Arts attendees are more likely to listen to jazz, musicals, opera, and classical 
music on tapes/records/CDs than is the general population. Among the general 
population, changes in listening patterns between 1982 and 1992 were 
negligible. 



Appendix B — Additional Tables and Text I 87 



TABLE B-2. Arts Participation via Tapes/Records/CDs by 
Selected Arts Attendees, 1982 and 1992 (%) 








1 1 c 








Selected Arts Attendees 






Types of Arts on Tap 
Records/CDs + 


u.s. 
Adult 
Population Opera 


Musical 
Theater 


Classical 
Music 


Jazz 


Plays 


Ballet 


Other 
Dance* 


Art 
Museums 


>es/ 


















Opera 


1982 


7.4 


45.2 


16.0 


25.3 


11.6 


19.7 


28.9 


_ 


17.0 




1992 


6.9 


41.8 


17.0 


23.6 


15.5 


17.6 


23.5 


17.1 


16.2 


Musicals 


1982 


8.4 


38.4 


22.9 


29.7 


18.2 


24.7 


35.5 





23.2 




1992 


5.7 


24.3 


17.9 


19.4 


16.0 


18.1 


19.6 


15.5 


14.8 


Classical 


1982 


22.1 


62.9 


43.7 


65.6 


46.0 


49.9 


67.2 


_ 


50.6 


music 


1992 


23.8 


63.1 


49.4 


63.2 


50.0 


51.3 


63.8 


49.3 


49.2 


Jazz 


1982 


20.2 


27.4 


33.2 


38.1 


65.5 


40.0 


48.0 





37.4 




1992 


20.6 


47.9 


39.5 


45.4 


67.9 


42.9 


48.7 


44.5 


41.0 


*"Other dance" was not a 


category 


in 1982 














The media products for listening to the arts have changed during the 1 0-year period. 
In 1982 records and cassette tapes were the mass media products available. In 1992, 
tapes and CDs were the products available. 



Opera attendees are tape/record/CD listeners. In both 1982 and 1992, 
opera attendees were significantly more likely than their selected arts counter- 
parts to listen to operas and musicals on tapes and CDs. In 1982 and 1992, 
classical music was their preference (62.9 percent and 63.1 percent). Jazz was 
the least listened to art form in 1982 (27.4 percent), and musicals had that 
distinction in 1992 (24.3 percent). Between 1982 and 1992, fewer listened to 
opera and musicals on tapes/records/CDs (down 3.4 and 14.1 percentage 
points, respectively), while more listened to jazz (up 20.4 percentage points). 

Musical theater patrons in both 1982 and 1992 were less likely in general 
to be tape and CD listeners than were other selected arts attendees. In both 
years, they were least likely to listen to opera (16 percent and 17 percent) and 
most likely to listen to classical music on tapes/records/CDs (43.7 percent and 
49.4 percent). Between 1982 and 1992, even among musical theater attendees, 
listening to musicals decreased 5 percentage points, while listening to opera, 
classical music, and jazz increased 1.0, 5.7, and 6.3 percentage points, 
respectively. 

Unlike the trend in TV/VCR watching, musical theater and opera attendees 
in this 10-year period listened less to their respective art form on tapes/ 



88 I American Participation in Opera and Musical Theater — 1992 



records/CDs. There was a significant drop in listening to musicals on tapes/re- 
cords/CDs for all selected arts attendees. One wonders whether this pattern 
reflects a preference for other types of media participation, such as TV/VCR 
watching, or a decrease in recording products. 

Consistently, listening to musicals on tapes/records/CDs has decreased 
among the general population and among musical and opera attendees, while 
listening to jazz has increased significantly. Since tapes, records, and CDs are 
purchased by individuals according to their tastes, we must assume that this 
pattern reflects a shift in consumer preferences, not availability. 



Arts Participation via Radio by Selected Arts Attendees 

Arts attendees are more likely to listen to the arts on radio than is the general 
population. Between 1982 and 1992 among the general population, radio 
listening increased for opera, classical music, and jazz (1.6, 10.9, and 10.1 
percentage points, respectively) and stayed about the same for musicals and plays 
(decreasing .8 and 1.0 percentage point, respectively). 

Opera attendees both in 1 982 and 1 992 were most likely to listen to classical 
music on the radio (58.8 percent and 71.5 percent), and least likely to listen to 
plays (17.9 percent and 7.8 percent). The supply of plays is limited on the radio. 
Between 1982 and 1992 radio listening to classical music and jazz increased 
significantly among opera attendees (12.7 and 18.3 percentage points, respec- 
tively), while listening to opera, musicals, and plays decreased (3.8, 7.5, and 
10.1 percentage points, respectively). 

