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Music Pages

100 opera houses join in Europe Day celebrations

12 March 2010

On 8 and 9 May, 100 opera houses in 22 countries across Europe will celebrate the fourth annual European Opera Days weekend through a coordinated programme of activities called ‘Crossing Bridges’.

The participating opera houses will mount open days, special performances and education events that explore ‘bridges’ between theatres and local communities, as well as links to other creative art forms and cultures.

Timed to coincide with Europe Day (9 May), European Opera Days is a joint initiative of Opera Europa and RESEO (the European Network for Opera and Dance Education).

“We believe that ’Crossing Bridges’ is a stimulating metaphor for the art of opera today”, say Opera Europa President, Joan Matabosch, and RESEO Chair, Linda Lovrovic. “Often accused of being elitist and out-of-date, opera today is extraordinarily alive and kicking. Exploring unconventional spaces, performed in pubs and metro stations, it also uses multimedia and state-of-the-art technology to tell stories which reach out and speak to us all.”

Some of the weekend’s more unusual highlights include:

  • Opéra Royal de Wallonie, Belgium: an ‘artistic battle’ between workshop groups, mixing contemporary urban street culture with Donizetti’s Rita.
  • Scottish Opera, UK: 'Baby O' - a creative workshop connecting sounds with movement, colours and textures for babies and their parents.
  • Royal Opera House, UK: La traviata workshops for 60 participants aged 9-12, initiating the ROH's first Youth Opera Company.
  • Deutsche Oper am Rhein, Germany: a practical workshop for young people based on Rameau’s Les Paladins, mixing music, dance and painting.
  • National Theatre Brno, Czech Republic: a fashion show of popular high street brands modelled by leading Czech singers, with opera soundtrack.
  • Icelandic Opera, Iceland: surprise performances of opera arias, duets and choruses performed in shopping centres, schools and swimming halls.

Visit the official European Opera Days website for the full weekend programme

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