OPERA: SUCCESS IN EXCESS

WHILE OTHER PERFORMING ARTS STRUGGLE, OPERA--THE ORIGINAL MULTIMEDIA SENSATION--IS THRIVING

In wan times for the performing arts, last year's jolt of good news was spectacular. The National Endowment for the Arts released figures indicating that the number of 18-to-24-year-olds attending opera performances increased 18% in the decade 1982 to 1992 (although this population group decreased 16% during that period). That age range--the students and young wage earners--is the group that all the arts covet, the audience that can be counted on for decades to come. The country's symphony orchestras are trying hard for the kids too, but so far have come up short. How has opera done it?

The time has...

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