Musical theater patrons, in both 1982 and 1 992, were least likely to be radio 
listeners of all five art forms. In this sense they were the closest to the general 
population of all the arts groups, though their radio listening rates were 
significantly higher than those of the general population. They were most likely 
to listen to classical music on the radio (38.1 percent and 58.2 percent) and least 
likely to listen to plays (7.3 percent and 5.3 percent). Between 1982 and 1992, 
listening to opera, classical music, and jazz on the radio increased (3.6, 20.1, 
and 21.5 percentage points, respectively), while the decrease in radio listening 
to musicals and plays was negligible. 

In the 10-year period, listening to classical music and jazz on the radio 
increased significantly among all the arts groups; these are the preferred arts for 
radio listening. In general, listening to opera showed a negligible rise, while 
listening to plays and musicals on the radio was down for all the arts groups. 
The fact that this pattern holds for all the arts attendees suggests it is probably 
a result of radio programming. 



Appendix B — Additional Tables and Text I 89 



TABLE B-3. Arts Participation via Radio by 


Selected Arts 






Attendees, 1982 and 1992 (%) 














1 1 c 








Selected Arts Attendees 






Types of Arts on F 


u.5. 
Adult 
Population Opera 


Musical 
Theater 


Classical 
Music 


Jazz 


Plays 


Ballet 


Other 
Dance* 


Art 
Museums 


tadio 


















Opera 


1982 


7.1 


46.1 


15.5 


24.0 


16.6 


19.7 


23.7 


— 


17.1 




1992 


8.7 


42.3 


19.1 


28.9 


18.7 


20.6 


26.1 


18.6 


18.7 


Musicals 


1982 


4.3 


23.2 


8.6 


14.9 


7.8 


11.9 


13.9 





12.0 




1992 


3.5 


15.7 


8.4 


10.4 


7.8 


9.1 


12.1 


9.8 


7.9 


Classical 


1982 


19.9 


58.8 


38.1 


55.7 


41.3 


44.6 


52.0 





44.0 


music 


1992 


30.8 


71.5 


58.2 


73.4 


58.7 


58.8 


69.9 


59.7 


58.7 


Jazz 


1982 


18.1 


35.4 


27.8 


33.4 


58.1 


33.4 


35.6 





32.5 




1992 


28.2 


53.7 


49.3 


54.8 


75.7 


51.7 


56.5 


53.8 


51.1 


Plays 


1982 


3.8 


17.9 


7.3 


10.8 


9.8 


10.6 


13.5 





9.4 




1992 


2.8 


7.8 


5.3 


31.8 


6.9 


7.2 


8.0 


8.4 


6.5 


*"Other < 


^ance" was not a 


category 


in 1982. 













Demographic Characteristics of Those Who Watch/Listen 
to Opera and Musicals via Media 

Table B-4 shows some subtle differences among the types of media preferred 
for opera and musical theater. Those with higher education are more likely to 
listen to opera and musical theater on the radio and on recordings than watch 
it on TV/VCRs. The same is true for higher-income listeners of opera, but not 
of musicals/operettas. 



90 I American Participation in Opera and Musical Theater — 1992 



TABLE B-4. 


Demographic 


Characteristics of Opera and 






Operetta/Musical Theater Media Participants 


t 




1992 (%) 








Watch/ 




Listen to 


Watch/ 
Listen 








Listen 


Listen to 


Listen Watch 


Listen 


Operetta/ 


to 






Watch 


to 


Opera 


to Operetta/ 


to 


Musicals 


Operetta/ 




U.S. 


Opera 


Opera 


on 


Opera Musicals 


Operetta/ 


on 


Musicals 




Adult 


on 


on 


Tapes/ 


on Any on TV/ 


Musicals 


Tapes/ 


on Any ' 


U.S. Adult Populat 


Population 


TV/VCR 


Radio 


CDs 


Medium VCR 


on Ratio 


CDs 


Medium 


ion 


12.1 


8.7 


6.9 


18.1 16.9 


3.5 


5.7 


20.6 


Of the percentage 


of the adult U.5 


>. popu 


ation that watched/listened to various arts (shown 


above), the breakdown according 


to demographi 


c factors 


is shown below 


'. For example, 


of the 


12.1%ofthepopu 


lation that watched opera on TV or VCR, 44.4% are male and 55.6% 


are 


female. 


















