Opera Europa’s strength lies in its members. Over almost two decades, the European association of opera companies and festivals has grown to be more representative of the sector, deepening its action points within its membership, and building enriching relationships with complementary organisations to develop partnerships and grow the impact of our actions.
Over the past year, our members have met more online than in person. That has encouraged participation by a wider constitution, giving opportunity for wonderfully rich exchanges and sharing of experience. Opera Europa also conducted surveys to map out the situation and impact of theatre closures and opening paths for reflexion on what lies ahead.
PRIORITIES FOR 2021
During the final afternoon of our autumn conference, over 100 members contributed to discussions on what issues, topics and action points were a priority for Opera Europa in the coming year. We have organised them into the following themes.
There is a demand to reflect on the repertoire, inherited and new. Audience remains at the centre of the questions, which will include the role of programming in reaching a diverse audience, balancing old and new works, the various paths to commissioning and the diversification and intercultural inspirations of new work, with opportunities for members to pitch current projects, explore good practices and innovations.
Beyond creating jobs and maintaining a local economy, what impact does opera have in a community?
Opera producers want to believe that their work contributes to the wellbeing of their audience. Building on Opera Europa’s autumn research into the parameters for public subsidy, there is a need to discuss the perceived dividend to public and private stakeholders and to create tools to measure value and return on investment, beyond quantitative data.
More than ever, the opera sector has come together to realise that all actors – artists, managers, publishers and opera companies – are part of one fragile eco-system. The role and place of the artist may need reinventing. How to support and sustain talent? What skills might the artist of today, and tomorrow, need?
This joint initiative responds to the acknowledgement of a changing world, and the need for opera companies to consider how to evolve and adapt. FEDORA and Opera Europa are working hand in hand to accompany opera and dance companies through this process, by raising funds and capitalising on coordinated efforts in the fields of sustainability, equality and digital transformation.
Working sessions are planned for companies interested in committing to the project, on 21 January for Sustainability, on 25 January for Equality and on 28 January for Digital Transformation. Please contact us to join the session of your choice.