Journey to opera

The lights of the opera theatre dim, the sound of conversations in the audience fades and gives way to expectant silence.  The conductor raises his baton, tension on both sides of the curtain peaks… and, when the music starts and the curtain rises, voices begin to sing… and the magical Journey begins.

It is a musical and dramatic journey that has been enjoyed by people all over Europe - and all over the world - for over 400 years.  Born in Florence around 1600 with the aspiration of re-creating ancient Greek musical drama, the budding art form sprang up in different Italian cities before making its way into other European capitals, via England and France, searching for its form, its name, be it attonie in musicafesta teatraledramma musicalefavola regia or tragedia musicale - or opera.  This quest is still on-going, a final answer to what 'opera' is still eludes us: opera is an on-going, contemporary art form, being created and re-created in opera houses every day.  A 'Gesamtkunstwerk' is the ultimate fusion of the human voice, music and orchestra, drama, lighting, movement and much more.  The Journey to Opera will thus never come to an end.

Linked intimately to the history and developments of Europe, opera also reflects our own life journey, our birth and search for an identity, a flow of events, a narrative pattern, embracing tragedy and humour, silence and noise.

As in life itself, we can all benefit from guidance, support and encouragement.  Education and creative learning departments throughout Europe reach out and encourage citizens from all walks of life to join opera houses and artists on their journey, to join the colourful caravan of opera.  Children, youth, adults, amateurs and newcomers may embark at different points of the journey and at different moments in life; but opera houses and their education professionals make sure to offer everybody a map, nourishment and inspiration to find their place on this fascinating Journey to Opera.  There are many paths of access and the goal is undefined - but the Journey is its own reward.

Join us for the European Opera Days 2014 on a Journey to Opera- and set sail with the people of Europe to a land of opera yet to be discovered - or to be explored anew and over and over again.

European Opera Days 2014: A successful journey for all

Over 230,000 citizens joined 100 participating houses in 25 countries for the 8th edition of the European Opera Days
on 10 and 11 May 2014. Opera, its diversity, rich heritage and contemporary message were celebrated through free activities, out-of-house events, online happenings, rehearsals and performances.

First estimates show that the event’s objectives were realised successfully on a European level, reaching out to new audiences and inviting them to join a ‘Journey to Opera’: over 50% of the participants throughout Europe were opera newcomers.
Moreover, almost 40% of these participants were estimated  to be under 30 years of age, thanks to the innovative activities proposed by the opera organisations’ organising teams.

We hope to ensure that this journey will continue for all and look forward to the next edition of the European Opera Days from 8 to 10 May 2015.