Inclusion On, Behind & Beyond the Stage

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09 May 2024

FEDORA's Activities

For FEDORA, inclusion extends beyond representation to encompass equity, accessibility, and a sense of belonging for all individuals. We prioritize creating environments where everyone, regardless of background or identity, feels empowered to contribute and succeed. Our approach includes promoting cultural competence, fostering collaboration among diverse groups, and continuously learning and adapting to address systemic barriers.

Our funding programs celebrate projects that embody principles of inclusion, encouraging the creation of artworks that inspire and promote diverse perspectives and participation, by driving artistic innovation and contributing to more tangible outcomes, fostering a sense of belonging and amplifying marginalized voices.

Some FEDORA Prize Winners showcase projects that embody this commitment, by raising awareness about modern day issues related to the inclusion of children, people with mental illnesses, and people with physical disabilities. Through these projects, creatives are provided a boundless platform for artistic expression for new narratives that reflect the different views and needs, and that allow the audience to discover and understand their differences and struggles, initiating dialogue and development.

Similarly, our Next Stage Grants Recipients have utilised their funding to pioneer inclusive practices within their respective fields on, behind, and beyond the stage. These projects help set new industry standards by promoting accessibility, equity, and representation, ensuring a more inclusive environment for all. 

Furthermore, our Next Stage Capacity-Building initiatives help build a community of innovators committed to inclusive practices. We organise, in collaboration with our expert partners, online workshops and seminars that connect artists and creatives to industry experts, initiating dialogues around inclusion and the sharing of best practices.

On the other hand, our Platform Members are invited to create annual Roadshows within their own communities that serve as forums for exchanging best practices and forging collaborations centered around inclusion, amplifying the impact of our collective efforts.

Discover all the FEDORA Prize winners, Next Stage Grants Recipients, capacity-building workshops, and Platform Members’ Roadshows that tackle and are centered around inclusion on, behind, and beyond the stage. 

FEDORA Prize Winners 

Milo & Maya Around The World - Teatro Sociale di Como - AsLiCo

Milo and Maya Around The World is an interactive opera project for young audience. It aims to produce an opera exclusively written for young audience, with a contemporary language, written by a young emerging composer and interpreted by young artists from the European stage. Opera growing and flourishing thanks to young people: interactivOpera!  

The Second Violinist - Irish National Opera

The opera focuses on the character of the second violinist in an ensemble. They examine this man as he experiences a mental breakdown as a major performance looms. He gets pulled further and further into darkness.

Co-OPERAtive - Greek National Opera

Co-OPERAtive is an opera hub for a mixed group of 60 young Athenians and unaccompanied refugees aged 15-17. The art of opera will function as a common language of the first intercultural youth opera hub in Europe. Co-OPERAtive aims to broaden opera’s appeal to adolescents, highlighting cultural diversity and social cohesion.

Woman at Point Zero - LOD muziektheater

Woman at Point Zero is a new opera based on the classic 1975 novel by the Egyptian writer Nawal El Sadaawi. From this universal story of exploitation, erasure and the search for freedom, composer Bushra El-Turk, director Laila Soliman, writer Stacy Hardy and filmmaker Aida Elkashef create a new multimedia production that weaves together diverse creative visions and challenges conventions. Opera as a powerful voice for a new wave of feminism without borders.  

Going for Gold - Birmingham Opera Company

Inspiring 10,000 local people with 100 free events and supporting 50 diverse emerging artists with unparalleled professional development opportunities in Europe’s youngest, most diverse city. It culminates in a disused factory, with volunteer performers alongside a stellar international cast and the full CBSO.


Dance training for people with a disability - Platform-K

Working on the dream of dancers with a (learning) disability. The mission of Platform-K is to fill this gap. They believe that dancers with a disability are an added value to the contemporary dance scene. To do this, they train dancers with a disability and create productions with dancers with and without a disability. The goal of an inclusive dance scene can only be reached if they have dancers with a disability who are professionally trained.  

Out of the Ordinary - Irish National Opera

Out of the Ordinary harnesses the creativity and life experience of diverse Irish communities that currently have little or no connection to opera. It uses cutting edge technology as a tool to distil and present their stories. It results in the world’s first ever VR community opera.  

La Visita - Fondazione I Teatri - Reggio Emilia

The Site-Specific Project La Visita will bring Peeping Tom’s theatricality, its disruption and surrealism into the new world of art galleries.Through the artworks, the museum’s characters and the audience will be taken into a parallel mental world, portraying what usually remains hidden.  

HERE AND THERE - UNTOLD - O. Festival for Opera.Music.Theatre

 HERE AND THERE - UNTOLD brings together an opera, vocal projects and communities that deal with diaspora. Untold stories of people that are trying to find connection; a search of how to connect to their homeland and who they are in the country where they live. But also, how does the diaspora influences the art they create.  


