INTERNATIONAL: The Paris Opera takes on Bates to boost its image

PARIS: International landmark The Paris Opera, best associated with

the legendary Phantom of the Opera, has appointed external PR support

for the first time, in a bid to improve its image.



Bates France has won the brief to develop an image boosting campaign for

the opera house concentrating initially on radio publicity.



The main aim is to raise the opera house's profile in France and

internationally plus the handling of publicity for the opera 2001-2002

season, which starts in September.



Thomas Lauriot Prevost, the institution's director of operational

marketing and PR, said external PR support was needed to help fill the

capacity of the opera house, which has more than doubled with the recent

construction of a second opera house located at Place de la

Bastille.



The opera house now has 800,000 seats to fill a year instead of

350,000.



Christian Depange, the Opera director of communications, said they are

also aiming to attract a younger, more diverse audience to the

opera.



Depange said: 'Our initial brief was to identify our target audience,

get to know it better and then put into place various programmes to

allow us not only to increase the size of our public and encourage it to

return, but also rejuvenate it. Plus bring in new and different kinds of

people who otherwise may never have thought of spending an evening with

us.'



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