Patrons at Café Iruña in Pamplona, Spain, are surprised by an unexpected performance by the "Premier Ensemble" Choir. This happened last year during the Opera Days, 7-8 May, 2010.
The suggested theme for this year's celebration is Young ears - opera for young audiences, and its organizers have issued a Manifesto that reads:
"Each year on the weekend closest to 9 May (Europe Day), opera houses in Europe and beyond open their doors to new and existing audiences to celebrate the art of opera and the talent of those who make it.
The European Opera Days celebrate opera as an art form. Their aim is to help bring opera into the mainstream of cultural practice and to enhance its appreciation in today’s society.
Opera is the European art form par excellence, because it overcomes national and linguistic barriers through the universal language of music. Its core values and themes are central to European culture, which is part of our common identity. For this reason, the European Opera Days are celebrated on the weekend closest to 9 May, Europe Day.
Opera today is alive and kicking. It explores unconventional spaces and forms, uses state-of-the-art technology and draws inspiration from the world in which we live today. It plays a major role in contemporary artistic and cultural life and contributes to the development of a creative society.
Opera reaches out to everyone. Europe needs a creative society in order to develop - just as opera needs the involvement of its audiences if it is itself to develop and remain an innovative art form, central to our lives.
Access to opera should therefore be promoted for all European citizens".
This year, 108 opera houses from 25 countries and all throughout the weekend of May7-8, 2011, will open their doors and introduce visitors to their art with a multitude of free activities: open rehearsals, creative workshops, guided tours, etc.
Deutsche Oper am Rhein organised activities around their production of Rameaux's Les Paladins