Panoptique is a dialogue between Schubert's work and contemporary experiences of confinement. A meeting point between the stage, musical aesthetics and closed environments (carceral and psychiatric). A journey through a blank landscape where bodies and voices seek to inscribe themselves.

The Sound Voice Project - Britten Pears Arts

The Sound Voice Project: Exhibition V: An immersive digital-opera installation created with partners in healthcare, technology, science and biomedical research, and people with lived experience of voice loss. Dynamic integration of voices from across the globe in an ever-changing and evolving work of art.  

FEDORA Next Stage 

Sensory Theatre - Teatro Sociale di Como - AsLiCo

Opera Education was created with the aim of opening the doors of the opera house to the public of tomorrow, strongly believing that the sharing of ideas and knowledge contained in the musical language cancels distances. For this reason, its educational and artistic proposals aim to create a path to discover that diversity is a precious asset that enriches us, working to stimulate curiosity and the sense of community.

OPERA MATTERS - Poznań Opera House

Over the last 4 years, Poland went from the country people are leaving to the country migrants come to. We are facing an issue that countries of Western Europe have been struggling with for many years, and the need to integrate migrants into Polish society is more and more urgent. Russia's armed attack on Ukraine resulted in an avalanche of refugees from Ukraine. The organisation wishes to help people who have devoted their entire lives to developing their passion and creating opera, and are now left without any earning opportunities, instruments, rehearsal spaces and infrastructures, without knowing the language of the country in which they fled to.

ISOLDE - Irish National Opera

A transformative digital project that aims to revolutionise the presentation, sustainability and access of opera through the medium of Street Art Operas that explore climate change. They are a unique blend of opera, street art & animation, presented as outdoor video & sound installations projected onto buildings. These presentations of Street Art Opera to date have been remarkably successful and fully subscribed, but have been limited in scale because of the current technology options available.  

FEDORA Next Stage Capacity-Building 

Next Stage Capacity - Building Workshop on Inclusivity 2023

FEDORA held two workshops in collaboration with our Expert Partner BPI - Business Performance Institute, to review current hiring practices in the performing arts sector and build together recommendations of best practices to be applied. These workshops are dedicated to emerging artists and creatives within opera and dance companies, including but not limited to stage directors, designers, sound designers, composers, performers, digital creatives, videographers, producers and project managers. They are co-funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union that is helping to make opera and dance more accessible and innovative.  

Next Stage Capacity-Building Workshop on Inclusivity for Platform Members 2022

FEDORA held a full-day workshop in collaboration with BPI (Business Performance Institute) on “Attraction: Helping a broader diversity of candidates access the casting and hiring process”. The session focused on the current barriers to access careers in the performing arts, whether financial, regarding location or current practices.


FEDORA Platform Members, Roadshows


Kruistocht, meaning crusade in Dutch, is a contemporary family opera by Johan De Smet and Frederik Neyrinck that focuses on child slavery and migration by children. The opera tells the story of children working every day in factories, sewing, choking and toiling in the mines. In search for freedom and self-development, they will try with tireless resilience to flee their arduous daily life.  

Cassandra Festival - LA MONNAIE/DE MUNT

Cassandra tells the story of a woman, Sandra, who divides her time between her research into the melting ice caps and stand-up comedy. Concerned about her recent discoveries about the impact of human activity on the environment, she wants to use humour to raise awareness. But people around her are sceptical, as is her own family. Just as Cassandra predicted the fall of Troy without being heard, Sandra predicts the imminent approach of a terrible tragedy, but no one seems to be listening.  

"We are musicians" - STARA ZAGORA STATE OPERA

This summer, "We are musicians" reached the stage and gave young children the opportunity to perform on the stage of Stara Zagora State Opera. “We are musicians” is a project of sensory friendly interactive opera developed by Stara Zagora State Opera dedicated to children and youth with special educational needs. 


Concert of talented emerging artists in Zagreb - CROATIAN NATIONAL THEATRE IN ZAGREB

Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb presented a special concert programme with talented Croatian emerging artists, who had won the Opera Scholarship of the CNT. The concert of CNT Opera scholars took place in the foyer of the opera house and was focused on presenting new talents to the local audience, which was invited to enjoy the special concert.  

PROjecteur métiers - OPERA DE LILLE

Opéra de Lille has been working on PROjecteur métiers, a miniseries of videos presenting the different professions existing in the Opera industry. Technical director, stage manager, set and costume designer, administrator... These videos highlight the technical and artistic aspects of each profession, whether shedding light on the skills and qualities needed, the challenges and fulfilment of such jobs, or revealing funny anecdotes and striking memories.  

Unerhört - a series of workshops for children and teenagers - THEATER MAGDEBURG

Unerhört - meaning both "outrageous" and "never-heard" in German - is a project led by Theater Magdeburg enabling children and teenagers to discover what theatre and opera are all about. During one week, students were able to try out different forms of theatre activities by attending seven workshops, from singing to drama and dance. 

