Flavia Furtado: “Today’s women in Brazil are filling most of the production positions in theatres”

Flavia Furtado, serves as executive director of the Amazonas Opera Festival. She has different facets that make her a well-rounded woman, since she is a pianist, cultural manager and commercial engineer. In addition, she is the founder and one of the directors of the Brazilian Forum of Opera, Dance and Concert Music.


Abroad, she has managed and developed projects related to the economy of culture at Ópera Latinoamérica and the Festival de Ópera Amazonas. In 2006, she created Vlaanderen Produções Culturais, a company specialized in the main classical music events with more than 70 opera, theatre, concert and festival productions, working with some of the most important institutions in the country, such as Theatro Municipal de Rio de Janeiro , Municipal Theater of São Paulo, São Pedro Theater, among others.


Some of her most significant achievements are the Amazonas Opera Festival and productions such as the opera A Menina das Nuvens, by Villa-Lobos, Aula Magna com Stálin by David Pownall, Ça-Ira, an opera by Roger Waters. Last year she was one of the 10 finalists for the Classical Next award – Innovation Award, for her work in disseminating all the economic and social aspects of the opera industry in Brazil.

We spoke with Flavia Furtado about her role as a cultural manager, pianist and commercial engineer in the world of performing arts.


In what way have women made room for themselves in theaters?

We open spaces for various skills, it has been a slow and empowering process in relation to past generations. I think Brazilian women are filling most of the production positions in cinemas, including more and more technical positions.


What is still to be done?

Achieve recognition but it is very difficult to advance to administrative positions. Mainly, the salary parity between men and women in the office.


What are the difficulties and challenges of your position?

The instability of the institutions is the most difficult, I think that is the great challenge we have in our industry in Brazil.


Do you feel that being a woman has been more challenging for you?

When I was at work and I heard some “weird” comment that a man made, like introducing myself as a “Festival helper” I just ignored it, it didn’t tickle me. But I think that more important than talking about the negative is talking about the positive, like all the people who pushed me and believed in my ability, because I was lucky to have many people in my way and for this reason, I am responsible for doing what same with the new generations of women in the industry.


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