7-8 May 2011
This year, the focus is Young Ears: children and young people will be guided in their discovery of opera. But regardless of age, a ‘young ear’ is one that listens without prejudices and remains open to music it is not used to. The European Opera Days are therefore also an invitation to people who have never yet listened to opera, as well as to opera lovers - as we all know: one never stops learning!
Children were of course the stars of this edition: in many places, young audiences from 3 to 14 years old were offered special performances of children's operas, ballets and recitals, such as Montsalvatge's Puss in Boots in Düsseldorf-Duisburg (Deutsche Oper am Rhein) or Tobias Picker's Fantastic Mr Fox in Buxton (English Touring Opera).
At De Vlaamse Opera, young ears new to opera could explore 400 years of operatic history within 60 minutes in the Ghent opera house.
An audio-described touch tour of Carmen was organised for visually impaired people at Opera North in Leeds, as well as a sign interpretation for hearing impaired audiences.
But the youngest ears were to be found in London's English National Opera, where children aged 6 months to 4 years were introduced to opera in a fun, accessible and exciting way while allowing their parents to enjoy a performance at the London Coliseum.