ROH to mark International Women’s Day

Published: 19 February 2021
Reporter: Vera Liber

Artists of the Royal Ballet in Everyone Keeps Me Credit: Bill Cooper

From Monday 8 March, the Royal Opera House will celebrate International Women’s Day 2021 with a week of events, broadcasts and discussions that explore the lives of women in the industry today.

The Royal Opera House Insights series returns with a live discussion, Influence, challenge, and change: What is next for women in the creative industries?. On the ROH YouTube channel, a panel of top figures from the arts world will explore what impact women have on the arts today, what needs to change and what active steps can be taken to improve gender equality.

Arifa Akbar, chief theatre critic of The Guardian, will chair a panel including Director of Tate Modern Frances Morris, lighting designer and Associate Director of the National Theatre Paule Constable, Artistic Director of Kiln Theatre and trustee of the Royal Opera House Indhu Rubasingham and South African soprano Pretty Yende.

On the Royal Opera House’s Instagram channel, there will be a conversation between American choreographer Pam Tanowitz and Royal Ballet First Soloist Beatriz Stix-Brunell exploring the process of creating Tanowitz’s 2019 work Everyone Keeps Me for The Royal Ballet.

The Engender Network was established by The Royal Opera two years ago to highlight and grow female talent both onstage and behind the scenes and is open to all women and non-binary people in opera. On Facebook, there will be two filmed premières of songs created following an Engender / Jette Parker Young Artists event which paired composers with librettists.

Kind Regards, composed by Lillie Harris with words by Laura Attridge, will be performed by soprano April Koyejo-Audiger and directed by T D Moyo, a graduate of JPYA’s 2020 opera director training programme. A recital of I am not yours—Mother Nature, composed by Anna Semple and written by Susannah Pearse will be performed by JPYA mezzo-soprano Stephanie Wake-Edwards accompanied by Caroline Dowdle.

Royal Opera House Deputy Director of Technical and Production Emma Wilson will examine Women in Technical Theatre, Let’s Change Our Future in a detailed piece that goes behind the scenes of the industry’s technical workforce, highlighting areas of positive change in attitudes and approach, while signalling how much more there is to do.