Gender 


















Male 


47.9 


44.4 


46.6 


45.3 


45.3 43.1 


46.3 


44.8 


44.1 


Female 


52.1 


55.6 


53.4 


54.7 


54.7 56.9 


53.7 


55.2 


55.9 


Race 


















White 


77.5 


78.4 


83.5 


83.8 


80.9 82.2 


79.1 


84.2 


82.6 


Black 


11.2 


10.2 


7.6 


5.9 


9.2 9.2 


7.6 


5.8 


8.5 


Native American 


0.5 


0.7 


0.3 


0.2 


0.5 0.8 


0.4 


0.3 


0.7 


Asian 


2.6 


2.9 


2.5 


4.3 


2.7 2.5 


4.3 


4.2 


2.6 


Hispanic 


8.3 


7.8 


6.1 


5.8 


6.8 5.3 


8.6 


5.6 


5.5 


Age 


















18-24 


13.0 


7.0 


5.4 


8.1 


7.3 8.2 


8.5 


11.5 


9.5 


25-34 


22.8 


15.2 


14.4 


15.9 


16.1 18.4 


14.2 


18.3 


18.4 


35-44 


21.4 


20.0 


19.8 


21.1 


19.9 22.1 


20.4 


24.8 


21.9 


45-54 


14.9 


19.9 


19.8 


20.4 


19.0 17.1 


18.7 


20.6 


17.4 


55-64 


11.4 


16.1 


18.8 


17.4 


16.5 14.8 


15.9 


12.9 


14.3 


65-74 


9.9 


12.6 


14.8 


12.5 


13.2 12.1 


14.8 


9.1 


11.9 


75+ 


6.6 


9.3 


7.0 


4.6 


8.1 7.3 


7.5 


2.8 


6.6 


Education 


















0-some high school 1 7.6 


8.1 


7.0 


5.5 


7.8 7.5 


8.8 


5.0 


7.3 


High school grac 


37.3 


24.7 


22.7 


20.2 


25.8 28.7 


22.0 


17.6 


27.7 


Some college 


21.0 


27.0 


23.1 


25.6 


25.7 25.7 


22.2 


23.8 


24.8 


College grad 


14.0 


17.9 


19.9 


22.6 


18.8 20.0 


25.0 


24.9 


20.5 


Postgrad 


9.7 


22.3 


27.3 


26.1 


22.0 18.1 


22.0 


28.8 


19.7 


Marital status 


















Married 


58.8 


60.0 


62.8 


62.1 


60.5 60.7 


59.1 


59.0 


60.2 


Widowed 


7.2 


8.8 


7.4 


5.1 


8.4 8.1 


7.5 


2.9 


7.4 


Divorced 


8.7 


9.3 


8.9 


8.9 


9.2 8.9 


9.1 


8.5 


8.9 


Separated 


2.9 


2.3 


2.4 


2.5 


2.5 2.2 


1.7 


1.1 


2.1 


Never married 


22.3 


19.6 


18.5 


21.4 


19.5 20.0 


22.6 


28.6 


21.4 


Place of residence 


















Central city/SMSA 32.6 


37.5 


37.1 


37.0 


36.9 33.6 


35.0 


38.6 


34.7 


Suburbs/SMS A 


45.0 


46.6 


47.6 


49.1 


47.1 46.8 


49.6 


47.6 


46.6 


Rural/non-SMSA 


22.4 


15.8 


15.2 


13.9 


16.0 19.5 


15.4 


13.8 


18.7 



Appendix B — Additional Tables and Text I 91 



TABLE B-4. 


Demographic 


Characteristics 


of Opera and 






Operetta/Musical Theater Media Participants, 






1992 (%) (Continued) 










Income* 


U.S. 

Adult 

Population 


Watch 
Opera 

on 
TV/VCR 


Listen 

to 
Opera 

on 
Radio 


Listen to 
Opera 

on 

Tapes/ 

CDs 


Watch/ 
Listen 

to 

Opera 

on Any 

Medium 


Watch 
Operetta/ 
Musicals 

on TV/ 
VCR 


Listen to 
Listen Operetta/ 
to Musicals 
Operetta/ on 
Musicals Tapes/ 
on Ratio CDs 


Watch/ 

Listen 

to 

Operetta/ 

Musicals 

on Any 

Medium 


















$0-$ 14,999 


25.2 


18.4 


15.8 


12.9 


17.7 


17.7 


19.2 13.6 


17.5 


$ 15,000-524,999 19.3 


16.8 


15.1 


12.9 


17.2 


17.9 


17.0 14.2 


17.7 


$25,000-$49,999 36.6 


37.9 


39.1 


40.1 


37.2 


39.1 


38.0 35.0 


38.0 


$50,000-$ 74,999 11.9 


14.5 


15.3 


17.3 


15.2 


14.8 


12.9 20.6 


15.4 


$75,000+ 


7.0 


12.4 


14.7 


16.9 


12.7 


10.5 


13.0 16.6 


11.4 


Note: Not all percentages add up 


to 100.0% due to rounc 


ling. 








