Devoted and Disgruntled - Germaine's report

Our London performer Germaine Nyack shares her thoughts from the 'Devoted and Distgruntled: How can we change opera for the better?' event on 9 and 10 April:

"Thank you to Streetwise Opera for giving me the opportunity to attend and experience this event. I was happy to meet up with people I knew from the past and to make new acquaintances.

"I enjoyed participating in various groups on both days about topics such as:
- whether London needs two opera houses when there are so many cuts in funding
- making opera accessible to people with disabilities with special regard to  people who are deaf
- not only using the disability as an excuse for getting funding but making opera an enjoyable experience for everyone
- how to make opera not an elitist activity but  something that attracts people of different cultural backgrounds, of all ages and from all walks of life

"Both days  were well spent. I met many inspiring and interesting people, who said they would like to continue being in contact.  I did some networking and spreading the word about Streetwise Opera and the benefits we get by being a member. I liked the concept of mobility - either moving around the groups or just sitting in a corner reflecting on what had been discussed and digesting this information.

"Besides extolling the virtues of Streetwise and explaining the ethos of the organisation,  I have come back learning a lot about the present crisis in the opera world,  and was interested to hear how women are under-represented especially in the top executive roles and conducting positions. Non-white people are also hardly seen, and I was the only black woman present.

"There were so many good points too and I am glad to say there were more people who were devoted than disgruntled."