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Sjaron Minailo appointed at Opera Forward Festival

Sjaron Minailo has been appointed Artist-Curator of Dutch National Opera’s Opera Forward Festival in Amsterdam. The ten-day event looks to the future of opera, bringing together established artists and young talents to explore new ideas around the art form. Minailo has contributed to the festival since it started in 2016 and in his new role will continue to support the student participants.

Minailo explains: ‘Our aim is to seed knowledge and nurture love of opera in students from art schools and conservatoires all over the country. My role is to curate and supervise their projects. I’m excited by the process in which young artists get to know the genre not from within the traditions but from outside them. By tutoring them to think about music as dramatic text, I hope we will discover new ideas about the essence of opera as the translation of music into a variety of theatrical and performative experiences.’

There are three components to his work with the organisation: mini-operas with performing arts students and classical composers; an operatic piece bringing together students of performance art, design and music; and a think-tank investigating the accessibility of art and culture across socio-economic groups, together with students from arts administration departments at different universities.

Minailo says: ‘I’m especially excited about this third direction, because these students, who are the policy makers of the future, do not usually interact with the practice of art itself or art students. By bringing everyone together I hope the policy makers of the future will have a better understanding and a personal connection to the creative process. I’m also excited to see how these three aspects will interact and enrich each other.’

The next Opera Forward Festival runs in March 2022, with dates to be confirmed.