*About8.4%of th 


ose in the survey did not answer the income q 


jestion; 


therefore caution should 


be used with these figures. 

















Appendix C 

Additional Tables on Personal Arts 
Participation and Lessons/Classes 



In the section of questions on personal or amateur participation, the 1982 and 
1992 questionnaires differed markedly. (The 1982 questionnaire is repro- 
duced in Arts Participation in America 1982—1992, Research Division Report 
#27, prepared by Jack Faucett Associates, compiled by John P. Robinson, 
National Endowment for the Arts, 1993; the 1992 questionnaire appears in 
Appendix A of this monograph.) The five questions that were asked in 1982 
about creating types of visual arts and doing creative writing were repeated in 
1992. In the performing arts the questions included only activities that had a 
public performance or rehearsal component. 



92 



Appendix C — Additional Tables I 93 



TABLE C-1. 


Amateur Arts Participation by Attendance at 
Selected Arts Activities, 1982 (%) 




Create . . . 


Selected Arts Attendees 




U.S. Adult Musical Classical 

Population Opera Theater Music Jazz Plays Ballet 


Art 
Museums 






pottery/ceramic? 
jewelry/leather/ 
metal work 


;/ 

12.3 21.4 16.7 19.6 19.5 17.7 18.4 


21.5 


weaving/ 

crocheting/ 

quilting/ 

needlepoint/ 

sewing 


31.9 47.3 42.0 46.0 37.6 39.9 52.9 


42.5 


photographs/ 

movies/ 

videotapes 


10.5 14.8 18.4 20.0 19.8 19.0 20.9 


22.7 


painting/ 
drawing/ 
sculpture/ 
printmaking 


9.9 17.9 14.8 19.2 22.3 17.5 21.7 


21.7 


creative writing 
(stories/poems/ 
plays) 


6.5 13.8 12.5 17.4 22.3 17.6 23.6 


15.9 


Note: Amateur participation has no rehearsal, performance, or public display 
component. 





94 I American Participation in Opera and Musical Theater — 1992 



TABLE C-2. 


Amateur-Professional Arts Participation by 
Attendance at Selected Arts Activities, 1982 (%) 


Performance/ 
rehearsal of . . 


U.S. Adult 

Population 






Selected Arts Attendees 






Opera 


Musical 
Theater 


Classical 
Music 


Jazz 


Pla\s 


Ballet 


Art 

Museums 


















a musical 
instrument 


3.9 


6.1 


5.5 


8.5 


8.5 


6.5 


7.0 


5.8 


jazz music 


0.8 


2.5 


1.5 


2.6 


4.0 


1.8 


1.8 


1.6 


classical music 0.9 


4.5 


2.4 


4.4 


3.6 


2.6 


3.9 


2.1 


acting'singing^ 
dancing 


4.6 


11.8 


8.6 


11.9 


10.8 


10.3 


12.3 


8.3 


opera 


0.1 


1.4 


0.2 


0.5 


0.2 


0.3 


0.3 


0.3 


operetta/ 
musicals 


0.9 


3.9 


2.5 


3.6 


2.1 


2.8 


2.7 


1.8 


a play 


0.8 


3.0 


2.3 




2.7 


2.9 


3.9 


1.8 


ballet 


0.1 


0.4 


0.3 


0.4 


0.5 


0.2 


1.0 


0.3 


Tech work flights/sets/ 
costumes/promotion) in . . 


- 














opera/musical 
play/ballet 


2.8 


6.8 


8.4 


10.5 


8.4 


10.8 


10.0 


6.9 


jazz'classical 
music 


1.0 


4.0 


2.2 


4.3 


5.6 


2.7 


4.8 


2.1 


Note: Amateur-professional 
displav component. 


partici 


pation in 


eludes a 


■ehearsal 


performance, or public 



Appendix C — Additional Tables I 9 5 



TABLE C-3. Arts Lessons/Classen 


; by Attendance 


at Selected 


Arts Activities, 


1982 and 1992 (%) 








Classes/lessons ever 


U.S. 
Adult 
Population Opera 


Musical Classical 
Theater Music 


Jazz 


Plavs 


Ballet 


Other 
Dance* 


Art 
Museums 


taken in . . . 
























-1 982 










music (either voice 


















training or an 
instrument] 


47.1 ; . s : 


67.0 


72.6 


71.2 


; .'r 8 


71.2 


* 


71 : 


acting or theater 


9 _ 20.2 


20.8 


21.5 


22.4 


22.1 


2€ ; 


* 


2C 5 


ballet 


7.2 17.6 


16.2 


17.3 


19.2 


17 B 


41.5 


* 


16.4 


visual arts (sculpture 
painting, print makir 
photography, film 
making, etc.) 