Werther - Outreach activities - IRISH NATIONAL OPERA

The Irish National Opera decided to organise four activities in four different cities in Ireland to coincide with the tour of Werther.Through the video, they aim at inspiring other young people to participate in such activities by raising the visibility of young people engaging with opera through their own creativity.

Opera white: a new didactic-musical format for the Community of institutionalised elderlies - TEATRO SOCIALE DI COMO - ASLICO

Opera White is the latest format from the Opera Education Department of the opera house: a didactic-musical path for institutionalised elderly people with the aim of enhancing opera as a tool to overcome loneliness within the Residential Care Homes (RCH), offering socialisation activities among the elderly and inclusion with the community in which they live. Through the project, guests learn some choral songs they can then sing during the final performance, thus making their participation essential to the very success of the play and also inviting them to make use of their mnemonic and learning skills.  

Spotlights on Future: A New Massimo Generation - FONDAZIONE TEATRO MASSIMO PALERMO

In their new webseries entitled "Spotlights on Future: A New Massimo Generation", Fondazione Teatro Massimo Palermo decided to celebrate youth in the operatic world and highlight the importance of giving young people a voice.

International Young Patrons Gala - DUTCH NATIONAL OPERA & BALLET

“Dutch MET Gala” according to Vogue, the International Young Patrons Gala celebrates young talented artists of the Dutch National Opera & Ballet. During one festive evening, young opera and ballet fans gather in extravagant outfits to attend opera and ballet performances, followed by a party in the foyer with a DJ. Supported by the Young Patrons Circle, it brings together young emerging artist singers and dancers, as well as global stars and alumni of the talent programmes.  


In an exclusive collaboration with designer Louise Xin, the Textile Fashion Center and students from the Textile University in Borås, the Royal Swedish Opera presented on 7 September 2023 a brand-new collection of unique pieces created out of old stage costumes of the opera house.


Supported by Opera Ballet Vlaanderen, the Argentinian choreographer Lisi Estaras will be working for a year with a diverse group of fifty dancers from Ghent around encounter, intimacy and understanding. Their identities and backgrounds form the basis for this large-scale dance theatre performance. For the occasion, the Ghent opera hall will be converted into a spectacular ballroom in which the at times stirring, then melancholic, tangos of the Argentinian composer Eduardo Rovira lead the dance.  

Zinka Milanov 4th International Competition for Young Opera Singers - CROATIAN NATIONAL THEATRE IVAN PL. ZAJC RIJEKA

The Fourth International Zinka Milanov Competition for Young Singers is an event hosted by the Croatian National Theatre Ivan pl. Zajc in Rijeka that provides young opera singers from around the world with the opportunity to perform for the Rijeka audience and an expert jury from the world of Opera, expanding their opportunities and developing their art through expert feedback and masterclasses, as well as the chance to perform in upcoming productions by partnering opera houses.  

#thedigitalstage - FESTIVAL D'AIX-EN-PROVENCE

Festival d’Aix-en-Provence is inaugurating its “Midis du Festival” (“Midday at the Festival”) series. These free public events are recorded and displayed on #thedigitalstage through podcasts.


A second creative workshop of their interactive opus project: Séisme. On the program of this second residency; staging storyboard, first tests of the vibratory effect of footsteps on Subpac vests (a well-known tool for deaf and hard of hearing audiences), musical rehearsals and recording, model of the set and reflections on sound design.

sound:waves festival - STAATSOPER HANNOVER

Staatsoper Hannover started the sound:waves festival to invite people with and without disabilities - regardless of age, origin, socio-economic background and educational biography - to a collective creative process. sound:waves gives room to people of all levels of bodily and cognitive ability to explore sound and its vibrations by building and playing fantastical, non-classical instruments and fixing them within the installation. While some of these instruments are readymade, repurposed or found, others are made of recycled trash. In building, participants are encouraged to make music with everyday items. In playing, they are encouraged to discover musicality within themselves.  


The opera examines how humans have at various times during the 20th attempted to communicate with animals and why. In autumn 2021 the company issued a call for young people (aged 12 - 18) from counties Meath and Kildare to participate in the project. 16 young people were selected and rehearsals for the piece began in January 2022.   


Dutch National Opera and RIGHTABOUTNOW INC. came together to celebrate and commemorate Keti Koti – ‘break the chains’. With Keti Koti, we celebrate the abolition of slavery in Suriname and the Dutch Antilles on July 1, 1863.

Albert Herring Premiere & Next Stage Grants - POZNAN OPERA HOUSE

General Manager of the company, introduced the Next Stage initiative to attendees during a special event, emphasising three development paths, three challenges for opera companies to work together for a better future – sustainability, inclusivity and digital technologies.

Roundtable session with Arts Management Students - TEATRO REAL

Teatro Real organised a 3-day event, during which international students of the Master in Performing Arts Management of Universidad Complutense of Madrid had the opportunity to discover FEDORA and its initiatives.


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