Co-founded by singers Madeleine Pierard, Kitty Whately, Anna Patalong, and directors Ella Marchment and Sophie Gilpin, SWAP’ra is a new organisation that supports women and parents working in opera. Some of the organisations’ aims include providing grants towards childcare for mothers who are returning to work, establishing schemes to encourage more women to go for male-dominated positions, setting up a creche for working parents and to encourage positive, tangible change in the industry.

We will be trialling a new system of scheduling rehearsals in a way that may be more helpful for parents.

I am incredibly proud to be associated with SWAP’ra. A good working atmosphere in any performing arts company comes when people feel respected and valued. This is something OHP has always strived to do and we are always willing to listen to new ideas… There have been far too many examples of bad working practices exposed recently. Things need to change. Working with SWAP’ra points to a new way of looking at working practices in opera, while being realistic about the unusual nature of the business itself.
James Clutton, Opera Holland Park Director of Opera

Inaugural concert to be held at Opera Holland Park

On 31 July 2018 SWAP’ra will be holding their inaugural concert at Opera Holland Park, showcasing and celebrating the incredible wealth of female talent in the industry. Already on board to perform for this event are a great many internationally revered female singers, including SWAP’ra patron, Sarah Tynan, along with Amanda Roocroft, Rosalind Plowright, Anne Sophie Duprels, Diana Montague, Janis Kelly, Jennifer Johnston, Anna Devin, Mary Bevan, Giselle Allen, Catherine Carby, Lucy Shaufer, Jeni Bern, Catherine Hopper, Rebecca Bottone, and SWAP’ra singers, Anna Patalong, Madeleine Pierard and Kitty Whately. The concert is to be programmed by SWAP’ra chief conducting ambassador, and guest musical director for the gala, Jessica Cottis, though individual scenes will be conducted by several other fantastic female maestre. The evening will be curated by Fiona Shaw.

Click here to find out more about SWAP’ra.