& 

24.0 43.1 


41.2 


-: ; 


50.4 


44.2 


53 5 


* 


48.7 


creative writing 


18.0 37.1 


35 " 


! : 


42.9 


40.7 


45.0 


* 




art appreciation or 
art history 


19.5 47.7 


37.8 


42.8 


41.0 


- 


48.1 


* 


43 ; . 


music appreciation 


20.5 43.3 


40.0 


43.6 


41.5 


42.9 


48.2 


Je 


41.7 


any type of art 


58.4 81.6 


81.3 


r. 7 


85.1 
-1992 


M 3 


:': \ 


• 


'A ': 


music (either voice 


















training or an 
instrument) 


39.6 65.3 


60.8 


66.3 


61.1 


60.6 


70.3 


&5 - 


i\ : 


acting or theater 


7.4 19.5 


15.4 


18.5 


18.1 


18.8 


19.8 


17.1 


- i \ 


ballet 


7.0 13.3 


14.5 


13.9 


12.1 


13.6 


23.8 


i -: ;- 


12.9 


other dance (tap, 
modern, folk, etc.) 


15.8 28.6 


30.6 


33.1 


30.0 


29.7 


':': : 


::- - 


2" ; . 


visual arts (sculpture 
painting, print makir 
photography, film 
making, etc.j 


& 

1 7.6 2 ". : 


32.5 


34.8 


35.9 


32.9 


35.5 


";: - 


35 1 


creative writing 


15.6 33.4 


30.8 


31.7 


34.8 


31.8 


35 \ 


3 C 5 


32.8 


art appreciation or 
art history 


22.9 49.6 


38.7 


41.8 


40.9 


42.6 


44.2 


41.3 


42.2 


music appreciation 


18.1 37.6 


33.4 


42.4 


40.4 


37.5 


':': : 


34.2 


34.7 


any type of art 


57.4 86.6 


82.2 


85.2 


84.0 


34.2 


M '-. 


3C 5 




*"Other dance" was 


not included in 1982 


survey. 















Appendix D 

Methodology and Measuring 
Sampling Error 



The following is excerpted (with minor changes to make it more applicable 
to opera and musical theater) from Appendices F and G of Arts Participation 
in America 1982—1992, prepared by Jack Faucett Associates, compiled by John 
P. Robinson, Research Division Report #27, National Endowment for the Arts, 
Washington, DC, October 1993. 



Survey Methodology 

Respondents in the survey were part of a larger continuously rotating panel 
of respondents who were interviewed every six months over a three-year period. 
These individuals lived in households selected by the U.S. Census Bureau to be 
randomly representative of the total U.S. adult population 18 years of age and 
older. Census Bureau population counts were used to draw the sample in such 
a way that all individuals living in households in the United States had a known 
and equal chance of selection. The sample frame was the same as that used in 
the 1982 survey. 

All individuals aged 18 and over in these households were eligible to be 
included in the survey. Less than 20 percent of all eligible individuals in these 
selected households could not be interviewed. The final data were weighted 
slightly to ensure that the final sample was completely representative of the 1 992 
U.S. population in terms of age, race, and gender. 

About three-quarters of these interviews were conducted by telephone, the 
remainder face-to-face in the respondent's home. Respondents who were not at 
home at the time of the interviewer's visit were interviewed by telephone. No 
effective differences have been generally found between these in-home inter- 
views and telephone interviews. The interview took about eight minutes for the 
first six months of 1992 (i.e., January through June) and about twice that long 
in the second six months. 

Each month's interview began with the survey's "core" questions, which 
referred to general arts participation during the previous 12 months. A second 
set of items about mass media usage then completed the interview. During the 



96 



Appendix D — Methodology and Measuring Sampling Error I 97 



second six months, sets of questions were added about personal arts participa- 
tion, leisure activities, lessons/classes in the arts, and items about arts attitudes. 
The completed questionnaires were returned to the Census Bureau in 
Suitland, MD, where they were edited for final keying onto a computer tape. 
These coded survey answers were then merged with the coded data on each 
respondent's background (e.g., age, education, race) obtained in the panel part 
of the Census survey. These background data were then weighted to reflect U.S. 
population characteristics and projected to the total U.S. adult population. 



Measuring Sampling Error 
Sample 

Since survey estimates are based on a sample, they may differ somewhat 
from the figures that would have been obtained if a complete census had been 
taken using the same schedules, instructions, and enumerators. As in any survey 
work, the results are also subject to errors of response and of reporting, as well 
as being subject to sampling variability. 

