This article examines contemporary opera marketing strategies in the context of paratextuality and transmedia storytelling using the case study of the Welsh National Opera’s (WNO) 2013 ‘Tudor trilogy’ (Anna Bolena, Maria Stuarda, Roberto Devereux by Gaetano Donizetti). The WNO’s marketing and education & outreach campaigns for their Tudor opera performances build on the contemporary manifold ‘presence of the past in British society’ (Wright 2009: ix) and the widespread use of technologically aided branding in the arts world. We will argue that the WNO’s creative and heritagising recourse to the Tudor period as ‘usable past’ (Jordanova 2006, Smith 1997: 37) and ‘playable past’ (Kapell and Elliott 2013: 362) not only determines the main branding context for the performed opera trilogy as a cultural product but that there is also a lucrative case of one brand supporting another: the Tudor brand as a phenomenon of contemporary retro-culture bolstering the WNO brand as a not exclusively upper class but accessible and chic brand. WNO’s Tudors performance cluster is a project where significant agencies and configurations of the contemporary heritage industry converge: high opera meets Tudormania, digital marketing company Yello brick and the National Trust as they co-opt for a cultural package.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30-53
Number of pages24
JournalParticipations: Journal of Audience and Reception Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 May 2019

    Research areas

  • Branding, Opera Marketing, Arts Promotion, Paratextuality, Edutainment, Historial Interpretation, Transmedia Practices, Heritage, Tudors, Welsh National Opera, Donizetti, Audience Development

ID: 3061455