The opera sector has demonstrated its resilience this year: first by its ingenious responses to performing in or outside locked-down theatres; more recently by announcing plans to win back audiences during the 2021/22 season. The crisis has also motivated opera-makers towards a more collaborative approach, fostering a generous attitude towards sharing problems and solutions, productions and expertise. That is where Opera Europa can play its part.
The Opera Europa team has found itself busier than ever. Membership has reached its highest level in history, with 15 new recruits from 10 different countries this year, bringing the current total to 215 companies, with further applications in the pipeline. More than 300 delegates registered for the online spring conference, a good number of them for the first time. Co-productions were a leading topic on the agenda, both in the active Co-productions Marketplace and regarding their future role in our ecosystem.
Nor is it a coincidence that our current initiatives are all built on collaborative principles. OperaVision is a partnership of some 27 contributing companies, but now embraces over one-third of our membership. Next Stage, with 45 prospective platform members, has the potential to transform the way we make, inhabit and disseminate opera during the next few years. World Opera Day conveys a message of openness and global inclusiveness which we believe to be essential for opera’s survival.
Our record list of members displays the strength and diversity of opera today in Europe, and in some instances beyond Europe. It also features some ongoing initiatives, including the Eva Kleinitz scholarship to support young artists. World Opera Day on 25 October is the date targeted for some important new announcements. We are cautiously planning a mixed programme of online and live events, beginning with a joint forum in Macerata on 20 and 21 July. Our autumn conference is planned to take place in Bergamo, save the dates 18 to 21 November for a reunion of resilient opera professionals.