These singers and directors are doing something about the inequality in the opera industry

8 March 2018, 18:03

A new campaign is launching today, on International Women’s Day - and it's all about supporting women and families in opera and music.

Some of the UK's finest young singers, directors and conductors are setting up a campaign to make parts of the music industry more cooperative, understanding and accommodating to women and young families.

Directors Ella Marchment and Sophie Gilpin, singers Anna Patalong, Madeleine Pierard and Kitty Whately and conductor Jessica Cottis have launched 'Supporting Women and Parents in Opera' - or SWAP’ra. 

The group says they hope to bring about change by working to address some of the underlying difficulties that women and young parents still encounter in the music world. 

Mezzo-soprano Kitty Whately told Classic FM "We really want to show that there are loads of us out here who are doing a perfectly good job of juggling motherhood and opera careers. It's perfectly manageable, but there are things that the business can do to help" 

"A simple change for an organisation or institution can make the world of difference for an individual, and ultimately retain a broader spectrum of talent."

SWAP'ra hopes to work long-term with opera companies around the UK to encourage positive, tangible change in the industry. They also hope to establish schemes to encourage more women to go for male-dominated positions such as conductor and director. Other plans include creating a ‘Coaching Crèche’ where parents come together to share childcare during coaching and rehearsals.

The group is already in talks with Opera Holland Park, the Royal Opera House and English National Opera about developing a more inclusive and cooperative industry for women and parents.

You can find out more on their website and follow SWAP'ra on Twitter and Facebook. SWAP’ra’s inaugural event will be an all-female gala at Opera Holland Park on 31 July 2018.

Here's more about what they're doing and why...