Opera Europa is the international service organisation for professional opera companies and opera festivals in Europe. It is incorporated in Brussels as a not-for-profit organisation.

With roots going back to 1995, Opera Europa gained its present format and name in 2002, on the merger of the European Opera Network and the Eurolyrica associations.[1] It had 160 member companies in 40 different countries as at May 2016.[2]


For the benefit of its member companies, it runs forums, databases, a quarterly newsletter, and twice-yearly conferences, and offers reciprocal membership benefits with Opera America.[3]

European Opera Days

Opera Europa co-ordinates the annual European Opera Days when opera companies across Europe open their doors to the general public, with opera house tours, open rehearsals, talks and special events (both in and outside the conventional spaces). The first European Opera Days were held in 2007, and since then have taken place each year on the weekend closest to the EU's Europe Day, 9 May.[4]

The Opera Platform

Opera Europa is the lead partner behind The Opera Platform, a service launched in May 2015 to offer free live streams of operas via the web. The three-year project to stream one free production every month received half of its 3.9 million euro budget from the European Union's Creative Europe programme, the other half coming from the 15 opera companies providing the content. The Franco-German TV network Arte is providing the technological platform.[5]

The Opera Platform won the Accessibility category in the 2016 edition of the International Opera Awards.[6]

European Opera-directing Prize (EOP)

In collaboration with the Camerata Nuova e.V. in Wiesbaden, Opera Europa supports a biennial competition, the European Opera-directing Prize (EOP, in German: Europäischen Opernregie-Preis) for young opera directors and design teams up to the age of 35. Competition is fierce with more than 200 teams applying in 2009.[7] The winning team receive prize money of 35,000 euros, but perhaps more importantly have their production mounted by a European opera company, receiving mentoring and support for this process.[8]

Year Opera Winning team Premiere Sponsoring company
2001 Fidelio (Beethoven) Matthias Lutz (dir),
Julia Hansen (design)
29 Apr 2002 Hessisches Staatstheater, Wiesbaden
2003 Hans Heiling (Marschner) Andreas May (dir),
David König (design)
28 Feb 2004 Opéra national du Rhin, Strasbourg
2005 La cenerentola (Rossini) Thaddeus Strassberger (dir,sets),
Mattie Ullrich (costumes)
22 Apr 2006 Opera Ireland, Dublin
2007 Rusalka (Dvořák) Johannes Gleim (dir),
Daniela Juckel (design)
30 Mar 2008 Latvian National Opera, Riga
2009 La finta giardiniera (Mozart) Anna Dirckinck-Holmfeld (dir),
Sibylle Wallum (design)
1 Apr 2010 Stadttheater Bern
2011 I Capuleti e i Montecchi (Bellini) Sam Brown (dir),
Annemarie Woods (design)
27 Sep 2012 As.Li.Co., Como and tour
2013 Cavalleria rusticana (Mascagni) and Pagliacci (Leoncavallo) Prize not awarded Stadttheater Klagenfurt
2015 Weiße Rose (Udo Zimmermann) Joint first prize:
Niki Ellinidou (dir),
Nefeli Myrtidi (design)
October 2016 Oper Köln
,, ,, Joint first prize:
Anna Drescher (dir),
Hudda Chukri (design)
4 Nov 2016 Theater Orchester Biel Solothurn (de)
2016 La traviata (Verdi) Andrea Bernard (dir)
Elena Beccaro, Alberto Beltrame (design)
October 2017 Festival Verdi (it), Teatro Giuseppe Verdi, Busseto


  1. ^ Opera Europa website. The beginnings of Opera Europa: a short chronicle Archived August 23, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ Opera Europa website. Members list. Retrieved 3 May 2016.
  3. ^ Opera Europa website. About Us pages
  4. ^ European Opera Days website Retrieved 13 Aug 2011.
  5. ^ Minder, Raphael (12 May 2015), "Europe Sees Free Streaming of Opera as a Way to Stay Relevant", The New York Times 
  6. ^ 2016 winners, International Opera Awards. Retrieved 22 October 2016
  7. ^ Camerata Nuova website. Was ist der EOP? (in German)
  8. ^ Camerata Nuova website.Overview in English