Operabase and Truelinked

In June 2018, Operabase and Truelinked have merged to strengthen both companies.

As announced in the autumn newsletter, Operabase, the casting tool created over 20 years ago by Mike Gibb, was acquired through merger last summer by Truelinked, a company founded in Denmark in 2013 by Sune Hjerrild and Jan Pilgaard Carlsen. Their declared ambition is to expand and develop the services in new directions while maintaining the service to opera professionals.

Members of our Artistic Administration forum presented with Truelinked’s proposal in London in September, and others during our Paris conference in October, have expressed concern that the impartial database might become compromised by conflicting commercial interests. We have sought assurances that the fundamental Operabase service will be maintained if it is to remain part of Opera Europa’s offer to its members.

Through a series of meetings with Sune Hjerrild and Mike Gibb we have now agreed on the following:

OE has recruited a small consultative group to test changes in the offer of services during the next two months
Allocate a session during the Antwerp conference for Truelinked to describe its future offer before consideration at the General Assembly
Draft amendments and additions to its initial Agreement covering the continuation of services in 2019

Subsequently on 25 October, and with what we believe was inadequate warning or testing, a new version of the site was launched, which rendered several features unobtainable to our members.  Muriel Denzler and the team has been working to eliminate the errors and bugs, and we have been in regular contact with users to monitor progress and opinions. Mike, Muriel, and Sune separately, have assured us that they are committed to maintaining the main features of the database, including its impartiality in presenting information. Truelinked’s offer to us was to maintain the service and price for 2019, and our aim remains to hold it to that undertaking.

An Agreement for Professional Services covering the year 2019 was prepared and subsequently amended during November, so that it reflects the expectations of both parties. Truelinked 'plans to launch a renewed version of the Operabase services during 2019. Therefore, the implementation of some features can be expected to change while others such as the listing of the casting tool will remain the same. It is in the interest of both parties to make this transition as smooth as possible and Truelinked will therefore offer information to our Members before and during this transition.'

We have also undertaken to activate the test process with six regular users representative of the membership. Truelinked has agreed that this consultative process be completed before the end of January.

The first aim, as agreed by the Board in Paris, was to secure a continuation of the basic Operabase Professional service at the same cost through 2019.

The second aim is to have a clear proposition for the future from Truelinked before end-March, so that options may be presented to our members before and at the spring conference in Antwerp towards the end of April.