Audience Engagement through University Programmes. A Case Study of Opera in Bilbao

Macarena Cuenca-Amigo


The purpose of this research was to explore how university programmes for older adults can contribute to the engagement of cultural audiences. To achieve this aim, a qualitative research approach was employed. The university programme for older adults called “Enjoy the arts”, organised by the University of Deusto (Bilbao, Spain), was taken as a case study and an analysis of in-depth interviews with 10 participating students was conducted. We focused our interviews on the opera experiences of our interviewees before and after participating in the university programme, and aimed to capture the following changes produced: (a) changes in the duration of the opera experience; (b) changes in the intensity of the opera experience; and (c) changes in the individual. We conclude that university programmes for older adults can contribute to the engagement of cultural audiences by facilitating a path to the enjoyment of cultural experiences, transforming them into high-quality arts experiences. Due to the limited number of interviews, this paper should be considered as an exploratory research that could inspire cultural managers in their practice or that could be the seed for an advanced research.


arts; cultural audiences; opera; education; university; older adults.

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Revista Subjetividades, Fortaleza - Ceará- Brasil – E-ISSN: 2359-0777

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