Symphony orchestras, opera companies and ballet troupes across the country are working hard to cultivate younger audiences as their loyal supporters get grayer and grayer.

They’re presenting playful works and taking their productions into schools.

But Chicago’s Lyric Opera is taking what many consider a drastic step. Perhaps too drastic?

It’s called Popcorn & Pasquale, and it’s intended to introduce five- to 12-year-olds to opera.

The risk doesn’t have to do with the performance or the price. Tickets are being priced so families can attend, and Donizetti’s “Don Pasquale” is delightful.

The gasp-evoking element is the popcorn — some buttered, some with caramel.

The Chicago Reader reports that children — and adults — will be allowed to take the greasy treat into the theater with its velvet and gilded walls.

Reporter Deanna Isaacs wrote, “Even if they print the programs on wet wipes, they can’t be serious, can they?”

Apparently they are, but just this once. The audience will be able to applaud the performance with salty/greasy hands, and then run their fingers along the plush walls as they exit.

Lyric’s facilities director says the popcorn will not be a problem. Perhaps.

But we won’t know till the fat lady sings.