Royal Opera House 2022 Engender Festival Program Announcement

By Afton Wooten

The Royal Opera House has announced the full program for its annual Engender Festival. The 2022 festival takes place from July 4 – 9.

Engender is the Royal Opera House’s initiative to serve women and gender minorities working in opera through representation, professional development, and networking. Throughout the year there are various workshops, webinars, and meetings with speakers and skill sharing.

This year’s festival will focus on Laura Bowler and Laura Lomas’ new opera “The Blue Woman,” which will be premiered at the festival.

First up Lisa Peck will facilitate an Insight with the creators of “The Blue Woman.” The composer and librettist will be joined by director Katie Mitchell and singer Gweneth Ann Rand, to discuss the making of the opera and share thoughts on how opera deals with violence against women.

Performance Date: July 4, 2022

“The Blue Woman” will make its premiere. The story unpacks the psychological impact of a woman who has experienced sexual violence. There will be resources provided through Rape Crisis.

Performance Date: July 5 -11, 2022

Creator of Intimacy on Set, Ita O’Brian, will lead the workshop “Working with Intamcy Coordination.”

Performance Date: July 5, 2022

“Where does the Air Go?” will take place over Zoom. Bongile G Lecoge-Zulu, Clare Loveday, and Amira Kheir “explore the conscious and unconscious factors that influence a woman’s breath and ask: what are the physical, social, political, historical, individual, and collective factors that impact a woman’s state of being? How do these manifest? Can reclaiming the breath become an act of resistance?”

This is part of the Engender opera-in-progress series.

Performance Date: July 5, 2022

Also part of the opera-in-progress series is “TU’Q.” Interdisciplinary artists Nazli Tabatabai-Khatambakhsh, lisa luxx, and Nancy Mounir will lead this Zoom event. Their performance displays “gaps in time, geographical distance, languages, and borders framed by a game of chess.”

Performance Date: July 7, 2022

“Sing at the ROH” invites people of all ages and abilities to come and sing with the opera chorus.

Performance Date: July 8, 2022

In another Insight the Independent’s Arts Editor, Jessie Thompson hosts a conversation between writer Mary Ann Sieghart and best-selling author and journalist Otegha Uwagba, titled “Investigating the Gender Authority Gap.” They will discuss the issues and ways to make change for women and gender minorities working in creative spaces.

This discussion will be available on Youtube for 30 days after the event.

Performance Date: July 8, 2022

Finally, writer and editor Holly Dawson leads “Inside the mind of the Librettist: Brunch with Nadifa Mohamed and Francesca Simon.”  The two-course brunch at the Piazza restaurant will feature an informal conversation with three leading literary women.

Performance Date: July 9, 2022