The inner workings of the Artistic Administration forum

Report on the AA forum meeting in London 27-28 September 2018

Opera Europa’s recent Artistic Administration forum seems to answer particular needs for our member. Their listserv has been extremely active in the past few months, on varied topics.

During their last meeting in London at the end of September, participants found they didn’t have enough time to delve into the thrilling topics of their main sessions. 

Host artistic director Daniel Kramer gave a provocative welcome address to spark discussion and debate among the 60 participants.

Efficiency management in the production process brought views from repertoire and stagione houses, with examples from Jan Henric Bogen (Opera Vlaanderen), Jessica Fjelkegård (GöteborgsOperan), Terri-Jayne Griffin (English National Opera) and Ivo Graca (Prague). 

Susanna Schmidt (Bregenz Festival), Cormac Simms (Royal Opera House Covent Garden) and Malte Puls (Volksoper Wien) shared their expertise on guest contracts, from special clauses on media rights to the challenging GDPR.

Bob Brandsen, chair of Opera Europa’s Technical & Production forum, led an interactive session to update the Co-production guidelines produced by Opera Europa in 2005. They are now available online. 

The presentation by Sune Hjerrild and Mike Gibb on the joint venture finalised over the summer between Truelinked and Operabase gave food to much discussion, too.

Participants were invited to attend auditions organised by London-based agencies prior to the conference, and auditions of the Royal Opera House’s Jette Parker Young Artists Programme and the English National Opera’s Harewood Artists Programme. They also attended the premiere of Salome staged by Adena Jacobs, and got to sit in on the Porgy and Bess Sitzprobe. 

The steering group, composed of Aurore Aubouin (La Monnaie), Jessica Fjelkegård and Moritz Reissenberger (Aalto-Musiktheater Essen) thanked Terri-Jayne for her contributions over the years, as she was ending her work at English National Opera ; and are welcoming Laura Canning (Garsington), Katja Tammela (Finnish National Opera) and Stephanie Wippel (Wiener Staatsoper), bringing varied expertise to their working team to plan their next meeting, to be held between 24 and 27 April in Antwerp, adjoining Opera Europa’s spring conference on the theme of Creation.