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US Opera Company Responses to “Pledge for Racial Equity and Systemic Change in Opera”


Insight Report – August 2021

August 24, 2021
by Black Opera Alliance and TRG Arts
Download the full Insight Report

Executive Summary – Key Findings

  • 113 opera companies in the US were sent Black Opera Alliance’s “Pledge for Racial Equity and Systemic Change in Opera.” (The Pledge)
  • 48% of US opera companies have responded “Yes” to The Pledge and 1% has responded “No.”
  • 23% of opera companies who received data workbooks detailing artistic hires by type of role and by race returned information, but 59% of the data returned is incomplete.
  • Where race data was provided, representation concerns are illuminated; Black artists hired for 3% of Production roles and 10% of all Principal singer roles
  • The most likely steps opera companies have taken toward equity is hiring an EDI consultant and/or adopting new policies.

Introduction

Black Opera Alliance (BOA) and TRG Arts have partnered to further BOA’s mission to expose racial inequity and under-representation of the African diaspora in all facets of the opera sector and promote reform. To achieve this, BOA and TRG Arts are tracking the progress that opera companies in the US are making towards the eight areas of needed transformation defined in The Pledge released in September of 2020.

As the opera field seeks out truer equity, inclusion, and racial justice, this framework provides specific requirements and timelines. BOA is eager to understand the impact and progress of The Pledge.

To share how progress is being made, BOA and TRG will be releasing ongoing insight reports in 2021 and 2022. Historically, the lack of industry-wide accountability has been a prime culprit in stalling substantive industry evolution in the EDI space. These reports will shine a spotlight on how and where the sector is making gains. BOA and TRG Arts are also committed to helping the opera sector understand how to apply these data points to aid in journeys of improvement. To facilitate industry-wide learning, BOA and TRG Arts also will host webinars to review each insight report and discuss take-aways and action items.

Download the Press Release

In this webinar recording, Black Opera Alliance and TRG Arts share progress the Opera sector is making towards Black Opera Alliance's pledge for "Racial Equity and Systemic Change in Opera.”




Download the Presentation Slides


Black Opera Alliance

The mission of the Black Opera Alliance (BOA) is to empower Black classical artists and administrators by exposing systems of racial inequity and under-representation of the African diaspora in all facets of the industry and challenging institutions to implement drastic reform. BOA was founded in the midst of the current pandemic out of a need for support and action when opera professionals around the world are out of work and the Black population is disproportionately affected by COVID-19 and economic hardship. Alongside the protests of the Black Lives Matter movement, Black opera professionals and others who support equity have decided that the time for change is now.

Find out more about Black Opera Alliance
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