Modern Opera and Musical Theatre Cultural, economic and technological changes

Conference at Teatr Wielki Poznan from 15 to 17 March 2015

What are the future directions of opera? How do we define its place in contemporary society? Who are the artists taking it forward? Where is the audience for modern opera? How may we best communicate with that public? Is there a brand called Modern Opera as there is Modern Art?

These and other questions which challenge artistic and business directors of opera houses today will be addressed during a three-day conference to be hosted by the resurgent Poznan Opera House, whose ambitious repertory shows a strong commitment to new work.

The conference will be book-ended by two important new operas. It begins with the première of Aleksander Nowak’s Space Opera, a love story set on the first manned flight to Mars devised by Bulgarian writer Georgi Gospodinov. It concludes with a performance of Bruno Coli’s chamber opera The Angel of the Odd based on a story by Edgar Allan Poe.

Conference participants invited will be leading figures involved in the creation and production of opera today: composers, librettists, conductors, stage directors, musicologists, critics, theatre and marketing managers. 

In order to enable constructive debate and practical conclusions, delegates will form groups to address specific topics under three generic headings:
Cultural issues and definitions concerning the genre of opera and related musical theatre; their relationship with pop culture; the role of the stage director in the creative process; traditional buildings or found spaces
Economic issues concerning return on investment; presenting new work in the context of the masterpieces of the past; new methods of marketing modern opera; educating the audience
Technological issues involving both creation and presentation; new media; internet, social media
Such categories are not exclusive. Presentations are encouraged which will confront the burning perceptions 
of practitioners today. An art which lives only in the past is a dead art. Renewal is essential. Yet it must engage with topics which matter to today’s audiences, and speak and sing in a language which they may understand.

If such matters concern your opera house, please reserve the dates 15 to 17 March and register your interest with Poznan’s Teatr Wielki or through Opera Europa. You may discover more about Poznan and its Opera at www.opera.poznan.pl where information is available in English and German as well as Polish.

The project is being led by Poznan’s General Manager, Renata Borowska-Juszczynska, Artistic Director, Gabriel Chmura and professor Marcin Gmys (Department of Musicology at the Adam Mickiewicz University) with support from Opera Europa. The official partner of the conference is The Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, the Adam Mickiewicz Institute, The Institute of Music and Dance, and The Ignacy Jan Paderewski Academy of Music in Poznan.

Conference at Teatr Wielki Poznan from 15 to 17 March 2015 
Direct contact regarding the conference may be made through kkurzynska@opera.poznan.pl or gerald@opera-europa.org