International Explainer: What is ENOA?

enoa is a European network of opera academies which supports and accompanies artists from the operatic sector – creative artists and performers – in developing their professional careers. 

After ten years of international cooperation in the field of training and creation, the network is convinced that the future of opera in Europe depends on opening the sector up to a more diverse range of artists, together with an expansion of the repertoire to include innovative operas reflecting the issues of the world today. 

enoa, with the support of the Creative Europe programme, is thus renewing its commitment to artists and creation.

Its new programme, entitled EMPOWERING OPERA: BREAKING BOUNDARIES FOR INSTITUTIONS AND ARTISTS, aims to foster, support and share innovative opera projects, conveying new narratives that are engaged with contemporary societies. Its implementation also intends to remove artistic and financial barriers as well as unconscious bias that hinder the appearance of new artistic expressions in all areas of the opera sector, from training and artist recruitment to opera production and scheduling.

The programme’s goal is to promote diversity and varied artistic forms of expression in all the European operatic sector and to totally transform practices and ways of working via:

  • Work on training and occupational integration of creative artists and performers with theoretical and practical workshops
  • Customised immersive residences in the network’s institutions, helping to open up the world of opera to artists without experience in the sector and ones coming from other artistic disciplines (jazz, theatre, dance, poetry, the plastic arts, etc.)
  • Innovative opera projects, embodying new narratives, produced by creative teams recruited via Europe-wide calls for projects and an inclusive selection process, followed by experimental and development workshops hosted by network members
  • A programme to train participants in the issues of equality and diversity in order to raise awareness and transform practices in the sector in terms of creation, programming, recruitment and communication
  • A policy of commissioning, producing and performing works, promoting diversity and mobility among artists and operas

Today it totals 12 partners and 9 associate partners, including Europe’s most important operatic institutions. The creation of enoa in 2009 and its first few years of activity (2011-2015) enabled its partners to pool and promote artistic training and development workshops. The launch and implementation of its Young Opera Makers (2016-2020) programme was the perfect springboard for partners to test innovative professional integration pathways and creative processes on a Europe-wide scale.

From 2009 to 2019, enoa has provided support to over 1,500 artists, has developed and launched European tours for 17 operatic productions, 12 of which were world premieres.