Like all cultural entities that were forced to close with the coronavirus pandemic, but are dedicated to a future of creative production, the Ópera de Colombia is hosting a virtual art auction to support the many performers and theatre staff whose livelihoods depend on live audiences. The event has three parts: a silent auction that takes place from September 21 to 29; a private auction that tributes Gloria Zea (September 29 to October 4) with a work donated by the Botero Zea family, and Arte para todos, in which original pieces by Colombian artists priced at $1,200.000 pesos go on sale from October 4 to 9.

So, if you’re looking for a rare opportunity to start a contemporary collection, the participating artists in the silent auction include Lydia Azout, Álvaro Barrios, Luz Helena Caballero, John Castles, Nadir Figueroa, Gonzalo Fuenmayor, Sair García, Carlos Jacanamijoy, Maripaz Jaramillo, Miler Lagos, Guillermo Londoño, Adriana Marmorek, Nadín Ospina and Pedro Ruiz, among others. A pdf catalog will be delivered to those registered for all events and the website of Ópera de Colombia (www.operadecolombia.com) will provide a username and password in order to place a bid during the days of the event.

Created by Gloria Zea 44 years ago to bring world-class opera productions to Colombia and launch emerging vocal talent, the Colombian Opera remains one of the country’s most prestigious cultural institutions with 47 productions and 840 performances to its name. The company has also staged productions in Central and South America and Europe.

Given the five month-long quarantine under the National Health Emergency, Ópera de Colombia is giving back to audiences with free online performances, beginning with the national premiere of Puccini’s Gianni Schichi. Presented on digital platforms during October, the Ópera’s version includes an all-Colombian cast of soloists and was co-produced with the Teatro Mayor Julio Mario Santo Domingo. A free and interactive platform will also be launched to introduce children and adolescents to the wonderful world of classical music, stage design and opera.

“Por una Ópera Viva” aims to raise money by bringing together two artistic mediums with a percentage of the donations handed over for the creation of their works, the remaining funds are destined to Fundación Camarín del Carmen-Ópera de Colombia, to finance activities of the annual Opera Season.