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

European Opera Days accessible everywhere

The 9th edition of the European Opera Days embraces new technologies on the weekend of 8 to 10 May 2015.

This year’s European Opera Days challenge opera companies around Europe to engage with audiences through different channels.

Opera should be experienced ‘live’ – nothing compares to the theatre experience.  Site-specific performances have proved that unusual settings can enhance it.  Audiences are curious to discover a building and its inner workings – from front of house to stage, from auditorium to workshops.  It is 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.

But today’s audience increasingly interacts with the rich and diverse cultural offer through digital means.  It may prefer to discover things from the comfort of home, behind a familiar computer screen or on a convenient hand-held device.  That is why this edition of the European Opera Days coincides with the launch of the Opera Europa Digital Platform, a project supported by Creative Europe.  

This year, almost 100 opera companies in 24 countries celebrate opera, its diversity, its rich heritage and its contemporary message through free activities, tours of theatres and workshops, rehearsals, performances and online events.