Opera Theater of St. Louis

BRAND ASSESSMENT/MESSAGE TESTING

How can Opera Theatre reach new audience members and energize core patrons through consistent messages?

RESEARCH OBJECTIVE

Who are Opera Theatre’s next audiences? The national trend shows declining arts subscription behavior, a typically older audience profile and a perennial need to attract new and more frequent patrons. What might bring them to opera and under what circumstances?

KEY INSIGHTS

St. Louis opera and non-opera  music and arts patrons value the immediate, informal, intimate and imaginative productions that Opera Theatre stages. Ticket buyers want to know (or be reminded) that OTSL creates innovative, relevant and surprising productions of the highest quality featuring young, attractive but already established stars in a relaxed, spring festival setting.

HOW OPERA THEATRE USED THE INSIGHTS

The year after the research was conducted, Opera Theatre attracted 160 new subscribers, 1402 new single ticket households and 83 households taking advantage of Family Pricing. It welcomed 23% of its audience as first-time households, while growing its Young Friends group by 34%. The Debussy and Adams programs (clearly innovative, nontraditional and fresh) attracted the greatest proportion of young newcomers.

WHAT WE DID

We conducted an audience perception telephone survey study among the board, key volunteers and donors, subscribers, single ticket buyers and non-Opera Theatre St. Louis area music patrons.

“We are excited by Opera Theatre’s success in reaching new audience members and energizing core patrons through messages that our artists are world-class quality, and that everything in our season resonates powerfully with today’s audience, whether it’s a masterpiece by Mozart or a 21st century world premiere.”

Timothy O’LearyGeneral Director of Opera Theatre of Saint Louis