Conductor Alice Farnham, current with the Satyagraha Opera at Folkobiran, encourages young women to become conductors through workshops led by well-known female conductors in Great Britain.
“Having a pretty girl on stage means the musicians are thinking about other things.” This was stated by Russian conductor Vasily Petrenko in an interview three years ago. Conductor Alice Farnham actively works to increase the number of female conductors and thus reduce the prejudice surrounding women on the conductor’s platform.
- The most successful way to get more female leaders is to encourage them to start leading. Alice Farnham says: Hopefully there will be so many female conductors that no one will notice that there is a man or woman in the conductor’s office.
Alice Farnham is one of the conductors of the opera Satyagraha, currently performed at Folkoperan, and Folkoperan is the institution in Sweden which, according to the Föreningen Kupp (the association and network of conductors Kvinnor opp på pulten!) has the largest proportion of female conductors.
Alice Farnham is Artistic Director and one of the founders of the Women Conductors Programme, which began three years ago in Great Britain. The training is now part of the Royal Philharmonic Society, RPS, and has held 16 workshops in the last year and a half with around 100 young women participating.
- -The first time I saw female conductors on stage, it was liberating; You can relate to them. “I want to inspire young women and show them that surgery is possible, something they may not have thought about before,” says Alice Farnham.
There is international interest in the Women’s Leadership Program, which received an Innovation Award in Rotterdam in 2015, and in December Alice Farnham was invited to join the faculty of the Dallas Institute for Women Leaders.
Alice Farnham has worked as a conductor at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, the Welsh National Youth Opera, the Mariinsky Theater in Saint Petersburg, and the Royal Danish Ballet, among others. In the spring of 2016, Carmen Moves performed at Folkoperan.
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