• Women in Opera Roundtable Highlights

    By COC Staff

    On January 28, 2019 — during one of the worst winter storms in recent memory — a panel of leading women in the industry gathered to discuss the realities of working as a woman in opera. Moderated by opera professional Sue Elliott, the insightful discussion included soprano and composer Danika Lorèn, soprano Miriam Khalil, and mezzo-soprano and arts administrator Janet Stubbs. 

    We're happy to share a few highlights from the discussion below and we encourage you to continue this incredibly important conversation in the comment section and on social media using the hashtag, #WomeninOpera. 

    Please note: Audio compatible for play with Chrome/Edge/Firefox browsers. Safari users – please download to listen.

    The roundtable was organized into three main categories of discussion: Creative Environments, Reconciling the Canon, and Towards a More Inclusive Future.

    Sue Elliott: "Gender represents only one perspective through which to consider inequity. The categories often described as “identity politics” along with gender, which include race, ethnicity, class, sexuality, ability, and others, influence how opera is created and produced, seen by audiences, and reviewed by critics. In contrast, style, preferences, habits, training, connections, and artistic commitments also have an impact on production and reception."


    What's going well? Where are the challenges?
    Speaking: Miriam Khalil, Danika Lorèn, Janet Stubbs


    Sue Elliott: "When you’re preparing and performing roles that portray women in ways you find uncomfortable, how do you work through that process yourself, with your colleagues, and in interactions with any audience members?"

    Intimacy on stage
    Speaking: Danika Lorèn

    Performing interesting female characters
    Speaking: Miriam Khalil


    The unrealized potential of women in opera
    Speaking: Sue Elliott, Danika Lorèn, Miriam Khalil

    Speaking: Danika Lorèn

    Representation on
    Speaking: Miriam Khalil

    Photo credit: (l-r) Sue Elliott, Danika Lorèn, Miriam Khalil, and Janet Stubbs. Photo: COC Staff

    For information on future events like this one, visit our Opera Insights page.

    See Miriam Khalil and Danika Lorèn on stage this spring in Puccini's La Bohème, April 17 to May 22, 2019 at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts.

    Take your culture game to the next level with our monthly eOpera.
    Posted in Opera Insights


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