We recognise that Music Theatre Wales has much ground to cover to achieve equality across our work: The people who make up the company, the artists we work with and the audiences we reach.
We acknowledge that we have made mistakes in the past and we have tried to be as open about this as possible. We have set out to listen and to learn but we know this is not enough. We have remained quiet when we should have spoken, and we have failed to change our organisation.
We are taking action to address our shortcomings, and to bring about real change within the company and the work we produce. The changes we make will be for the benefit of audiences, including those who do not yet know us; for the benefit of the artists we will work with; and for Music Theatre Wales and the wider opera sector.
- Governance: We will change the makeup of our Board in order to achieve greater diversity, covering gender, race, disability, identity and language, ensuring that the company not only represents the society in which we operate, but also embraces the widest and most robust discussion about all aspects of our work.
- Participation and Involvement: We will ensure that the people we work with come from diverse backgrounds.
- Live Performance: Future work will include commissions and performance work from an increasingly diverse pool of artists. To help us achieve this, we will develop new programmes that expressly aim to involve artists who are currently under-represented in opera, changing the work we make now and the way opera is created in the future.
What actions are we taking?
- Board recruitment: We are working with external organisations to help us address the lack of broad representation on our Board.
Our work: In August 2020, we launched New Directions – a programme aimed at developing our engagement with diverse artists. The first stage of New Directions will focus on working with Black, Asian and Ethnically Diverse artists. Coming at a time when we are unable to create live performance, these new works will be for digital presentation. By August 2021, we will commission and present three new works from non-white artists. This programme will:
- explore the possibilities of new music theatre and new opera
- contribute to the evolution of MTW and our work
- support and be led by the vision and ambition of the commissioned artists
- create new work for more diverse audiences
- Workforce: We have appointed Elayce Ismail to the new post of Artistic Associate to lead New Directions