Informations and abstract
This article presents an overview of the complex issue of evaluation in the cultural field, with a particular reference to the bibliography on the subject. The article also contains an articulated proposal for the implementation of benchmarks to measure the activity of opera houses. Section 1 offers an outline of the general features of the bibliography on cultural activity evaluations. There are few works of interest, and these are rather recent. They have been divided into three groups, according to their approaches: evaluation of cultural projects, a managerial approach, and a quantitative benchmarking approach. This last approach is more thoroughly examined in the article. Section 2 presents the results of a research project sponsored by the Institute for Cultural Management of the University of Waterloo (Canada) that produced some interesting benchmarks. Section 3 introduces an articulated proposal for evaluation of lyric theatre activity, with reference to Italian organisation of the field. Sections 3.1, 3.2, and 3.3 contain benchmarks conceived for evaluation of both managerial efficiency and effectiveness. Paragraph 4, in conclusion, expresses the wish that the proposed benchmarks might elicit debate leading to improved indicators that could be of use in the present phase of cultural policy.