A recent Zoom meeting brought together Post Secondary Educator (EPA) members of the Association for Opera in Canada, from across the country. Universities present at the meeting included University of Toronto, Wilfrid Laurier, Universite de Montreal, Western University & Queens University.
Of note was concern regarding a continent-wide decrease in recruitment of music undergraduates, the need to expand the parameters of music education, and concerns about the future of opera.
The group proposed several solutions, including engaging in co-productions between universities, and expanding the course offerings and acknowledged purposes and outcomes of their Opera programs. They also discussed a need for expanded music education in primary and secondary education, and supporting private teachers and highschool music teachers with educational tools.
The group recognized the challenges of touring school productions and engaging with schools in other ways, and discussed the possibility of using Tri-council funding to ask a research question about how to engage youth in this art form. They also acknowledged the difficulty of connecting with the curriculum and discussed possibilities for non-profit / educational institution partnerships.
Several action items were assigned, including exploring a multi-institution collaboration for a Canada Council Innovation project, reaching out to the National Opera Association at the Opera America Conference, and sending a co-production interest email to all EPA leaders.
If you are an representative of a post-secondary educational institution and would like to take part in future conversations, email firstname.lastname@example.org