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Video Published: 27 Jan 2023

Center for Contemporary Opera presents "Beyond Carbon, Opening the US Conversation"

The Center for Contemporary Opera initiated a conversation about environmental sustainability in the US opera industry and produced this video, "Beyond Carbon: Opening the US Conversation," with the support of an Innovation Grant from OPERA America.

In October 2022, The Center for Contemporary Opera (CCO) held this online panel with the aim of inspiring other performing arts organizations to take action against climate change and put environmental sustainability at the heart of their companies’ strategic planning.

Climate change is an unignorable global crisis, and we must ask ourselves what role opera can play. At CCO we will address climate change both in our programming and in how we mount that programming. Our priority, therefore, is to develop a framework for doing both. How can we commission and present opera that addresses climate in a way that is neither tokenistic nor hypocritical? Does opera have a voice in the debate about climate change and its relation to globalization, technology, and commerce? We believe it does, and we feel passionate that opera can and must be a persuasive medium for conveying that message.

It is vital that the story of climate change is added to the repertoire of rich narratives on which CCO focuses. As we have for nearly forty years, we will involve the most brilliant talent, emerging and established, to tell these stories.

Arts organizations must contribute to keeping global warming below 2 degrees Celsius, in alignment with the 2015 Paris Agreement. CCO’s aim is to become a carbon-neutral opera company. This project has been awarded an OPERA America Innovation Grant, with the goal of becoming a model for others in the industry. Visit Grants & Awards to learn more about OPERA America’s complete grant offerings.

  • Alicia Adams, Vice President of International Programming, Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
  • Lina Lapelyté, Composer, London, UK
  • Todd Clark, Facilities Manager, Seattle Opera, USA
  • Anna Hallgren, Ring Cycle Project Manager, Göteborg Opera, Sweden
  • Natalja K. Andersson, Environmental Manager, Göteborg Opera, Sweden
  • Nicolas Conde, Chair of the Environmental Working Group, Bristol Old Vic, UK
  • Sara Jobin, CCO Music Director Emerita, Conductor & Environmental Activist