LOS ANGELES, Jan. 3 (UPI) -- With opera attendance at an all-time high, the Los Angeles Opera Company has turned its attention to the audience of the future: children.
The opera company visited Ybarra Elementary School in Walnut, Calif., to present a special performance of "The Barber of Seville," ABC News reported Monday. Company members said the children were surprised to find they were not bored by the performance, but entertained.
"They're engrossed in the show," said Geeta Bhatnagar, who performed the part of the heroine, Rosina. "If you build upon teaching these children art and different forms of art at a young age, they'll develop a taste for it when they're older. And we hope that we're looking at our future audience."
U.S. attendance at the opera, an art form that has been practiced in the United States for more than 200 years, has gone up nearly 50 percent since 1982.
"More people see opera now than ever before," said Gabriel Manro, who sang the role of the barber Figaro in the school production. "L.A. Opera does more performances, has a bigger season, (and) sells out more than at any other time in its history."