Award-winning Canadian opera collective Against the Grain Theatre (AtG) has announced it will be partnering with nationwide opera outreach collective Opera InReach (OIR) for its upcoming 2021/22 season. The partnership will allow for the development of educational programming centred around AtG productions, and bring opera to communities, students and schools across Canada.
OIR’s work centres on outreach initiatives and partnerships with local opera and arts organizations to create programming for youth aged 12-18 years old to learn about opera. All of their projects are centred through a lens of diversity, inclusion, access and social justice. Through this partnership with AtG, the collective plans to launch a number of programs that will make opera more progressive, accessible and receptive.
“We are thrilled to be working with the team at Opera InReach over the course of AtG’s 2021-2022 season,” said Robin Whiffen, AtG’s Executive Director. “Their energy and passion are well aligned with our values at AtG and we can’t wait to deepen this relationship to bring opera and educational programming to young people on Turtle Island.”
Both organizations share an alignment of equity-seeking values, as well as a desire to see more knowledge-sharing and diversity in the opera industry. The two companies collaborated on a blog post in July that tackled representation of women in opera and explored how AtG’s Sāvitri pushed back at harmful stereotypes.
“We are looking forward to beginning our work with Against the Grain Theatre by offering students across Canada opportunities to learn and engage with opera in new and meaningful ways,” said Daevyd Pepper, co-founder of Opera InReach in a statement. “We believe that their ability to engage with existing opera-goers and new audiences will give us lots of great material to create entryways into opera for youth across Canada.”
The program will provide for mentorship and skills development for OIR, and allow AtG to expand its capacity for authentic and sustainable community engagement. It will be exciting to see the results of the partnership come to fruition over the coming months.
More details on the AtG & OIR collaboration can be found here.