NEW CAREER OPPORTUNITY FOR YOUNG OPERA MAKERS
The Young Women Opera Makers programme began one year ago. This 15-month-long residency is mentored by British stage director Katie Mitchell, an advocate for equality and diversity in the world of opera, who is also strongly committed to sharing knowledge and advice with young artists. Through online sessions, personalised support, immersive internships in opera productions, mentorships, and professionalizing workshops, this long-term programme offers a dozen young opera makers — i.e. stage directors, composers, conductors and librettists — the necessary tools to make their own place in the world of opera and to hone their professional skills in that sphere.
This past month, an online workshop united participants in the residency, Katie Mitchell, and the management team of the Académie du Festival d’Aix for a mid-programme appraisal, which comprised an individualized assessment of professional experiences since the beginning of the programme, including an evaluation of the impact of the current health crisis on participants’ careers; a consultation with each woman opera maker on her expectations and needs for the end of the programme; a definition of the individuals’ participation in upcoming Professional Days at the Festival d’Aix; and an update on their objectives in terms of visibility and networking with industry professionals and artists. The workshop revealed the hardworking and personalised support that each of the twelve artists has received from the Festival since the programme began.
This pilot project of the Académie du Festival demonstrates a willingness to innovate in a highly competitive, male-dominated industry, in which women still encounter far too many obstacles to the development of their careers in opera.
The programme, designed by the Académie, aims to implement concrete action in order to bolster the representation of women in opera and to prioritize the creation of initiatives that the world of opera, and of the performing arts in general, can implement over time.
Discover the Young Women Opera Makers residency through interviews with participants and instructors filmed last summer during the 2021 Festival d’Aix-en-Provence.
This project is supported by the Music Moves Europe programme of the European Union.
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