As the 21st century progresses, dialogue around gender and opera is increasingly prominent. Some opera companies - most notably Washington National Opera in their 2017-18 season - are including living female composers in their repertory, as well as employing more women as stage directors. However, the gulf between male and female representation in opera remains stark, and operas by women from previous centuries are still almost never performed.
Struck by this gulf, Scottish soprano/director and Harvard graduate Charlotte McKechnie created the concert, "Soir des Femmes: A Night of Opera by Female Composers" in the summer of 2016. She aimed to expose audiences to women-composed operatic gems that had hitherto disappeared from the repertory. The inaugural concert was so warmly received by both critics and audiences alike, that McKechnie - inspired by the clear demand for such operas - decided to make this a long-term enterprise.
Each season, Soir des Femmes will produce at least one full opera and three smaller concerts: bringing new life to historic repertoire not performed since their time of writing. Performances currently take place in Boston, Massachusetts, and Glasgow, Scotland.
Inspired by the mission? Lend your support today to expand our repertory!