Covid-19 has precipitated the launch of a new group to unite the forces of professional opera in the UK and sixteen major opera companies have invested in it.
On its website, Opera UK says that although the idea of the group has been batted around for some years, the traumatic effect of the pandemic on the opera world has be a catalyst to realise the concept. Despite its standing in the world, the UK opera industry has not had its own representative body to date. With thousands of performers, technicians, suppliers, venues and production companies in need of help, a small group of professionals has decided to act.
Founder companies who have agreed to seed-fund the project are: British Youth Orchestra, Buxton International Festival, English National Opera, Garsington Opera, Glyndebourne, Into Opera, Longborough Festival Operra, Music Theatre Wales, National Opera Studio, Nevill Holt Opera, Opera Holland Park, Opera North, Royal Opera House, Scottish Opera, The Grange Festival and Welsh National Opera.
Opera UK says it ‘aims to be a responsive support organisation that will strengthen the UK opera sector through collaboration, support and advocacy, become a resource for professional individuals as well as companies working in opera.’
Initially, the group is asking for opera professionals to come forward to help formulate ideas and create links within the sector and is inviting people to become Founder Members. ‘All roles and disciplines are welcome,’ says the statement. ‘Everyone’s voice will be needed to work collectively to building an inclusive and sustainable future for opera.’
The founding directors of Opera UK are: Emily Gottlieb (National Opera Studio), Henry Little (Opera Rara & National Opera Coordinating Committee), Nicola Candlish (British Youth Opera), Nicholas Simpson (National Opera Studio), Michael Harper (Royal Northern College of Music), Genevieve Raghu (Into Opera), Kate Wyatt (Royal Opera House).