Report by Catharine Rogers, 6 June 2015

attendees: Cat Rogers, Paul McGrail, Cheyney Kent, Janet Gusman (sp?), Jonathan Man

Summary of discussion

(mostly in the form of random points/questions)

- Do we already invite directly to events?

- taking personal responsibility for engaging with individual, local connected people - MPs, Councillors etc

- Can opera function as protest?

- Should opera be political?

- Does the very word “government” put opera makers off?(at this point there were very few in this conversation)

- Do we need to write a manifesto?

- how is opera relevant to VOTERS (i.e. potential votes gained)

- Can we posit opera as expedient to a particular politician?

- Are we better off enthusing celebrities?

- Why do we want to enthuse government? - purse strings, policy makers, in charge of education policy - setting agenda

- what opera would you send to?

- if a (brief) value of opera to us present is connection, live, unamplified human voices & therefore emotions/storytelling, does this/could this have value to a politician?

- do we put up a case for the value of opera being in tourism/bringing in foreign currency?

also covered: how populist audience already want to hear opera tunes, but not necessarily by operatically trained voices, is the appetite for Kathryn Jenkins etc something to be focussed on? Could there be value in packaging bits of opera differently - videos, short excerpts. Does the average non-London non-opera-goer even know there is a difference?

A general despair at the thought that some opera-going MPs try to hide their attendance, but will feign interest in football (for example) as they perceive that will recommend them better to voting public. potential action going forward

Experiment: If every attendee of #DDOpera this weekend personally invited their local MP or a local councillor to an opera performance they passionately believed in (as performer/creator/supporter/regular audience member/other) what would happen?


politics, inclusion, Politics, dumbing down, voting, Policy, policy