The estimates of standard error produced from the sample data are primarily 
a measure of sampling variability (that is, of the variations that occur by chance 
because a sample rather than the whole of the population is surveyed). The 
estimates of standard error also partially measure the effect of response and 
enumeration errors, but they do not measure, as such, any systematic biases in 
the data. 

Each estimate made from the survey process has its own variance and 
resulting standard error. It is, however, impractical to compute an estimate of 
the variance for every sample estimate. Therefore, variances are estimated for a 
small subset of the sample estimates. These variances are then generalized to be 
applicable to all estimates from each of the various aggregate estimates (e.g., 
percentage attending opera performances, percentage watching musical theater 
performances on television, percentage taking music lessons). 

The total error of an estimate involves a component, in addition to the 
variability due to sampling, which is called non-sampling error. This component 
is called the bias of the estimate. The bias is the difference between the average 
of all possible samples (this average is conceptual since only one sample is used) 
and the attempted value to be estimated. 

This is a result of: 

a. The types of estimates being produced (e.g., ratio estimate). These are 
known to be biased but are preferable to certain other unbiased estimates 



98 I American Participation in Opera and Musical Theater — 1992 



because of the amount of reduction they bring to the variance of the 
estimates. 

b. Systematic errors in response. These can result from recall problems, 
interviewer effect, questionnaire wording, etc. 

c. Processing errors. These can result from duplication or omission of units in 
the sampling frame, methods of adjusting for non-responses, coding, clas- 
sification, and editing errors, etc. 

The amount of bias cannot be directly observed and estimated. It is known 
to exist, though, and during the survey process, efforts are made through design 
and control operations to limit its effect. 



Variance and Sample Errors for the SPPA 

With respect to the sampling errors for the SPPA portion of the sample, 
Table D-l shows first the theoretical sampling error for this size sample and 
then the actual observed variation for a variety of SPPA questions. As shown in 
this table, 3.3 percent of the SPPA '92 respondents said they attended a live 
opera performance at least once during 1992, and 17.4 percent said they 
attended a live musical theater performance. Using the theoretical mathematical 
formula to compute sampling errors, one standard error for this sample size 
(12,736) is 



VO 033 * 967 
' pp^ = .0016 or 0.16% 



12,736 



4 



0.174 * .826 
(musical theater) "\/ — ^ — = 00.33 or 0.33% 



The population bounds for these questions for 95 percent confidence is 
obtained by roughly doubling this interval of 0.16 percent for opera, or about 
0.32 percent. This means that the 95 percent confidence level falls 0.32 percent 
above and below the average estimate. For musical theater the interval is 0.33 
percent, and the 95 percent confidence level falls approximately 0.66 percent 
above and below the average estimate. 

But that is the theoretical proportion for a completely random sample, and 
SPPA respondents were chosen by clustered random sample. As noted above, 
that means that clusters or segments of households (about four) in a neighbor- 



Appendix D — Methodology and Measuring Sampling Error I 99 



hood were chosen. Since people in neighborhoods may tend to share certain 
characteristics (such as going to jazz or classical music performances), that raises 
the possibility that the effective after-sample size is lower because of this 
clustering due to the homogeneity of people who live in the same area. 

Further clustering was introduced in the SPPA by interviewing more than 
one member in a household, since persons who live together also share and 
determine each other's activities to a greater extent than do people who share 
space in the same neighborhood. Methods for measuring the effect of this 
clustering (described as the design factor) are: (1) to treat the total sample as a 
series of random samples of half size of the total sample; and (2) to observe how 
much larger the sampling variance for this half-sample is than the theoretical 
figure described here. In other words, the total sample of 12,736 would be 
randomly divided into half-samples of about 6,360 respondents each, and the 
variations in estimates for these half-samples would be compared to the variation 
expected theoretically. 

This was done [more discussion exists in Robinson's Appendix G] , and the 
observed standard error is given in the table below. . . . The design factor for 
the questions shown in the table have ratios that vary around 2.00; the overall 
average design factor is 2.18, which is more than double the estimates from 
simple random sampling. This design factor needs to be applied to the estimated 
errors from simple random sampling. 



100 I American Participation in Opera and Musical Theater — 1992 



Table D-1 . 


