Theatre of the World


The first European Opera Days were held in February 2007, at the exact same time as Opera Europa 
and Opéra national de Paris hosted the first European Opera Forum, in collaboration with Fedora, 
RESEO and Juvenilia. 


The European Opera Forum brought together over 600 participants – around 400 opera professionals, 50 artists, 70 opera lovers and friends and over 100 young delegates. But in order to make this major gathering and debate on opera resonate for the 400th anniversary of the genre, the European Opera Days were created, encouraging opera companies around Europe to open their doors and welcome diverse audiences for special activities. With over 100 participating opera companies, it was a great success – with audiences and with the media – and members asked for this great PR exercise for opera to be repeated.

Since then, a yearly theme gives each edition a new angle, a new hook to create new means to talk to local communities. Research via audience surveys shows that over 60% of participants have their first encounter with their opera house during our festive weekend. And it is an achievement that since the first edition, over 1.000.000 people have taken part in the rich and diverse initiatives offered during the European Opera Days.

This year sees the 10th edition of the European Opera Days. To celebrate this milestone, a particular theme was chosen: Theatre of the World. 

Because we all believe in the strength of music to talk beyond language barriers, beyond national borders and beyond cultural differences. Because already the Greek believed in a public place for debate, because Shakespeare believed the world is a stage, because society needs a place to question and challenge itself, and because subsidised cultural experiences are not only about heritage but also about creation. Because opera brings together theatre and music, because opera is nothing else than Theatre Plus.

So, for a few hours during the weekend of 6 to 8 May 2016, we encourage all European opera companies to reach out and open a dialogue – with a small group during a debate, with passers-by during a flash mob, with an auditorium full during a rehearsal, with the masses during guided tours, with governing bodies in the media… Any initiative, of any size, for any audience, is a valid way of celebrating opera, communicating the relevance of its message and the richness of its experience.
Opera Europa coordinates a European communication campaign, and strongly encourages and supports national coordination of communication, in parallel with your use of your local usual (and unusual) channels. 

Please confirm your participation to by 8 January. 

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 were 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

The Opera Platform is launched

- free, live and on demand


On Friday 8 May 2015, the online community discovered a new platform entirely dedicated to opera. It aims to attract those who already love opera and those curious to try it for the first time.

The European Commission’s Creative Europe programme supports this new website created by a partnership led by Opera Europa, the European association of opera companies and festivals, with cultural broadcaster ARTE and fifteen opera companies: Austria: Wiener Staatsoper; Belgium: La Monnaie/De Munt Bruxelles; Finland: Finnish National Opera Helsinki; France: Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, Opéra national de Lyon; Germany: Komische Oper Berlin, Oper Stuttgart; Italy: Teatro Regio Torino; Latvia: Latvian National Opera Riga; Netherlands: Dutch National Opera Amsterdam; Norway: Den Norske Opera og Ballett Oslo; Poland: Teatr Wielki Opera Naradowa Warsaw; Spain: Teatro Real Madrid; United Kingdom: Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Welsh National Opera.  This multinational partnership opens new perspectives for opera’s reach in Europe and beyond.

The Opera Platform is available in three languages – English, French and German – and offers free content, rich in information: full opera performances and extracts; synopses and background material; artist interviews and behind-the scenes documentaries.  The opera houses of Europe invite you to discover their archives and their current productions.

The European opera season of the platform adds at least one new opera per month, subtitled in six languages – English, French, German, Italian, Polish and Spanish – and available on demand for six months.  New additional content regularly enriches the offer.

The Opera Platform was launched with the live transmission from Madrid’s Teatro Real of La traviata.  Further showcase operas in the launch month will include Król Roger from Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Kullervo from Finnish National Opera Helsinki and Valentina from Latvian National Opera Riga.

The Opera Platform came to life for the celebration of the ninth edition of the European Opera Days, under this year’s theme ‘Opera alive and online’, and will celebrate the 2016 European Opera Days.

@OperaPlatform             #TheOperaPlatform