European Opera Days

Each year on the weekend closest to 9 May (Europe Day), opera houses in Europe and beyond open their doors to new and existing audiences to celebrate the art of opera and the talent of those who make it.

The European Opera Days celebrate opera as an art form.
Their aim is to help bring opera into the mainstream of cultural practice and to enhance its appreciation in today’s society. Opera companies are invited to:

- organise free activities for existing and new audiences: creative workshops, guided tours, debates and lectures, open rehearsals, special performances or happenings

- design their activities around a specific annual theme

- include the European Opera Days logo on all their communication tools (posters, flyers, press releases, website, etc) and mention the European Opera Days as an umbrella initiative in their local events. They should provide a link to the dedicated website wherever possible

- convey the press material prepared by the EOD team to their local and national press

- coordinate their action and communication with other participating opera companies in their country

- involve as many departments as possible within the company, celebrating the contributions of all to this form of art. To enhance internal and external communication with the European Opera Days team, a coordinator should be selected within each opera house

- work with local associations in order to implant opera firmly in their social environments and attract new audiences

Opera alive and online ...

8 successful editions of the European Opera Days have brought together many opera companies from the most distant parts of Europe to celebrate opera and spread the word. The 9th edition has no lesser ambition!

On the weekend of 8 to 10 May 2015, we invite each and every opera organisation to join in this massive PR exercise for opera. This year’s theme is ‘opera alive and online’. 

Of course, opera should be experienced ‘in the flesh’ – there is nothing comparable to the theatre experience, and many site-specific performances have proven that settings can enhance it. Audiences are always curious to discover a building and its inner workings – from the front of house to the stage, from the auditorium to the workshops. It’s an opportunity for them to understand the complex machinery that is opera on a practical side. Better yet is when they come to appreciate the beauty of it all – be it by the proximity to instruments playing or choristers singing, or speaking, questioning and debating with artistic teams. 

Opera is a live art form – every performance is different, and every one experiences differently. Opera is alive. Performances today don’t look at all the same as they did 400, 250, 100, or even 10 years ago. 

But today’s audience is sometimes a bit shy, or lazy, and prefers to discover things from the comfort of their own home, behind a familiar computer screen. As you’ve read in the previous pages, Opera Europa, in collaboration with ARTE, is launching a new website to introduce the potential audiences of opera to the richness of the experience. This website will be launched on 8 May 2015, 

for the European Opera Days, and you are invited to be a part of it! We hope many opera companies will contribute in very varied ways to give web-visitors a taste of what opera around Europe is, whether it’s with performance extracts, archive photos, sound or video, texts, interviews, documentaries… We encourage national coordination for the production of material about national opera scenes of some countries. An editorial group will be working on balancing the offer present on the website, so that diversity of material is guaranteed. 

Over the years, many opera companies have organised fabulous activities. In order for the European Opera Days to reach their goal, the press and advertising campaigns have to be strong. This year more than even, with the launch of the website, messages must be coordinated. For this purpose, national coordinators are in place in several countries, and are looking forward to working with you. Please also involve in your reflexion.

We look forward to hearing from you!