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Successfully take place the VII OLA Meeting

With success and a positive balance, the VII Latin American Opera Meeting was held, held between Friday 4 and Sunday 6 December at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, which was attended by representatives of 18 lyric linked institutions from from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, Uruguay, and an unpublished delegation from Spain. The summit was headed by the Artistic Director of that theater, Darío Lopérfido, who was recently confirmed as the new Minister of Culture of the Argentine capital and is also in charge of the OLA board of directors since he was elected during the VI Meeting, held in July of this year at the Municipal Theater of Santiago de Chile. Next to him, on behalf of the Colon were also Martín Bauer, director of the Contemporary Colon; Guillermo Scarabino, director of artistic production; María Cremonte, stage director, and Eduviges Picone, director of studies.

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The main axes of this new version of the meeting were co-productions and joint work and strategies for future online transmissions of theaters and organizations that make up OLA, as well as taking decisive steps in the consolidation of the organization through its legal constitution. In this new meeting, we sought to define and structure the joint work that will be carried out during the next two years, which in addition to the fundamental missions of OLA – the exchange of both productions as well as information, promotion and education of the new artistic talents The continent, in addition to conducting courses and workshops that support the integral development of artists – has special emphasis on the development of new technologies, the strengthening of web platforms and social networks, the integration of intermediate institutions and the support of artists Latin Americans

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After the presentation of each theater of the titles scheduled for the following seasons, important and decisive agreements were reached for 2016: the National Auditorium of Sodre will join the co-production of Boom and Fall of the city of Mahagonny, which already has the participation of the Municipal Theater of Santiago, the Teatro Colón and the Teatro Mayor Julio Mario Santo Domingo. The Municipal and the Colon, who are already working together on their children’s and youth billboard, added two new partners for 2017: the National Theater of Sucre and the Solís Theater. The songspiel version of the work of Weill, of the Colón, will also be presented at the Teatro Solís, while La traviata from the Municipal de Santiago will arrive at Sodre in 2016. Finally, a co-production agreement will unite two continents, as the Teatro Colón will join ABAO – OLBE of Bilbao in a new production of The Knight of the Rose, by Strauss.

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In this area, other co-production agreements were also delineated for future seasons – among them, Aida, between the Teatro Colón and the Teatro Mayor Julio Mario Santo Domingo, for 2017 -, in addition to systematizing the annual meetings of the OLA theaters to establish agreements around large and medium format projects. Also, following the mission of supporting Latin American artists, these meetings will feature auditions for singers in the region. The first one will take place between May 29 and 31, 2016, at the National Institute of Fine Arts in Mexico City.

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A strategic planning meeting will be held next January at the Municipal Theater of Santiago, whose results will be analyzed at the annual meeting in Mexico. In August, the second meeting of 2016 will be held, which will take place in Montevideo, as part of the commemoration of the 160 years of the Solís Theater, which will include in its activities a seminar on new audiences.

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The work and challenges for 2016, which will be conducted by the new executive director of the organization, Alejandra Martí, and its board headed by its president, Darío Lopérfido, will focus on the following aspects: evaluate the legal constitution of OLA through a Foundation or NGO based in Chile; conduct a study of the situation of the different Latin American theaters; establish more alliances and synergies with Opera Europa and Opera América; create agreements for the payment of rights in case of co-productions and audiovisual projects; implement a web platform that allows offering tourist packages anchored to the programming of the OLA member institutions and, finally, develop content for children’s audiences.

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During the conference, in addition to the representatives of the Teatro Colón, Argentina were present: Valeria Ambrosio, artistic director of the Teatro Argentino de La Plata, along with its general administrator Sebastián Oberti; Juventus Lyrica participated in Julia Arango (institutional development) and the executive director María Jaunarena, together with Alejandro Mashad, of the steering committee, and Gustavo Passerino, of communication; In addition, the Undersecretary of Cultural Heritage, María Victoria Alcaraz, the scenographic and illuminating designer Enrique Bordolini and the renowned régisseurs Marcelo Lombardero and Pablo Maritano. From Brazil attended: Joao Guillherme Ripper and André Cardoso (Municipal Theater of Rio de Janeiro), and Paulo Esper (Opera Academy of the San Pedro Theater). For Chile, Andrés Rodríguez, Frédéric Chambert and Alejandra Marti (Santiago Municipal Theater), and Carmen Gloria Larenas (Frutillar Lake Theater). From Colombia, Ramiro Osorio (Teatro Mayor Julio Santo Domingo) and Alejandro Chacón (Opera of Colombia). For Ecuador and Mexico, Chía Patiño (Sucre National Theater) and Lourdes Ambriz (Opera of Fine Arts), respectively. And from Uruguay, Daniela Bouret and Álvaro Méndez (Solís Theater of Montevideo); Gerardo Grieco, Ariel Cazes and Raquel Pierotti (National Auditorium of SODRE); Augusto Techera (artistic advisor of the Municipality of Montevideo) and María Julia Caamaño (curator La Escena Vocal).

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In addition, exceptionally, there was the special participation of the representatives of the main opera houses in Spain: Joan Matabosch and Damian Carbonell, of the Royal Theater of Madrid; Jorge Juan Culla Bayarri, from The Theaters and Escorial Auditorium; José Luis Riveros, Jorge Jonás Cabrera and Alejandro Abrante González, of the General Auditorium of Tenerife; Juan Carlos Matellanes, Cesidio Niño García and María Luisa Molina, of the ABAO – OLBE of Bilbao. All of them contributed their vision and experience regarding the management of opera houses, which will serve as input to implement new practices in the region. In the image that accompanies this text, by the photographer Máximo Parpagnoli, some of the main attendees of the meeting appear, on the main stairway to access the hall of the Teatro Colón.

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