Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Opera Europe Conference. Barcelona, April 2009

Gran Teatro del Liceu, in the charming city of Barcelona, was host last April to the Opera Europa Conference. Classictic was there, not just as delegate but also as sponsor and speaker. I take a minute now- in the cool, April-like weather of the Berlin interpretation of summer, to reflect.

The week presented a great opportunity for an exchange of ideas and thoughts with the super busy leaders of opera houses throughout Europe. Theme for this gathering was Creativity and Innovation, with a consistent focus on strategies to promote success/survival for and in the future. In these challenging economic times, where arts are often considered a luxury and quickly cut from the budget of a sponsor or patron, these sessions were lively, well attended and all very interesting. I would like to commend the members of Opera Europa for their open-eyed yet optimistic approach to keeping their opera houses alive in the face of the harsh economic realities we are faced with in today’s global market. It is not a bad thing to take a moment and reassess - as one is required to do in such a crisis. The opera houses appeared ready to me, ready to open themselves to new ideas and technologies without sacrificing their strong traditions, keen to maintain their audience bases and to grow with younger generations.

Speaking of young: an additional and wonderful focus in the Convention, also looking to the future, was placed on the talented group of Young Participants. I was completely taken by the depths of creativity and long-term plans, coupled with knowledge of the extensive history of opera and great talent which I found within this group of eloquent young people. They are working very hard and plan to keep opera alive and vibrant for many generations to come.

Classictic was asked to speak and present information to the delegates in a Panel Presentation on Internet Marketing for the Performing Arts which was very well attended and received. Continuing with the theme of opening themselves to new technologies, the possibility of marketing their performances to a world-wide audience on the multi-lingual Classictic website was of great interest to many. The concept of ‘Opera Tourism’ was to some delegates a ‘new’ concept. This group of travelling music lovers is one of the many client groups that Classictic is happy to service. There are, at any given time, hundreds of operas to choose from throughout Europe and as far away as Bangkok on the Classictic portal. Soon to come: North American Opera houses.

Classictic is looking forward to meeting our opera colleagues at the Opera Europa Convention in Budapest next fall.

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