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Ausrine Stundyte as Cio-Cio-San, Elizabeth Janes as Butterfly’s child and Sarah Larsen as Suzuki in Seattle Opera's production of Puccini's Madama Butterfly. Photo by Elise Bakketun.
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Original Article:
Creative Programming in Hard Times
Thomas May ,
Opera America Magazine
The majority of contemporary American opera companies sprang up after the Great Depression — which means they're now confronting the most severe economic downturn in their existence. And the performing arts are doubly vulnerable. Not only is institutional funding at risk: audiences, their very lifeblood, have also had to become more cautious about opening their wallets.

Related Article(s):
Arts Advocacy: Four Easy Steps
Haley Gordon, Director of Government Affairs, OPERA America ,
Opera America Magazine1/1/1900
Hundreds of arts advocates traveled to Washington, D.C. at the end of March to lobby Congress to support federal policies that would benefit the arts. As part of Arts Advocacy Day 2008, OPERA America members expressed their concerns in House and Senate offices about the President’s FY09 budget request, which proposes significant cuts to arts and cultural programs. They also described the multitude of issues that affect the opera field — from federal funding and visa processing for foreign guests artists to international cultural exchange and charitable giving incentives.
Making Early Opera Sing
James Bash ,
Opera America Magazine1/1/1900
One of the major recent trends in opera has been the resurgence of operas written before the time of Mozart. The gems of Monteverdi, Gluck, Handel and others are being dusted, polished and displayed, dazzling opera fans across North America. A handful of companies — such as Toronto's Opera Atelier or Washington, D.C.'s Opera Lafayette — specialize in this repertoire.
Aria Talk
Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Voices1/1/1900
Have you ever wished you could find at least one audition aria that people haven’t heard from every other [fill in your Fach]? If that’s your predicament, this regular column may prove helpful. In each issue of Voices, "Aria Talk" will offer information on arias that are all viable alternatives, and will include at least one taken from a contemporary work.
The Operatic Evolution of John Adams: Remaking Opera for Our Time
Thomas May ,
Opera America Magazine1/1/1900
Nixon in China was an unlikely success when it premiered over two decades ago. But John Adams has continued forging new paths for American opera with his subsequent stage works and, in the process, evolving his own language as a composer.
A Quarter Century of Funding New Works
Megan Young, Artistic Services Manager, OPERA America ,
Opera America Magazine1/1/1900
Some may think that spending money is the surest way to find happiness. OPERA America, conversely, finds the greatest joy comes from giving money away. Since 1983, OPERA America has awarded over $10 million for the express purpose of encouraging the creation and subsequent production of new opera and music-theater works. The Opera Fund, a permanent Fund endowment from which OPERA America directly supports the creation, presentation and enjoyment of new and North American opera, was created with the benefit of OPERA America’s experience from three previous re-granting programs.
Weaving a Universal Song from Specific Stories
Kelley Rourke ,
Opera America Magazine1/1/1900
In November 2007, Houston Grand Opera presented the world premiere of The Refuge, a large-scale oratorio in which community performers joined the Houston Grand Opera chorus, orchestra, children’s chorus and members of the HGO Studio in a musical portrait of Houston’s rich cultural diversity. The project was not only a continuation of the company’s commitment to creating new work for the stage; it marked the beginning of a new effort to establish Houston Grand Opera as a vital cultural resource for the people of Houston. HGOco is the name given to a diversified menu of community programs, ranging from teacher workshops to a high school voice studio. Within HGOco, Song of Houston is a series of collaborative artistic projects — beginning with The Refuge — designed to explore the stories of Houston and the people who live and work there.
Refreshing the Repertory
Patrick J. Smith ,
Opera America Magazine1/1/1900
The English opera director Nicholas Hytner said it best: “The problem for opera is that its conventions haven’t been refreshed by a constantly evolving repertory.” This situation, endemic and almost rusted into opera, had existed from the beginning of the 20th century, but had become acute in the United States by the end of the 1970s. It was a product of several factors, not least the immense pull of the standard repertory and its box-office stars, but it could also have been the result of what could be termed “The Wagner Curse” — that is, the controlling idea that an opera, once commissioned or set on a course for performance, would be created by composer and librettist and presented with only limited adjustments during the rehearsal period to the public. The prime example of this kind of creative work, other than that of Wagner himself, was the image of the composer Olivier Messaien arriving at the Palais Garnier opera house in Paris, entering the office of then-General Director Rolf Liebermann and plunking down 20 pounds of the full score of Saint Francois d’Assise. It had been commissioned; it was delivered. End of story.
Lone Star Opera
Kelley Rourke ,
Opera America Magazine1/1/1900
A certain tall-hatted swagger is often associated with residents of the Lone Star State — and why not? Texans have much to be proud of. Their home state is one of the top producers of oil, beef and cotton, as well as a leading player in the space and technology industries. Texas is also home to eight professional company members of OPERA America — only New York and California have more.
The Return of Gluck: The Reformer Makes His Mark Anew in America's Opera Houses
Thomas May ,
Opera America Magazine1/1/1900
Gluck has been, in some ways, a victim of his success. He’s most typically cast in the role of “reformer” — which is to say, he’s secured a prominent place in music history books. We’re all familiar with the image of Gluck as a pivotal link between baroque excess and more modern sensibilities.

