About the GrowOP! Festival


The vision of GrowOP! is of a cutting-edge rethinking of opera as a genre and concept in collabora­tion with children and young people as audience and participants. GrowOP! wants to support an artis­tic movement that crosses borders and creates a new opera language across nationalities.


History and ownership

GrowOP! 2019 builds on the good results and solid experiences from 2017, when the festival was selected as a strategic project as part of Aarhus 2017 – European Capital of Culture, and won Danish Radio’s P2 Prize for Innovation of the Year 2018. Because of the successful festival in 2017, the high demand and the artistic developmental potential, the festival will continue as a biennial as a permanent part of the Danish National Opera’s seasonal programme. As part of the 2017 Aarhus European Capital of Culture programme the 2017 festival had a strong European dimension. In 2019 the format and profile have been further developed in an artistically more cross-disciplinary and interactive direction, at the same time as having a considerably greater focus on a Nordic profile but still with close connections to Europe . The Artistic Director of the Festival is Birgitte Holt Nielsen, who has 30 years’ experience of performing, writing, producing and developing opera for young audiences – for the past 20 years at the Danish National Opera as Producer of Children’s Opera.



The 2018 P2 Prize for Innovation of the Year went to the GrowOP! Festival.

“It is with great joy and gratitude that I have received the news that GrowOP! Festival has received the P2 Prize for Innovation of the Year. To be awarded precisely this prestigious prize is a great acknowledgement of the idea of creating Denmark’s first big opera festival for children – an idea that arose in my opera heart more than five years ago. It has been an incredible process to deve­lop this project alongside good partners, and finally to be able to realize it in a way that has proved that opera really can do something special together with its audience – of the smallest children as well as young people and adults,” says Birgitte Holt Dueholm, Producer of Children’s Opera at the Danish National Opera and the woman behind the conception of the festival.


The Danish National Opera is behind the GrowOP! Festival

The Danish National Opera (Den Jyske Opera) has a great deal of experience of producing tour­ing operas for young audiences all over Denmark. We are supported by the Danish Ministry of Culture and the Municipality of Aarhus, are based in Aarhus and tour the whole of Denmark with both traditional and innovative opera for all ages and for opera-lovers as well as ‘opera virgins’. Formats range from large-scale main-stage performances to small, experimental shows. Since 1947 the Danish National Opera has worked passionately and professionally with the creation and produc­tion of opera performances at the highest international level. Read more about the Danish National Opera.