La Monnaie opera house wins award for opening up culture to vulnerable groups
Brussels opera house La Monnaie has won the International Opera Award for Equal Opportunities and Impact, in recognition of its social programme.
The programme A Bridge Between Two Worlds is aimed at people who are vulnerable socially, economically or medically and is intended to provide access to culture, music and opera for all. La Monnaie organises weekly choral singing groups and workshops in prison, raises awareness of poverty and social vulnerability in the world of opera, and facilitates wider access to performances.
“Every day I see how access to music, song and opera has a positive impact on the lives of people in vulnerable situations,” said programme director Mirjam Zomersztajn at the awards ceremony in Warsaw, Poland.
“Not only do the choral singing workshops allow them to forget their worries for a short time and indulge in the beauty of music, it also puts some people back on the right track. I will never forget how an inmate responded to a compliment from one of our choir leaders with ‘I may be locked up, but you have taught me that my voice is still free’.”
Established in 2012, the International Opera Awards celebrate excellence in opera around the world. They aim to raise the profile of the discipline, recognise and reward success and generate funds to provide bursaries for aspiring talent.
© BELGA PHOTO ERIC LALMAND