European Opera Days 2017: Opera Panorama

Opera Europa was created over 14 years ago now. In our mission of advocating for the art form, we have always believed that actions speak louder than words. In 2007, we launched and coordinated the first European Opera Days. This initiative was created to hustle up attention in the media for opera. This was Opera Europa’s first advocacy tool, and from its first edition, it was a great success.

© Heikki Tuuli

The European Opera Days are a major Public Relations exercise for opera. They exist to remind your local communities, but also your authorities, that your opera company exists, and wants to embrace and be embraced by as many people as possible.So this coordinated European event is your lobbying tool. The European Opera Days are an opportunity for you to reach out and touch more people, in a different way. Although many of our members excel at this during their season, we believe there is a strong message in coordinating our actions once a year, so that governing bodies and the media also understand that we stand united in believing in the value of our work.


European Opera Days have several layers of action: local, regional, national, and European. And each company is in the best place to cover the local and regional levels. On a national level, we believe in the value of a national coordination of the communication, especially towards the media. We strongly encourage partnering with other opera companies, possibly with increased financial means from this collaboration, to bring out a strong message about Opera. Opera Europa communicates on the European level, but mostly coordinates this European initiative, and wants to bring it to attention of all. This year again, it will find a strong place on The Opera Platform.

An expanded period
This year, for the first time, we are expanding the duration of the European Opera Days. Some houses were challenged by a weekend only, as chosen dates could clash with national holidays or unavailability of venues, while the extended dates offer the choice over two weekends, allowing for more flexibility in the planning and management of the events, and also the involvement of schools. So we are talking of 5 to 14 May 2017.

Opera Panorama
European Opera Days have always been about opening your company and reaching out to your community. More generally, they include free activities in and outside of the opera house: thematic guided tours, open rehearsals, free pop-up concerts, access to workshops and backstage areas, meetings with artists… All these are valuable ideas. Every year, we suggest a theme, to encourage the teams in charge to come up with new activities. For the 2017 edition, we are branding the initiative Opera Panorama, and it is an invitation to discover the European dimension of Opera. 

©  E.PintosOpera Europa is working on providing content available for all to use, to contribute to linking the companies and give visitors a feeling for what opera means around Europe. To do this, we are collecting photos. Photos of the outside of your theatre, of your auditorium, but also of productions of Carmen and Die Zauberflöte, as most opera companies have programmed those titles in the past, as well as photos of your most emblematic and iconic production. These photos will all be available for any participating company to access and print out to present to their visitors, for instance during an exhibition.

This is, for instance, an invitation to audiences to compare and understand what the architecture of a theatre says about the time when it was built, and the place of opera in society then. And how is The Magic Flute presented in different parts of Europe?

© Anne-Mari Aalberg

Opera Europa will also produce slide-shows with these photos, available for you to project in a foyer. And of course, videos will also be produced, with explanations in voice-over and possibly a few extracts, available to all, but also streamed on The Opera Platform.

We are now working on gathering all the content, and would be very happy to include as many members as possible in this Opera Panorama. So please do send through your photos soon, to allow us to curate the content in the best way possible.

We look forward to receiving more details about your activities and your contributions to Opera Panorama before 15 March at