NEW OPERA DIALOGUES is an effort to build collective intelligence about international opera aesthetics and best practices for new work development. In this, we hope to reclaim opera as a truly international art form contributing to an open and inclusive society.

From the start, opera has been a uniquely international art form. Where else could a work written by an Austrian composer based on a French comedy be considered "Italian"? In opera, national identities are masks, meant to be taken on and off at will.

Today, however, national identity has become essentialized and segregated, particularly in the case of new work. French operas are produced in France. Norwegian operas in Norway. Opera houses in the United States are commited to cultivating an exclusively "American" opera canon. And the more than 80 new operas produced each year in Germany never reach audiences beyond the country's borders.

At a time when nations are closing themselves off from their neighbors, opera creators must buck this trend. It is urgent that we, as artists and producers, break out of these national echo chambers, that we engage with one another to revive spaces of international possibility, exchange, and inclusivity.