When times are hard, we more than ever need the solace of culture. Art, books, films, music, theatre are therapy for disrupted lives.
We recognise that Governments must impose restrictions on public gatherings in order to protect lives; and we are committed to provide as much as we can free online. OperaVision, thanks to support from the European Union's Creative Europe, is a leading player in that.
But we must also act to safeguard the livelihoods of artists and the companies that employ them for the time when public performances may be safely resumed. Free streaming does not pay wages or replace income from ticket sales.
We realise that theatres will be among the last to re-open their doors and trade normally. They will therefore need protection for this year and beyond, in order to survive to offer future employment to artists and the many supporting craftsmen and technicians.
Just as urgent is the need to offer a lifeline to the many independent artists whose source of income has been abruptly cut off. The whole opera sector asks for local, regional, national and international bodies to offer immediate and easily accessible support towards the basic needs this year of these vital members of the community.
Director of Opera Europa