World Opera Day – Opera sings for society

25 October

Join Opera Europa, OPERA America and Ópera Latinoamérica to celebrate the launch of World Opera Day on 25 October 2019!


In times of restricted public subsidy and increasing populism, Opera as an art form needs to explore new paths in order to show its relevance and place in society. After 11 successful years of European Opera Days, Opera Europa, together with OPERA America and Ópera Latinoamérica, launch the brand new World Opera Day on 25 October 2019 during its autumn conference in Strasbourg and Karlsruhe.

The objective of the initiative is to show that opera gives back to society and to raise awareness for the value of the art form.

The idea of a World Opera Day is the result of a long process of reflection started in Madrid during the World Opera Forum where the need for advocacy for Opera became a clear necessity for the participants. Opera Europa has presented the project to the Fundraising Forum held in Milan in March and to the Marketing & Communications forum and the General Assembly during its spring conference in Antwerp and the initiative has evolved from an opera advocacy campaign to a more tangible World Opera Day.


In practical terms, World Opera Day will be a day when our members but also non-member houses along with opera lovers, opera professionals and opera-related people may show and celebrate the value of that art form. On that date, opera companies are free to choose how they would like to involve opera in society, and vice versa. Our aim is not to impose a formula but to coordinate many local actions. While companies may want to bring their art to the people, initiatives should respond to local needs and could proceed on a bottom-up (initiated by the audience and people) rather than a top-down basis (imposed by the opera company).


Many of our members already run programmes for local communities or non-operagoers. World Opera Day will be a great way to share this work with the wider world, in order to build a stronger connexion between the opera and its social local environment.

The date chosen for World Opera Day is no coincidence. 25 October is the birthday of Georges Bizet and Johann Strauss II, composers of possibly the world’s most famous opera and operetta. It is also the starting week of OPERA America’s 50th anniversary celebration, and as well as the central day of Opera Europa’s autumn conference. Our theme Building Bridges is a natural link, as World Opera Day sees bridges between continents, between opera companies, between opera and communities.

Unifying local action and coordinating communications will require tools, to be developed over the coming months. To reach the wider world, the initiative aims to be part of a larger cultural framework. Our ambitious partnership with UNESCO and the International Theatre Institute will give an international recognition to the initiative and act to influence also decision makers. Our national partners like ROF (France), Opera XXI (Spain) or the OMTF (UK) will actively promote the initiative through their channels.

The launch of World Opera Day will be linked to a communication campaign, and we encourage every member to participate. Members will be able to promote existing programmes and actions or create new ones under the logo of World Opera Day, and contribute to social media efforts. A communication tool pack will be distributed early next season.

We hope that bringing together and unifying all social actions of opera worldwide will give more visibility to the benefits of opera in society. We therefore encourage all our members to join our initiative and to sing for society!