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Working paper

Is Opera Attendance Fashionable? The Case of Perm Opera and Ballet Theatre

Humanities. HUM. Basic Research Programme, 2015. No. WP BRP 107/HUM/2015 .
This paper considers fashion as a factor of theatre attendance. The research setting is the industrial city Perm with approximately one million citizens. Perm opera and ballet theatre found in 1870 is “Russia’s third ballet Mecca, after Moscow and St. Petersburg”. Series of in-depth interviews, content-analysis and analysis of discourse provide “corroborative evidence”. The research is based on fashion value framework, which regards fashion guided behaviour as a function of shared values called fashion values. The literature review generates insights about the role of fashion in high culture consumption and arguments pro applicability of the fashion values framework for theatre attendance. The data comes from 23 in-depth interviews with visitors and non-visitors of Perm opera and ballet theatre. The research develops the set of indicators of fashion awareness in context of theatre attendance. The results shows that institutionalized cultural capital and occupation in cultural industries matter for fashion awareness of a particularly participant. So far, it is supposed education and occupation play more important role as an explanation of fashion awareness than class does. The ways for future investigations are discussed