Sophia, former Creative Access intern who works in freelance postproduction, standing in an office looking directly at the camera, with an ipad in her hand. She has long brown hair and a fringe.

Opera North: changing the diversity agenda

Posted on November 5, 2021


Opera has a very unique diversity challenge as it is perceived as elitist and inaccessible.

Partnership impact

Creative Access partnered with Opera North to shift the way the team thinks about the diversity and inclusion agenda. We helped devise a new approach tailored to their specific challenges, leading to substantive changes in programming and recruitment. We also enabled them to widen the funnel of applicants from under-represented communities applying for roles at Opera North. This contributed to a change in the perception of opera as being inaccessible to those not from a privileged background.


Creative Access delivered a tiered training programme to equip staff with the confidence to navigate diversity and inclusion, working with Opera North’s board, senior management and entire team. We worked with the Opera North team to advance their wellbeing agenda, delivering workshops including managing work-life balance. Creative Access also created bespoke training for the Opera North education team to help peripatetic teachers better support the children from disadvantaged schools in which they were working. 

About Opera North

Opera North is a national opera company based in Leeds, and is a leading UK arts organisation. They create award-winning work that tours theatres and concert halls across the UK. You can find out more here

“The Creative Access workshops have been deeply useful and genuinely helped shift our thinking about diversity, to tackle prejudice and create an action plan.” 

Catherine Bourke HR manager, Opera North