Sampling Error Calculations: 1992 SPPA Data 










Theoretical 








Benchmark 






Sampling 


Observed 






Activities 






Error 


SE 


Design 




(n=1 2,736) 




Rate: 


(n=1 2,736) 


(n=6,368) 


Factor 1 


(t) 2 


Jazz 




.106 


.0027 


.0053 


1.96 


(1.4) 


Classical 




.125 


.0029 


.0073 


2.52 


(1.6) 


Opera 




.033 


.0016 


.0032 


2.00 


(0.6) 


Musicals 




.174 


.0033 


.0090 


2.73 


(2.2) 


Plays 




.135 


.0030 


.0073 


2.43 


(1.7) 


Ballet 




.047 


.0019 


.0043 


2.26 


(0.9) 


Art museums 




.267 


.0039 


.0112 


2.77 


(2.4) 


Other Arts Activities 












Read books 




.609 


.0043 


.0090 


2.09 


(na) 


Read literature 




.542 


.0044 


.0091 


2.07 


(2.4) 


Historic sites 




.407 


.0043 


.0111 


2.58 


(4.1) 


Arts/crafts fairs 




.345 


.0042 


.0104 


2.48 


(4.4) 


TV Jazz 




.209 


.0036 


.0057 


1.58 


(1.9) 


Other Activities 






(n=5940) 


(n=2970) 






Movies 




.582 


.0065 


.0108 


1.66 


(2.8) 


Sports events 




.357 


.0062 


.0083 


1.34 


(2.9) 


Like classical 




.342 


.0063 


.0125 
Average 


1.99 

2.18 


(2.4) 


Design Factor = 


:(Des 


ign Effect) * 1/2 








Difference necessary 


for the 1 982- 


1992 t-value 


to be statistically 


significant at the 


.05 level equals 














1.96 *V(05E82 


*2) + 


(05E92 * 2) 


where OSE is the observed standarc 


error. 









Notes 



1. A list of the other 14 secondary analyses appears at the end of this monograph. 

2. The 1992 survey questionnaire appears in Appendix A. 

3. The 1982 survey had seven selected arts; it did not include "other dance." 

4. Throughout this monograph percentages are shown with one decimal place to 
minimize the frustration with percentages that do not add up to 100. This may 
imply more accuracy in the numbers shown than is warranted. Many of the 
categories in the questionnaire were activities in which only 1 or 2 percent of the 
population participated. Furthermore, some questions were asked of only half the 
sample, such as those related to leisure activities, arts classes/lessons, and personal 
arts participation. Therefore, in a number of cases, when looking at a portion of a 
category, the numbers get so small as to have increasingly questionable reliability. 
Even when the percentages are relatively large, it is wise always to remember that 
there is possible sampling error and to use any figure as an approximation. See 
Appendix D on methodology and sampling error. 

5. For every $100.00 spent on goods and services in 1982, $145.40 would be needed 
to buy the same amount in 1992. To be equivalent, an income of $50,000 in 1982 
would be $72,700 in 1992. An income of $25,000 in 1982 would equal $36,350 
in 1992. 

6. The 1992 questionnaire first asked whether one personally participated (e.g., 
"During the last 12 months, did you sing any music from an opera?"). This would 
include everyone from those who sang for pleasure to those who sang professionally. 
The followup question to "yes^ then asked, "Did you sing in a public performance 
or rehearse for a public performance?" This would include both paid and unpaid 
performances, professional or nonprofessional. The amateur-professional category 
is a subcategory of amateur arts participation. 

7. Some data on personal arts participation were collected in 1982. However, com- 
parisons between 1982 and 1992 amateur arts participation are not informative, 
as the 1982 questionnaire had 5 choices for amateur participation, while the 1992 
survey had 14 choices, only 5 of which were comparable. The 1982 questionnaire 
had 10 amateur-professional activities, while the 1992 survey had 14 choices. Only 
6 activities are comparable. See Appendix C for 1982 data. 

8. Percentages and rank order would vary in any survey depending on the number 
and types of leisure activities delineated in the survey questionnaire. For instance, 
the SPPA survey failed to ask about media watching/listening of nonartistic 
programs. Surely, television watching of programs such as sitcoms, sports, news, 
and movies would rank very high. Regardless of the data limitations, the arts, when 
compared with other activities, rank as an extremely important part of the American 
culture. 

9. The desire to attend more selected arts is a partial measure of the desire to be more 
involved in the arts. Individuals may desire to buy more art CDs or take piano 



101 



102 I American Participation in Opera and Musical Theater — 1992 



lessons. Neither of these dimensions was included in the SPPA surveys. Thus, the 
SPPA results underestimate the desire to be involved in the arts. 

10. Percentage calculated by subtracting "none of the above" (28. 6° o) from 100%. 

11. Information teceived from OPERA America, ~^~ 14th Street NW, Washington, 
DC 20005. We wish to exptess our appteciation to Marc Scorco. Chief Executive 
Officer, OPERA America. 

