Equity insists that a diverse range of performers should be auditioned for every production, writes Hilary Hadley. The Golden Dragon was a poor choice of target for criticism, say Professor Sue Clegg and Derek Howl

We were interested to read your editorial (A ‘yellowface’ casting row points to opera’s diversity problem, 16 October) which covered the key issues relating to the all-white casting of the production of The Golden Dragon. At Equity we have recently launched our Manifesto for Casting which sets out our ambitions in this area, and includes the very clear statement that a diverse range of performers should be auditioned for every production. While we are conscious that there are some important initiatives in place to increase diversity in opera, there remains a very real problem with the limited pool of singers available.

There is a clear need to increase the numbers of singers of east Asian origin who don’t require a work permit. We are currently in discussion with Music Theatre Wales about our manifesto, and hopefully we will be able to partner with them to improve their approach to casting diversity.
Hilary Hadley
Head of live performance department, Equity

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Source: Opera News from the UK Guardian