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10 years Building Bridges

Ópera Latin America, the association that brings together the most important lyric theaters in Latin America and Spain, will celebrate its 10 years with two important milestones: the setting up of its headquarters and legal figure in Santiago de Chile and the commemoration of its 10 years in Bogota this September 2017, where Ministries of Culture of the Pacific Alliance will participate for the first time.

By Alejandra Martí

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For 10 years, Opera Latinoamérica has been working on the mission of connecting Latin American theaters to the world, through the promotion of partnerships for the circulation of productions and artists, and the transfer of knowledge and good practices to improve the management of its member theaters. During this period, it has developed more than 20 meetings gathering hundreds of Directors and promoting more than 60 co-productions between its members and the world.

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The definitive set up of its headquarters and legal entity in Santiago de Chile constitutes a unique opportunity for stability for the Organization and the development of a new task regarding the support to the local networks of the theaters of the different countries that integrate it. In the Chilean case, the government, municipalities and the private world hold more than 20 theaters with over 800 seats, and hundreds of cultural centers between 80 and 400 seats. Room capacity reaches more than 16 million available seats a year, a not insignificant sum for a country of 17 million inhabitants.

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The development of a collaborative system among the networks of local theaters, helps to take advantage of the economies of scale of the production of shows through touring in a determined territory. The production of a stage show is expensive because of the large number of artists and manufactures it requires. Successful examples of collaboration,  are the European and North American theaters, which produce practically all their shows in co-production between three or four institutions.

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On the other hand, the Meeting in the city of Bogota will count for the first time with the presence of the Ministries of Culture of Chile, Argentina and Colombia. This represents an opportunity to establish a link and voice in the most recent development on public policies of the Creative Economy, showing the contribution that the theaters make -for example, in the generation of jobs through their permanent need to hire goods and services for the operation of its chain of value.

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A theater is a fascinating universe of artistic activity. They are art factories where hundreds of professions and trades that are transmitted from generation to generation participate. It is an effervescent space of creation, tourist attraction, employment generator and contribution to the communities where they are inserted. Through good management, a theater or cultural center, is able to transform the face of a city. Definitely, support for networking from both the public and private sector is necessary if we are to transform our cities and achieve the faster development we all expect for our Region.

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