A series of talks and conferences have been held during these months of confinement between OLA members, theatres and different organizations.
The cycle of talks has enabled theatres to connect globally and learn the trends during the crisis.
The current health crisis has created high uncertainty in the performing arts industry. The search for solutions, sharing of strategies and good practices have become one of the main activities of the OLA network during these days.
Through conferences and conversations, the Directors and professionals of theatres that are part of the Network are meeting periodically to seek solutions together, in a short, medium and long-term scenarios. Same trend has been done with sister organizations from other continents OPERA America and Opera Europa.
The first conference was given by Kit Withnail, Senior Production Co-ordinator of the department of Audience and Media the Royal Opera House, England, who spoke about the recording process for broadcasts, business models, technical requirements, sponsors and the challenges that a digital project implies.
The cycle continues with Natalia Camacho, Director of production and audiovisual broadcasting of Teatro Real de Madrid, she presented the Spanish stage platform “My opera player“, its development through the years, the recording process of a performance, the opportunities that represents and digital transformation in theaters.
The third conference was given by Luke O’Shaughnessy, Project Manager of OperaVision, a project by Opera Europa. Who explained the European streaming platform, its business model, the recording process, rights and contracts, and the increase in visits it has had since the start of COVID-19.
The presentations continued with Laura Escobar on Teatro Digital, the free platform of Teatro Mayor Julio Mario Santo Domingo in Bogotá. Teatro Digital, a social initiative of Bancolombia and Teatro Mayor, can be tuned from any device connected to the Internet. Thanks to Teatro Digital, the public can access high quality experience in video and sound through a transmission platform, which allows adjusting the quality of the video according to the type of connection the viewer has: from HD to low resolution.
The fourth conference was given by Jorge Culla, Intendente of Teatros del Canal of the Community of Madrid, challenging the audience on digital creation, recounting the experience they have had on “The Fourth Canal Room”. A digital space for collective creation open to all artists, and which releases a new premiere every Friday through the theater’s social networks. He also discussed the challenges in the new creation, the digital transformation and the behavior of the audience facing the digital seasons.
Outreach and learning
From the United States we had the participation of Alejandra Valeriano Boyer, Community Engagement and Learning programs at Seattle Opera. Her presentation focused on mediation and education programmes and the digital restructuring of its contents.
The conference cycle continued with three representatives from the Los Angeles Opera: Stacy Brightman, Vice President for Education and Community Engagement, Rupert Hemmings, Vice President for Artistic Planning, and Vanessa Flores Waite, Director of Communications. This panel focused on the great adaptations they have made, challenges, responses to the crisis and the vision and planning for the future, from their different facets of responsibility and teams.
And on Friday, May 8, Valentí Oviedo, Director of Gran Teatre del Liceu de Barcelona told us about how digital strategies, educational programs and fundraising are facing the crisis.
Open to all
In collaboration with iF Chile, OLA started a webinar cycle dedicated to the performing arts. The first entitled “Creative Industries and Digital Transformation”, which included the participation of pioneering institutions that embarked on the digital adventure a few years ago, such as Ignacio García – Belenguer, General Director of the Teatro Real de Madrid, who told us about My Opera Player, the Netflix of the opera, Vincent Poussou, Director of public and digital of the Meeting of Museums of Paris explained his digital bet of the last years and Alejandra Martí, Executive Director of Ópera Latinoamérica spoke about Escena Digital the platform created in OLA to commercialize productions and promote the Latin American artistic talent.
The following webinar titled “Performing Arts Challenged” featured as panelists: Joan Matabosch from Teatro Real de Madrid; Carmen Gloria Larenas of Teatro Municipal de Santiago; Alonso Escalante of the Ópera de Bellas Artes, Mexico; and Flavia Furtado of Amazonas Festival of Opera, Brazil. The talk was moderated by the Executive Director of OLA, Alejandra Martí and reflected on: What actions and strategies are theaters taking today in times of extreme challenge? How is the return of the theatres expected? How will audiences behave in the future?
Brazilian members of OLA organized the webinar “Brazil and the development of the opera industry” panelist were: Eliane Parreiras, President of the Fundação Clóvis Salgado and Director of the Palácio das Artes; Ricardo Appezzato, Artistic Manager of Santa Marcelina Cultura – Theatro São Pedro; Flavia Furtado, Executive Director of Festival Amazonas de Opera; Jena Vieira, Technical Director of Theatro da Paz de Belém; Luiz Coradazzi, Artistic Advisory Director of Theatro Municipal de São Paulo and Paulo Esper, General and Artistic Director of Cia Ópera São Paulo. The virtual debate addressed the opera market in Brazil, the possibilities of networks and strategies to overcome the current crisis.
With our alliances
Next we had the participation of Julia Lagahuzère General Director of Opera for Peace, an association with which OLA has signed a collaboration agreement, who spoke about the work they do. Opera for Peace is an international organization of European origin that aims to develop opera in all countries of the world by supporting singers, especially those who come from disadvantaged backgrounds.
And finally, in collaboration with the Spanish association Ópera XXI, the talk “Protocols for opening theaters” was organized, where Nieves Pascual, Coordinator of Ópera XXI with Juan Antonio Vigar, Director of Teatro Cervantes Málaga; Juan Carlos Matellanes, Director of ABAO; Josep Cerdá, Director of the Main Theater of Palma de Mallorca and Miquel Martorell, Production Manager of the Main Theater of Palma de Mallorca, shared the actions and protocols that they have designed for the opening of the theaters and the return to the new normality.