Patrons: Lucy Crowe, Fiona Maddocks, Katie Mitchell OBE, Christine Rice and Sarah Tynan
The under-representation of women in senior leadership roles - both creatively and administratively - is significant.
Our purpose is to explore the reasons for this imbalance and to find ways to champion and generate more opportunities for women in these roles.
We aim to dismantle outdated attitudes towards the compatibility of parenthood and a career by:
Celebrating the great many role model opera parents managing to do both
Working with opera companies to find ways of updating their working practices to make a career in opera more accessible for people with families and dependants (men and women)
SWAP’ra is a group of artists who have come together to build a supportive community and to effect positive change for women and parents in opera.
We aim to be a voice for women and parents (men and women) in opera by
celebrating professional achievements in an industry where women are underrepresented in so many areas, as illustrated by the graphics to the left*
collating data from existing artists in the industry and offering effective and workable solutions for companies
establishing a friendly, supportive and non-judgemental community
providing a platform for performance and publicity
challenging preconceptions to improve attitudes towards women and parents in the arts
The ultimate aim is to foster an environment in which a female CEO, Music Director, Artistic Director, Conductor, Composer or Librettist is no longer noteworthy
(data for graphic was collated by Donna Lennard. Please scroll down to * for more info)
* Charts to show female representation across the UK opera industry. This data was kindly collated by Donna Lennard from the 2017-2018 season and includes English National Opera, Royal Opera House, Welsh National Opera, Scottish Opera, Opera North, Glyndebourne, English Touring Opera, Garsington Opera, Grange Park Opera, Grange Festival, Opera Holland Park, Longborough Festival Opera, Wexford Festival Opera, Northern Ireland Opera, Mid-Wales Opera. If you wish to see further breakdown of this data please email