On 4th March 2014 AGE sent a letter regarding the policy of the European Opera Centre not to offer training opportunities to people over the age of 35. The European Opera Centre is an organisation funded and supported by the European Union and it was designated ambassador of European culture. According to its website it ‘aims to offer a professional pathway helping talented Europeans from education to employment in opera and to develop audiences for opera across Europe, including in places where opera is rarely performed’. The webpage dedicated to auditions, does not refer to any conditions for application besides talent and being national of one of the designated countries.
In AGE’s view such a policy setting age limits for application and the lack of transparency about age-related entry conditions to the European Opera Centre, are in violation of EU’s fundamental values and the EU non-discrimination legislation.
We feel that as an organisation which is financed by the European Union and represents the European values in the field of culture, the European Opera Centre should review its policy to reflect EU’s guiding principles and give equal training opportunities to candidates of all ages. Such a revision is necessary not only to be in compliance with EU legislation but also to set an example of effectively promoting active ageing and ensuring equal access to vocational training to mature trainees interested to develop their career in the field of opera.
We have therefore addressed a letter to the Managing Director of the Centre, putting in copy the Directorate D on Equality at DG Justice of the European Commission and the European Network of Equality Bodies – Equinet who can provide them with guidance on this issue.
We hope that the Opera Centre will do the necessary to change this situation and prevent any other discriminatory practices in access to vocational training on the basis of age in their organisation.
You may read AGE’s letter here.
For more information you can contact Nena Georgantzi