Report by Natasha Freedman, 7 June 2015

Challenge of training singers/musicians is so deep rooted that by the time people are emerging from conservatoires into the industry, they are already predominantly

Caucasian ; we need to both expose people and provide opportunities to learn music.

Can individual artists help as ambassadors, with mentoring/shadowing opportunities within main house, and also going out to schools/communities?

Great as entry level exposure. Mentoring is hugely powerful. Artists need to be given agency to have impact off stage

Emerging artists of colour need other forms of support to help them be valued, integrated, given opportunities, active invitations.

Artists have to take responsibility to create their own opportunities. But so many people don't feel they have permission/confidence to put themselves forward or knock on the door to ask to be invited in.

Our deeply engrained cultural references affect us on a subconscious level. We need to be more aware of our unconscious and make more active choices.

Can we look at specific skills training gaps and create opportunities for individuals to come in ?

Class as a diversity barrier due to economic factors, denying people the opportunity to have a music lesson or go to see work. We need subsidised ticket schemes and subsidised music lessons etc.

Female directors in the group voiced their experience of being treated differently from male directors, having to justify their position of authority to command a rehearsal;

We need government support and need to play the economic argument as to why the arts need to play a part within our education system

Are there creative ways in which we can engage more diverse audiences to participate/attend as audiences?

The elitism of the opera house building being off putting to audiences, opera can inhabit other venues/spaces to extend the reach to other audiences eg ENO working in the Young Vic

Theatres need to proactively think about the stories they want to tell on stage to reach different more diverse audiences

ACE ‘a night less ordinary’ for 16-25 year olds was great for encouraging young people in to theatre but did not address any issue of racial diversity

Conversations around diversity are happening but the steps are not being taken to put into practice ; is it a question of programming, to include operas that are representative of other cultures to different audiences?

Education departments and main house programmes need to be more integrated.

There is a typical value judgment made on work made in education departments which are deemed to be of lesser quality, less relevance than work for main stage.

Roundhouse are good example of where they do value their education work/youth company and present it to main stage audiences as pre performance extra.

Create festival ethos where other work is shared on main platforms.

This could include young talent, work by young composers, young directors etc

Snobbery about not valuing artists who work in education work

Theatre contracts being weekly to include workshops alongside performances for main company - can opera learn from that model? Artists benefit from the contact with diverse audiences. Who you see on stage needs to be representative of contemporary society… Create opportunities for professional musicians/performers/directors to make work in community settings/schools to inspire young people

Proactive connections, partnerships are needed to cross fertilise artists and audiences.

Getting people into the building is not enough, need to take work out to people to introduce them to the work and get out there to bring people in to the theatre beyond traditional marketing/press eg on radio channels for very different audiences.

How do we tell positive stories about diversity to build a bigger narrative rather than it always being synonymous with negativity, challenge?

We need black/Asian role models, also individuals from lower socio economic groups who can inspire others, using choice FM, radio 1 extra etc

Programming operatic work from other cultures and work that speaks to diverse audiences due to its content, relevance