Engender is The Royal Opera’s initiative to address gender imbalance in opera and music theatre and drive towards gender equity in all areas of the opera field.

Engender delivers transformational change in gender representation, addressing gender imbalance in opera and music theatre, working with leaders, opera makers, creatives, performers and changemakers.  

Engender is a place for women and non-binary people to connect and support each other, to amplify their work in the opera field and to have a collective voice. The initiative provides space and opportunity for personal and professional development, peer support and the creation of new work. The mailing list is free to join. 

Engender aims to increase opportunities for women and non-binary people both as artists, in our creative and music teams and backstage, in production, administration and planning. This will ensure a more representative, equal perspective in decision making, artistically and administratively. 

Engender has members across the UK, EU, USA and further afield, with a chapter in South Africa.  


The Engender Network connects women and non-binary people in all roles of opera in the UK and globally.  

Through a private online platform called The Mighty Network, members can connect to each other directly for support, to seek or share opportunities and information, ask advice and build their network in the sector.  The Engender Mighty Network provides immediate access to a forum and safe space to pitch ideas, topics and discussions as well as receive feedback on the subjects that matter to you.  

Network meetings take place at regular intervals, in person and online throughout the year. The meetings take various forms including skills labs and development webinars, member-led skill swaps, and member-led conversations with invited speakers.  

Engender's ambition for this network is to create a place for peer support and exchange, developing creative relationships and cultivating new ideas. 

Members have access to:  

  • Regular network meetings and lunch clubs  
  • An annual mentorship scheme 
  • Bespoke ticket offers at ROH
  • Network training opportunities   
  • Direct access to other members of the network  

You can join the Engender Mighty Network by:  

Emailing engendernetwork@roh.org.uk   to request a link 


Opting to receive a joining link when you subscribe to the mailing list 

*There is a small annual fee to become a member of the Engender Mighty Network. This covers admin and subscription costs (no more than the price of a morning coffee and pastry).   

Alternatively, if online platforms aren’t for you, we invite anyone and everyone working in opera, with a desire to transform gender representation, to sign up to our free mailing list to receive the latest updates and information about Engender.  

Annual Festival

Engender's annual festival celebrates the work of women and non-binary people in opera. The Festival brings together today’s most exciting opera makers, writers, creatives and changemakers and is situated in and around the Linbury Theatre – The Royal Opera’s home for artistic ambition and innovation.  

Festivals include new productions, insights, Q&As with the creatives, drop-in sessions, and facilitated conversations with leading opera makers and opportunities for audiences and artists to meet.  

Professional Development

There are a range of professional development opportunities including: 

  • training 
  • mentorship 
  • new work development 

Further opportunities will be announced throughout the Season and will be detailed on this page. You can also join the network to receive emails about opportunities. 

New Work


Engender hosts regular open calls, offering research and development commissions to creative teams of women and non-binary people. The commissions offer paid time and space for each creative team to work together alongside resource for mentorship and studio time with singers and musicians.  

They have worked with multiple partners on these commissions, including the British Council, Shubbak Festival and The Centre for Less Good Ideas.  

Previous artists who have received Engender research and development commissions to develop new work are:   

  • Bongile G Lecoge-Zulu, Clare Loveday and Amira Kheir 
  • Nazli Tabatabai-Khatambakhsh, lisa luxx and Nancy Mounir 
  • Samantha Fernando and JL Williams   
  • Melanie Wilson and Jessica Latowicki    
  • Eve Harrison and Fiona Williams   
  • Nadifa Mohammed and Nina Whiteman  
  • Daisy Evans and Laura Bowler    
  • Maria Fusco    

Engender and Jette Parker Artists Programme Songs commissions:   

  • Laura Attridge and Lille Harris   
  • Anna Semple and Susannah Pearse 

Further information about future Engender Open Calls and Jette Parker Artists (JPA) Opportunities will be shared on this page and to the Engender Network.  

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