It has been an exciting first few months for me at Opera Europa, and it is inspiring to see just how many active members we have: the conference in Wiesbaden attracted 240 participants from 30 countries and the recent HR Forum in Milan had a record 55 participants from 21 countries, sharing their experiences and exchanging views on current issues such as inclusivity and creating a safe working environment; we were also treated to 2 marvellous operas in that most hallowed of theatres. Dominique Meyer summed it up perfectly in his welcome by saying simply that “we have a lot to learn from colleagues”, and that is the fundamental ethos of Opera Europa.
My trips to visit members have taken me thus far to Spain, France, Belgium, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Austria and the UK where I have enjoyed 26 opera performances, spanning 3 centuries of music from Handel’s Orlando in Frankfurt and Halle to Alexander Raskatov’s Animal Farm at the Opera Forward Festival in Amsterdam, conferences of IAMA in Vienna, OMAI in Madrid and PEARLE in Paris, 3 Opera Europa forums and of course our own Spring Conference in Wiesbaden.
The Open Space which we held in Wiesbaden gave us great insight into our members’ views, likes and dislikes and questions. It emerged that our conferences and forums are the big hitters and the most valued by our membership and giving more information about our many services will be an aim for us in the immediate future, Audrey has done a great job summarising the results for all to read through on page 6. Our next step is working towards a Strategic Plan which we are lucky to have Dagmar Walz moderating and at our first meeting in June, we hope to develop a clear way forward. We will be presenting our plans during the autumn conference.
Now we are looking forward towards the summer festival season and whether your focus is on your own programme or a visit to many of the wonderful venues around Europe, I hope you all have a stimulating and enjoyable summer and look forward to seeing you all in Copenhagen and Malmö for the autumn conference.