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Article
Publication date: 20 May 2021

Adrian Guachalla

This paper aims to identify the factors that foster an interest in opera and Opera Houses as a specific form of cultural capital and how the Opera House tourist constructs…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to identify the factors that foster an interest in opera and Opera Houses as a specific form of cultural capital and how the Opera House tourist constructs images of destinations from the cognitive, affective and conative dimensions.

Design/methodology/approach

A social constructivist methodology was adopted, and data was captured through online qualitative questionnaires from 226 Opera House tourists using a simple random sampling approach. These enquired about the development of their interest in opera and Opera Houses and the influence this exerts on their destination image formation process.

Findings

This form of cultural capital is mainly developed by exposure to art forms through family, social and further reference groups. Opera Houses project cognitive images of cosmopolitanism, affective images of social belonging and conative images of further opportunities to experience culture and leisure fostering destination loyalty and place attachment.

Research limitations

Productions of both opera and ballet are staged at Opera Houses, opening avenues for further research on either the opera or ballet tourist markets specifically using case studies across the ample spectrum of Opera Houses around the world.

Practical implications

In addition to the visual appeal and quality of cultural produce, tourism practitioners can use an Opera House’s projected affective images of social cohesion and togetherness to attract the Opera House tourist market. Opera Houses enrich a destination’s visual and cultural landscapes, cementing the need to preserve and promote their contributions to the destination’s cultural identity.

Social implications

This study highlights the need for cultural policy and audience development strategies that cultivate this type of cultural capital resulting in demand for and supply of cultural products that in turn stimulate the development of this niche cultural tourism market segment.

Originality/value

To the best of author’s knowledge, this is the first study that has approached the Opera House tourist from the destination image formation context.

Details

International Journal of Tourism Cities, vol. 7 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-5607

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 7 August 2017

Adrian Guachalla

The Royal Opera House, located at the epicentre of Covent Garden, stands as the UK’s leading provider of opera and ballet performances. Having been extensively…

Abstract

Purpose

The Royal Opera House, located at the epicentre of Covent Garden, stands as the UK’s leading provider of opera and ballet performances. Having been extensively redeveloped, its front facade is not visible from the area’s central market place and the perceived exclusivity and elitism commonly associated with its art forms also impose a challenge. This study aims to analyze the influence that the Opera House exerts on the tourist’s perception and experience of the world-renowned London’s “Theatreland”.

Design/methodology/approach

In all, three hundred and six semi-structured interviews with domestic, international, first-time and repeat tourists were conducted in six different locations throughout the area and inside the flagship building using a convenience sampling approach. These were then analyzed with the assistance of qualitative data analysis software (QSR N*Vivo) in two stages leading to an initial set of categorical topics that derived in a number of findings related to the factors that influence the tourist’s perception and experience of place.

Findings

The Opera House’s perceived urban concealment proved to have an impact on its influence on Covent Garden’s sense of place. But its social inclusion and audience development initiatives that foster a new generation of opera and ballet theatre-goers emerged as important findings as the House’s open door policy for daytime visitors along with live relays of current opera and ballet productions in other locations spark an interest in experiencing the building from the inside.

Research limitations/implications

This paper focuses exclusively on findings related to audience development and social inclusion initiatives currently used at the Royal Opera House and their impact on the tourist’s perception and experience of place. However, many other factors influence these processes and scope for further research is highlighted.

Practical implications

The Royal Opera House’s perceived urban concealment imposes a challenge to the task of developing new audiences for its current and future productions. Its learning and participation unit must endeavor to engage younger and international markets by focusing on the quality of the House’s performances, its heritage and added facilities of the venue such as exhibitions and shop.

Social implications

The Royal Opera House’s creed of “excellence, access and artistic development” is implemented by extending opportunities to younger target markets to engage with its cultural produce.

Originality/value

This paper addresses the gap in knowledge related to the development of the niche Opera House tourist segment of the cultural tourism market.

Details

International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research, vol. 11 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6182

Keywords

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