World Opera Forum in Madrid

from 12 to 15 April 2018

As part of its year-long celebration of its 200th anniversary, Teatro Real, with the support of the Spanish government, has offered to host an inaugural World Opera Forum between 12 and 15 April 2018.

This World Opera Forum realises a dream of both Opera Europa and Opera America to combine forces to create an event which is truly global. Last September, Marc Scorca and Nicholas Payne with Ignacio Garcia Belenguer Laita of Teatro Real to present the idea at the 10th anniversary conference of Ópera Latinoamérica in Bogotá, where it was warmly received. Together, we will coordinate the invitations to representatives from North and South America and from Europe, supplemented by some from Asia, Africa and Australasia.

The Madrid forum will differ from normal conferences in content, format and personnel.

The two central days of the forum will focus of four topics with four leading questions concerning the future direction of opera.
Cultural Heritage (in European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018)
Will the weight of its heritage kill opera?
New Work
Can new work regain its place at the heart of opera, as in theatre or cinema?
Diversity
How may opera have a meaning for a diverse audience and reflect 21st century society?
Advocacy
How will we build our capacity to advocate opera in our democracy?

Delegates will also be able to attend Teatro Real’s new production of Britten’s Gloriana on 12, 13 or 14 April and participate in other activities.
There will be no presentations or panel discussions. Instead, each topic will be led by a series of short ‘provocations’ limited to 272 words each, the length of President Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address in 1863. They will be followed by a ‘fishbowl’ debate animated by a circle of 12 delegates and an expert moderator. Then, after a short break, delegates will divide into four break-out groups for more intimate discussions around the subject. At the end of the morning or afternoon, delegates will re-assemble to hear conclusions presented by rapporteurs.

Invited delegates are being selected to reflect different areas of the profession and some outside it: composers, directors, performers, managers, stakeholders. Beyond those invited, we welcome leaders of member theatres, but, for reasons of space, no more than two per company. Details of online registration will be notified in the New Year.

Fuller details of the programme and participants will be published in March.