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Diversity is for me not… …reaching out… …to bring people in from different backgrounds and
different experiences. It’s about me walking to them. As the white Canadian-American I don’t really get a vote. What I need to do, is create channels, open channels, to these communities. I really can’t talk about it more than that. So many of us, even people of colour – myself, enjoying an international career just doesn’t see any other version, because we are so used to
the status quo. And now I can’t accept it anymore. We have gone from 0 to 100
miles an hour in a very short space of time. Challenging the status quo, changing perceptions. In less than two years, we were given a BBC Prom at the
Royal Albert Hall. They decided to televise it. And then what happened was: it has become the most viewed Prom in history. Few countries have gone through
the type of very, very rapid transformation
on stage, which has been seen in South Africa. 30 years ago, it was an all-white company funded by the Apartheid government. Cut forward to 15 years after that and you are looking at 85% black performers on the stage and the company has become famous in the years since for its astonishing chorus, and of course for all the great voices coming
out of South Africa nowadays. The joy about an increasingly
complex world is that we have much more
varied experience, humanity to put into our work and to speak to. So that it should be affecting the way we think about and deliver
everything we do. Every aspect of how we do opera should be changed by our increasingly
diverse society. We shouldn’t be trying to get
an increasingly diverse society to like what we’re already doing. It’s such a small way to think.

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