Answering the Big Questions

We aim to facilitate real, achievable, take-away actions.

The Business of Opera summit convened by the Laidlaw Opera Trust will combine audience insights from brand-new market research, short keynote addresses from leaders inside and outside the art form, and working groups focussed on in-depth problem-solving.

10th October 2024 | Conference Agenda

9:00 AM - 9:15 AM
Coffee and registration
 
9:15 AM - 9:20 AM
Welcome


 

9:20 AM - 9:30 AM
Chair's opening remarks: The future of opera: What is the problem we are trying to solve?
 
9:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Market research findings: The public perception of opera

 

Results of brand new research commissioned by the Laidlaw Opera Trust on the public perception of opera in the UK. Find out from our detailed analysis:

  • What exactly it is that stops people from trying opera for the first time?
  • What would convert an occasional opera-goer to a regular attendee?
  • What do people expect a night at the opera to be like, and how do they expect it to compare to other forms of entertainment?
  • What is considered value for money for an evening out engaging with the arts?

 

10:00 AM - 10:20 AM
Arts Council England: Let’s Create Opera and Music Theatre Analysis conclusions and recommendations

 

What role should public money play in the opera sector and how can the sector address challenges in collaboration with Arts Council England? What opportunities does Arts Council England see for the art form?

10:20 AM - 10:40 AM
Out of Opera Keynote: What can opera learn from other entertainment businesses?

Special guest speaker to be revealed

10:40 AM - 11:10 AM
Coffee and Networking Break
 
11:10 AM - 11:30 AM
Keynote Address: New programming to attract new audiences: The ambition and the impact

 

Hear the initial results of the Metropolitan Opera's strategy of reaching out to younger audiences through new works for the 2024/2025 season. 

11:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Keynote Panel: How do we get the next generation hooked on opera? What is the bigger picture we are trying to work towards?
 

Working Group Sessions (12:00pm - 1:00pm)

Each working group starts with two 5-minute presentations around a specific problem from different perspectives, followed by a group discussion aiming at creating action points.

The bigger picture and how to get there. Data, KPIs, and opera's relationship to state funding

  • What is the bigger picture we are trying to work towards and how do we get there?
  • What is opera’s relationship to state funding?
  • What should we be measuring, as individual organisations and as an art form?

Diversity, accessibility, community and the next generation

  • How do we get the next generation hooked on opera?
  • What do we mean by diversity and accessibility?
  • How do we work with community and what does that look like?

Creating meaningful career pathways for the next generation of superstars

  • How can we work together to develop artists and create meaningful career pathways?
  • How do we create the next generation of superstars?
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Networking Lunch
 
2:00 PM - 2:20 PM
New Data Presentation: Retention of new-to-file audience
 
2:20 PM - 3:00 PM
The philanthropists: values, motivations and effective collaboration

 

Watch this space for further speakers

Your chance to put your questions to a panel of established and new philanthropists. Find out why they give to opera, how they came to the art form, and what it would take to persuade a young philanthropist to become a future major donor.

We tell stories, but can we speak with one voice?

 

What do we want to say? To whom? Why? And how?

Working Group Sessions (3:00pm - 4:00pm)

Each working group starts with two 5-minute presentations around a specific problem from different perspectives, followed by a group discussion aiming at creating action points.

Cost structure, inefficiencies and disruption

  • Cost structures and inefficiencies: How can we disrupt common practice to cut costs?

Working with venues to develop local audiences

  • How can we help venues programme opera?
  • How can we work more effectively with venues to develop regional audiences?

The next generation and training the right people for the right jobs

4:00 PM - 4:30 PM
Afternoon Tea
 
4:30 PM - 5:00 PM
Feedback and action points from working groups

Each working group chair will feed back on the outcome of their respective discussions

5:00 PM - 5:15 PM
Closing address
 
5:15 PM
End of conference