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Opera goes green: sustainability and good governance

Financial Sustainability to Shape a Sustainable Creative Future

The Royal Opera of Wallonia-Liège must ensure its longevity by boosting its financial independence. To achieve this, it needs to attract a young and diverse audience by expanding its horizons and innovating to meet contemporary expectations.

The goal is to fill our venues and provide a meeting place for businesses (B2B) and Tax Shelter investors. Ensuring the Opera’s longevity directly translates into job security, both direct and indirect.

Key Figures 2022 & Achievements

  • 90% venue occupancy rate
  • 25% of the audience is young (under 32 years old)
  • 20% self-generated revenue

In 2023, 26.6% of our audience was under 32 years old.

–> Over 10,000  students walked through the opera’s doors to attend a show in 2023

–> More than 35,000 youth tickets purchased in 2023

As of December 31, 2023: 362 individuals were employed by the ORW-Liège

  • Workers (Temporary) – 61
  • Workers (Permanent) – 17
  • Employees (Temporary) – 1
  • Employees (Permanent) – 43
  • Artists (Temporary) – 17
  • Artists (Permanent) – 100
  • Venue Staff – 36
  • Guest Artists – 88

Our Achievements

The Opéra Royal de Wallonie-Liège has bolstered its financial stability and independence by diversifying its partnerships, particularly with the private sector. Since 2017, strategies such as Tax Shelter, sponsorship, and patronage have increased its self-generated income by 10%. Establishing a B2B unit to utilize the Opera’s space for corporate events has also opened new revenue streams. These initiatives have led to 20% of the 2022 budget coming from self-generated revenue, thus strengthening the Opera’s financial position.

Our Challenge

The Opéra Royal de Wallonie-Liège primarily relies on public funding (80%) and private partnerships. This dependency makes its financial stability vulnerable to fluctuations in subsidies and the need to maintain high attendance. A reduced budget would severely impact employment, cultural offerings, and the Opera’s prestige. To secure its future, the Opera must diversify its revenue, strengthen private and public partnerships, and adopt a proactive and innovative strategy.

Our Strategy

The Opéra Royal de Wallonie-Liège plays a crucial role in the cultural and economic enrichment of the region. Its longevity depends on close collaboration between various stakeholders and strategic management focused on innovation and audience loyalty. By balancing tradition and modernity, the Opera adapts to societal changes, invests in digitalization, and diversifies its artistic offerings to attract a varied audience. This approach, respectful of the essence of lyrical art, aims to secure its future and perpetuate its cultural impact.

Our Goals

To ensure the longevity of the Royal Opera of Wallonia-Liège, it is vital to maintain high customer satisfaction, stay at the forefront of communication and innovation, particularly through digitalization.

Focus on two key goals from our roadmap:

  • By 2030, increase the share of self-generated revenue to 25% of the Opera’s total budget.
  • Achieve a 100% occupancy rate for performance venues by 2024.

Promoting Exemplary Governance

Good governance is vital for the Royal Opera of Wallonia-Liège, ensuring transparency, accountability, and stakeholder trust. This involves informed decision-making, business continuity, and integrating Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to address social, environmental, and ethical issues. Effective and exemplary governance, with strong internal communication, is crucial for maintaining team cohesion and the Opera’s image.

CSR Report and Initiatives in 2022

The year 2022-2023 marked the start of the Opera’s CSR commitments, with the completion of its first carbon footprint assessment and the formation of a CSR working group. This diverse group aims for a comprehensive view of actions to implement sustainable and responsible governance.

Challenges and Achievements

The first carbon footprint assessment, a demanding exercise in data collection and analysis, is an achievement to be commended. For the future assessment planned in 2025, it is essential to improve these processes and maintain the commitment and cohesion of the CSR steering group. Gradually implementing processes for collecting CSR indicators is also crucial for the pace and monitoring of sustainable development projects.

Our Strategy

To meet these challenges, creating a CSR committee is at the heart of our strategy. This committee will be crucial for integrating sustainable development commitments into every decision, preserving fundamental values such as transparency and ethics, essential for impeccable governance. Its role includes ensuring these values are integrated into all of the Opera’s activities.

Our Objectives

The goal is to keep the CSR committee active, with at least four annual meetings to assess progress and performance in CSR, thus ensuring responsible governance and a lasting commitment.