Among the younger generation, a night at the opera sounds like something your parents would enjoy. Can the Vancouver Opera change that opinion with their new Young Patrons Circle?
I have to admit, I’m not your typical opera goer. It’s an art form that’s always escaped my arts & culture repertoire, having had little past exposure or experience in the genre. My background is typical among my peers, and it’s a trend that probably worries ‘traditional’ houses like The Vancouver Opera. Therefore, it’s been refreshing to see the launch of their new Young Patrons Circle, specifically geared towards attracting the younger crowd to their productions. I had the chance to interview the VO’s Amanda Burrows, Associate Director of Annual Giving, on how the program is going so far.
How did the YPC come about? Why now?
We created the Young Patrons Circle in response to feedback we were receiving. There is an appetite for young professionals to have opportunities to get together with their peers, and to support arts and culture. The timing was right for this kind of group, and it also aligned with VO’s commitment to engaging our next generation of arts patrons.
Why would YPC appeal to Vancity Buzz readers?
YPC members are interested in philanthropy, special events, and in cultivating social and business relationships with Vancouver’s next generation of movers and shakers. YPC is also a great night out – a chance to dress up and experience grand opera in a magnificent setting!
Many young professionals don’t seem to have Opera on their cultural calendars. How is the Vancouver Opera working to get past these age-specific barriers?
VO is working hard to make opera accessible to everyone. YPC was created especially for those aged 19 – 45. It’s a comfortable, vibrant group with many opera newcomers, so no one feels out of place. We offer insider events to enhance their knowledge of opera in an atmosphere that’s exciting and welcoming.
We’re spreading the word through social media (photos from our inaugural YPC Reception are now up on the Vancouver Opera’s Facebook page) and find that members are spreading it too, through word of mouth. We are also collaborating with other young professional organizations to let everyone know that opera is for everyone – no experience necessary.
Anything else you’d like our readers to know?
YPC is receiving an incredible amount of buzz! We had 50 members join within three weeks of the program’s launch – an incredible success that confirms Vancouver wants a program like this. Our first reception, on November 1 at our performance of Tosca was well-attended with members bringing friends, partners, or even coming alone to meet their fellow YPC members. We had 10 first time opera-goers who are now looking forward to their next opera experience.
Photo Credit: Caren Tereschak.