The arts are incredibly important to society. Annually on October 25, World Opera Day, the fine art of Opera is celebrated and serves as a reminder of the value the art form brings.
In 2020, a year unlike any other we need an outlet for emotion and self expression that serves as a release from tension and stresses of a world gripped by a pandemic. The message and abilities for music to heal is extraordinary. Whether you are an opera fan or new to it, this is a style of music that has much to savor and is worthy opportunity to indulge your senses and uplift the spirit.
Opera Europa shares its line-up of ambassadors for World Opera Day: Peter Sellars, theatre and opera director; Bernard Foccroulle, composer, organist and former director of the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence; Ai Weiwei, artist; and Ernesto Ottone, Assistant Director-General Culture at UNESCO. Each of them, as quoted below, is an eloquent advocate of the healing power of music in today’s changing world.
The world of opera has been very hard hit but resilient. As a sector it was especially hard hit by restrictive measures, but has risen to the occasion to bring support to its communities. Over the past 6 months, over 60% of Opera Europa members have asked their Costume departments to produce protective gear for redistribution within their city. 50% were able to put together small format special performances outdoors or for fragile audiences. 90% offered free content online, from performances to documentaries to interactive workshops, to keep minds creatively engaged.
Opera is the exquisite fusion of vocal and orchestral music, drama, visual arts and dance that was born in Italy more than 400 years ago during the Renaissance period, and inspires people throughout the world. What lies ahead for the art form is uncertain, however World Opera Day is an opportunity to focus on the value of the arts in your community and in the world. Despite stringent regulations, over half of Opera Europa’s members have live activities planned over the weekend. And for those staying indoors, OperaVision – which celebrates its third anniversary today – offers a feast of diverse content, with contributions from around the world throughout the weekend of 23/25 October, and available on demand thereafter.
OperaVision is showing contrasting versions of Fidelio by Beethoven, the genius of musical creativity who embodies the humanitarian message of universal brotherhood.
- 23 October 19:00 CET: The recent semi-staged version from Garsington Opera recorded in September 2020 and starring Katherine Broderick, Toby Spence and the Philharmonia Orchestra
- 24 October 17:00 CET: World premiere of a short animated version commissioned by OperaVision and WALPURGIS
- 24 October 18:00 CET: Following Fidelio live online discussion moderated by director Gitika Buttoo and featuring conductor Douglas Boyd, singer Toby Spence, director Graham Vick, writer Sarah Woods, director Judith Vindevogel and animator Roman Klochkov
- 24 October 19:00 CET: Graham Vick’s promenade production staged at the heart of an inner-city community by Birmingham Opera Company
Schedule around the World
The weekend culminates in a joyous, global musical jamboree from across the globe: World Opera Day Celebration Concerts bringing together 6 continents in 4 acts and time zones:
Act 1 15:00 Tokyo time (07:00 CET)
Act 2 15:00 Moscow time (13:00 CET)
Act 3 15:00 London time (16:00 CET)
Act 4 15:00 New York time (20:00 CET)
Opera Europa, Opera America and Opera Latinoamérica, in collaboration with Opera for Peace, will offer vocal performances from six continents including, from among others: Denyce Graves, Hera Hyesang Park, Luca Pisaroni, Sondra Radvanovksy, Isabel Leonard, Brian Jagde, Elsa Dreisig, Golda Schultz and Nicole Car, and emerging artists Raehann Bryce-Davis, Vuvu Mpofu, Victoria Karkacheva, Julia Mennibaeva, William Guanbo Su, Leonardo Sánchez, and many others.
Whether today or any day, you can celebrate the power of opera.