As for the plight of classical of music? I attend both the opera and symphony in Chicago. I am always pleased to see so many young faces at the symphony, despite the seats being generally more expensive than the opera. Unfortunately, the opera population seems largely geriatric. Upper balcony opera seats can be had much cheaper that the symphony, but the chairs are small, and it is hard to sit comfortably for the performances. I also find the temperature tends to be too warm, such that if one likes to dress nicely (or even merely appropriate to the weather in Chicago winters), layers often need to be removed so as not to sweat through the performance. The Lyric has spent a fortune in recent years on fancy computer-controlled light projectors that cast images of flames, water, etc. on the the stage, as well as giant turntables that allow the entire stage to pivot, or parts of the stage to elevate. The productions are usually a feast for the eyes, and yet none of these tools (I hesitate to call them "gimmicks") has attracted younger audiences. I also attend the opera on a weeknight, and it is challenging to sit through 3 hours of opera after working all day. Especially with a longer production, like the recent "Die Walkure", a certain portion of the audience leaves at the first intermission, and another at the second intermission. Often this has to do with catching certain trains to the suburbs, but it seems the opera is often as much a test of audience stamina as it is the singers'.
I remember hearing Mahler's 1st at the CSO a few years ago. This is a longer work, though not as long as other Mahler (or Bruckner) compositions. It was performed after an short intermission. It was the Orchestra's last performance for the season. The playing was so tight, and the tension and attentiveness among the audience palpable. Everyone was spellbound. I seem not to experience those moments of complete audience captivation at the opera as much as at the symphony.
I typically attend the opera on weeknights, and the symphony on weekends, so maybe the populations would differ if I reversed the nights?