12. There are two ways to calculate total attendance from the SPPA data. The simplet 
way is to find the average number of attendances per attendee (fot opera = 1.694) 
and multiply by the number of those who said they attended (6.08~ million). The 
total is 10.311 million. For opera, this method creates the same figure as adding 
up the weighted responses of number of performances attended (10.31 1 million). 

13. The League of -American Theatres and Producers. Inc., Broadway Theatre and the 
Performing Arts: Their Importance in American Life, 226 West 4""th Street, NY, NY 
10036, March 28, 1992. We wish to exptess our appreciation to George Wachtel, 
Director of Research at the League. 

14. Ibid. 

15. Ibid. League estimates based on Variety data. 

16. Ibid. Theatte Communications Group, based on a survey of 184 out of 334 
member theaters. 

17. Ibid. National Alliance of Musical Theattes estimate based on member theatet 
activity. 

1 8. Ibid. American Dinnet Theatre Institute and National Dinnet Theatte .Association. 

19. Sixty-seven percent of the total attendance minus 5 million in attendance at 
Regional Musical Theattes, which we are assuming produce musicals exclusivelv, 
is 31,265,682. Adding back 5 million in attendance at Regional Musical Theattes, 
we get 36,265,682. 

20. Thete are two ways to calculate total attendance from the SPPA data. The simplet 

I to find the avetage number of attendances per attendee (fot musicals = 2.276) 
and multiply by the number of those who said they attended (32.337 million). The 
total is 73.60 million. This method creates a highet figure than adding up the 
weighted data from the numbet of performances teported per respondent and 
checking fot anomalies, such as those two respondents who said they attended 220 
times and 602 times last year. A more appropriate figure calculated this way is 
65.250 million attendance. 

21 . League of American Theatres and Producers, Inc., Profile of the Broadway Audience, 
1992. 



About the Authors 



Joni Maya Cherbo, Ph.D.. is a sociologist who specializes in the arts. She has 
taught at a number of universities and has written extensively on various topics 
pertaining to the arts. Her publications include coauthor) Arts Education 
Beyond the Classroom I American Council for the Arts, 1 988) and "A Department 
of Cultural Resources: A Perspective on the Art 

and Law, Spring 1992). Dr. Cherbo has been a consultant for and has served 
on the boards of arts institutions in New York City. Her abiding interest is 
advancing the state of culture in the United States. 

Monnie Peters is a management consultant and researcher for the nonprofit 
sector, specializing in arts and culture. Her areas of expertise include long-range 
planning and feasibility studies, financial consulting, and research and data 
collection projects. She has organized and chaired conferences and managed 
research projects for such organizations as the National Endowment for the Arts, 
the American Council for the .Arts, and the American .Association eums. 

Her publications include Arts Organizations and the 198" Census of Service 
Industries, a report for the Research Division of the NLA 



Other Reports on the 1992 SPPA 



The following publications report on various aspects of the IS : 2 Survey of 
Public 7ir^dpation in the Aits -~:ormation regarding availability may be 
obtained b ri tin g :o the National Endov ment fot ill e An s Rese arch Division. 
1100 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 2 [ ^06. 

Age Factors v\ A fi Participation, Richard A. Peterson and Darren E. Sherkat 
American Participation in Dance, Jack Lemon/Jack Fan c ett As s : c . i: 

~s.-- ■ . '.-■-. Inris ^irurr. .AN IS Planning and Research 

Americans' 'Personal Participd: tht Arts, Monnie Peters and Joni Mava 

~nerbo 

.- i .' . .' ~ . •;.■-"■.' z: ::r Tertre y Love and Bramble C. Klipple 

Arts Participation by the Baby Boomers, Judith Huggins Balfe and Rolf Meyer- 

Cross-Over Patterns in Arts Participation^ Richard J. Orend and Carol Keegan 

Effects of Education one . ts Fducatu .: Participation in the Arts, 

_ : _.: E -:z r_z; ir.c — i Mrim 

Hold the z March The f Classical Mm Appreciation in the US 

Jazz in America: Who s Liste Scott DeVeaux 

Patterns of Multiple . - to Pm to : r Jc ~: ey Love 

Beading in the 1990s: Turning a Page or Closing the Bo: b£ Nicholas Zill 

Socialization in the Arts — 1992, Richard J. Orend and Carol Keegan 

and - jn: Public Participation in the Arts via Media in the 

'. - '"-:. Shades M. Gtay 






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national 
endowment 

forWJ^the 

ARTS 



Seven Locks Press 
Carson, California 



ISBN 


0-929765- 


-38-9 

1 511 


9 78C 


929''765 


389 l I II