World Opera Day was launched for the first time on 25 October 2019 to raise awareness of the social impact of opera in society.
The first edition of World Opera Day shows encouraging results for the future of the initiative. Activities took place both on local level and on social media where the worldwide ambition became a reality, even if most of the live events took place in Europe, South and North America. The figures show that the opera world – opera houses, singers, opera lovers – has assimilated the idea of a World Opera Day and took advantage of it to put the light on the social impact of opera.
Launch of World Opera Day
The initiative was officially launched by Nicholas Payne, director of Opera Europa, during the association’s autumn conference at Opéra national du Rhin, with Ernesto Ottone from UNESCO, Tobias Biancone from International Theatre Institute, Marc Scorca from OPERA America, Edilia Gänz from FEDORA, Marc Grandmontagne from Deutscher Bühnenverein, Jiachen Zhao from the National Centre for the Performing Arts Beijing, George Isaakyan from the Russian Association for Theatre Music, Christina Loewen from Opera.ca, Laurence Lamberger-Cohen from Réunion des Opéras de France, Ignacio García-Belenguer from Opera XXI and Julia Lagazuhère from Opera for Peace.
On 25 October over 30 opera houses from more than 15 countries around the world organised local events involving their community.
Teatro Regio di Torino, Teatro Regio di Parma, Sofia Opera and Ballet, Israeli Opera offered a free musical programme in public spaces. Teatro de la Maestranza also used the public space and installed a free listening station in the heart of Seville. Oper Wuppertal and Fondazione Teatro Donizetti opened their house to offer a visit of rehearsals. Opera Bałtycka Gdansk organised a contest to win an operatic experience. Irish National Opera and its INO Jukebox on Facebook involved the virtual community.
OperaVision for World Opera Day
OperaVision, the free streaming platform supported by the European Union’s Creative Europe programme, engaged for World Opera Day and offered a wide programme of famous titles from houses around the world. The streams generated an increasing numbers of visitors on the OperaVision platform. La Bohème from NCPA Mumbai reached 16.560 views, Carmen from NCPA Beijing 7.369 views, Die Fledermaus from Wiener Staatsoper 25.678 views, Don Giovanni from Teatro dell’Opera di Roma 11.729 views and The Barber of Seville from Municipal die Santiago 9.577 views.
World Opera Day in the media
World Opera Day was present in the media as well. Online press articles and specialised radio stations shared the information with enthusiasm in Croatia, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, UK and USA.