The Third Meeting of Ibero-American Theaters set out to reflect and establish lines of work to generate value proposals for the communities of the Ibero-American territory, in a global context of structural changes. We present the Barcelona Declaration, the result of the collaborative work carried out among the more than 60 theaters from Ibero-America that participated in this meeting, highlightning the importance of placing people at the center of theater management, especially of empathize and get to know the audience.
The theaters, seasons and lyrical festivals and organizations linked to the culture of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Mexico and Uruguay –represented by Ópera Latinoamérica– together with institutions from Spain –represented by Ópera XXI– have participated between April 6 and 8, 2022 at the “III Ibero-American Meeting of Theaters”. The forum set out to reflect and establish lines of work to generate value proposals for the communities of our territories, since we are forced to do so by the context of profound rethinking and changes that the world is going through in geopolitical, humanitarian, social, environmental, technological and cultural aspects.
Heritage, arts and culture –and in this context music and poetry– are agents that can promote reflection and critical thinking, creativity and freedom, diversity and inclusion, solidarity and the cohesion of societies. To achieve this, it is essential to connect and be relevant to the public and citizens in general. We know that, if we want to connect art with people, we have to commit ourselves to humanity and uncompromisingly demand a democratic social context that guarantees the fundamental rights of all individuals and always ensures peace and life.
The three days of reflection and work of the Third Ibero-American Meeting of Theaters allowed us to glimpse the importance of placing people at the center of theater management, above all, to empathize and get to know the public so that our artistic proposal attracts them and at the same time, it generates value for them.
We were also able to analyze the potential of audiovisual technologies such as XR or digital tools such as metaverses to offer new experiences – complementary to the face-to-face experience – to connect with audiences of all ages. We also noted the urgency of considering how to join the innovation wave of music and the performing arts.
On the other hand, we understood the need to implement immediate transformations in terms of sustainability and care for the environment, since human activity has systemic consequences in our planet. The Sustainable Development Goals promoted by the United Nations can guide decisions and actions in theaters, for example, regarding eco-realization. At the same time, as relevant actors of civil society, our organizations can be a beacon for the promotion of sustainable transformation in the world.
Finally, we discussed the relevance of sharing with companies, groups of friends and large donors that music and the performing arts can accompany them in achieving their business purposes, currently linked to sustainability, diversity, inclusion and education, among other causes that impact communities.
We have lived days that have put on the table the importance of thinking about the management of theaters and festivals in an integral way, more connected with people and the environment. In this sense, the Ibero-American organizations that have been part of this meeting have committed to promoting concrete actions that allow us to advance, jointly, in the challenges that our time imposes on us. Below we detail our commitments:
- To develop an Ibero-American training program for professionals linked to cultural management, which includes annual meetings, dialogues and itinerant residences, which adds to the already existing artistic and technical training initiatives.
- Commission new lyrical works created by artists from different Ibero-American countries and co-produced by two or more theaters from the Iberian Peninsula and Latin America, with the aim of connecting with the audiences of our territories based on artistic proposals that emanate from the conjunction of our cultures, identities and histories.
- Rescue and promote the Latin American musical and lyrical heritage through research, communication and programming of them in our organizations, in order to enrich the musical, opera and zarzuela offer, with the purpose of creating a dialogue between in the Ibero-American repertoire with the great repertoire and contemporary creations from other latitudes.
- Incorporate eco-conception in the production and co-production of shows, that is, consider the social impact, in biodiversity and in the carbon footprint of the scenic activity, based on the selection and policies of reuse of materials, among other initiatives.
- Build a catalog of Latin American lyrical productions, to promote cooperation between theaters, the circulation of works through their exchange.
- Raise awareness of the social role that music and lyrics have in the construction and cohesion of our communities through an Ibero-American or global communication campaign, in order to commit the support of the states and to unite companies and philanthropists with the cultural and social projects of theaters and opera seasons.
- Establish a working committee that promotes and monitors the actions committed to in the Third Ibero-American Meeting of Theaters.
Consequently, these challenges must be addressed, as we saw in the talks at the Third Ibero-American Theater Meeting, with the commitment of our theaters team works, seasons, festivals and organizations. Because only to the extent that the entire organization is committed to its purpose, progress will be made in the strategies to build the opera house of the future.