General Manager Audrey Jungers interviews incoming Director Karen Stone ahead of her first conference in Wiesbaden in the spring.
Dear Karen, welcome to the Opera Europa team. What is your first reaction?
It’s great to be a part of OE. I’ve been a member organisation for many years and appreciate what the association has done for me, my theatre, our staff and audience. It’s a great privilege to follow in Nicholas Payne’s footsteps after his leadership of 20 years, and take Opera Europa onto the next stage. This first conference won’t be the easiest – we’re scheduling the Opera Management Course in the run-up to the conference opening! This spring conference will be an opportunity to meet our wider membership.
What do you have planned for us?
These are challenging times – politically, socially, economically. Opera Europa is about meeting our colleagues, discussing these issues, but also enjoying performances, and Hessisches Staatstheater Wiesbaden is a beautiful theatre to welcome us. Working together is one of the most effective ways of dealing with these issues, and we will have an opportunity to discuss various operational models – repertoire and stagione, festivals and fringe productions – and their challenges. To that end, I’m pleased to start a new series of meeting partner organisations of Opera Europa and presenting the work that they do to the wider membership.
Why should members attend the spring conference in Wiesbaden?
As it will be my first conference leading Opera Europa, I would really appreciate the opportunity to meet with all our members and better understand their modus operandi, their strengths and their challenges. With the Opera Europa team, we are trying out different formats to encourage interaction and new connections. There are also some great highlights: a performance of Il Trittico directed by our host, Uwe Laufenberg, and the world creation Oryx and Crake staged by former European Opera-directing Prize finalist Daniela Kerck. We will also be holding auditions following the conference in parallel to the semi-finals of the European Opera-directing Prize, so stick around !
26 March to 1 April – Opera Management Course
30 March afternoon to Saturday 1 April morning – Opera Europa spring conference
1 April afternoon – Audition recital
1-2 April – European Opera-directing Prize semi-final