Yet such historically minded, linear thinking sometimes encourages the impression that Gluck is merely a transitional chapter — and one superseded by those he went on to inspire. Meanwhile, clichés of his music as the quintessence of “noble purity” can be offputting. They’re uncomfortably reminiscent of the impatience Peter Schaefer’s Mozart (in Amadeus) voices for composers who “sound as if they shit marble.”
American Musical Theater in the Opera House
Larry Bomback, Director of Finance and Operations, OPERA America ,
Opera America Magazine1/1/1900
The American musical theater tradition, beginning with the musical comedies of the early 20th century and continuing through the musical plays and concept musicals of the present day, are rooted in a European tradition that has long captivated opera audiences around the world — from the Viennese operetta of Lehár and Strauss to the French opera bouffe of Offenbach and Chabrier, and even the British comic operas of Gilbert & Sullivan.

This article looks at several opera companies and their differing attitudes toward the inclusion of American musical theater in regular season programming, and celebrates those that have historically included the stage works of Romberg, Friml, Herbert, Weill, Gershwin, Porter, Kern, Rodgers, Berlin, Arlen, Loewe, Bernstein, Loesser, Willson, Sondheim and others as part of Lyric Opera of Chicago’s 2002-2003 production of Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd. Photo by Dan Rest/Lyric Opera of Chicago. their core repertory.
Aria Talk
Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Voices1/1/1900
Soprano
Charles Gounod, Mireille (1864), Mireille’s “Air de la Crau,” Act IV, sc. ii: “Voici la vaste plaine”

“Je veux vivre” and the “Jewel Song” seem almost inevitable at auditions. If you’d like a change, check out another Gounod gem, Mireille. This opera’s neglect is a shame, particularly as regards the glorious title role.
People Make Opera
Bill Richardson ,
Opera America Magazine1/1/1900
Banff, Alberta, located in heart of the Canadian Rockies, is an inspiring place. Set amid the natural splendors of the area is The Banff Centre, a globally respected arts, cultural and educational institution.
Refining the Dramatic Rhythm
Kelley Rourke ,
Opera America Magazine1/1/1900
In an interview for Opera Canada, author and librettist Margaret Atwood likened the writing of a libretto to the construction of a coat-hanger: “If it’s a bad coat-hanger, that will be unfortunate, but if it’s a good coat-hanger, nobody will notice it.”

Is it possible for librettists to assess the sturdiness of their creation before entrusting the extravagant weight of an opera score to its delicate structure? Can words meant for music be evaluated in the absence of that essential element?

The Libretto Reading Series at Brooklyn’s American Opera Projects attempts to do just that, giving artists opportunity to hear a work read aloud and then discuss its structure, characters, themes and pacing. “While obviously spoken theater and opera are two very different art forms, you can look at the dramatic rhythm in a particular way, figuring out where the important beats are before the composer spends months writing music,” says Ned Canty, who is director of the series. “It is useful for a composer to think about beats from a performance perspective, to make sense of where you need a big shift in emotion, to see the amount of time an actor needs to get from one beat to the next.”
A New Stage for Artists
Thomas May ,
Opera America Magazine1/1/1900
The long-dominant model of what defines a performing artist's career is undergoing a rapid paradigm shift. Teaching artists are poised to replace the divas of stereotype with a new approach to the art of performance — both on and off stage.
In the Works
Megan Young, Artistic Services Manager, OPERA America ,
Opera America Magazine1/1/1900
Alexandra
By Zack Settel and Yan Muckle

Set to premiere during the 2010-2011 season at Chants Libres, Alexandra chronicles the life of Alexandra David-Néel (1868-1969). An anarchist, opera singer, journalist, freemason, feminist, free thinker, reporter, lover of the Orient, philosopher and explorer, she was the first Western woman to enter the forbidden Lhassa, Tibet in 1924. This one-hour chamber opera uses her life and writings to touch upon the themes of courage, righteousness and wisdom.
In the Works
Megan Young, Artistic Services Manager, OPERA America ,
Opera America Magazine1/1/1900
Amelia
By Daron Hagen and Gardner McFall

Commissioned by Seattle Opera, Amelia is a two-act opera based on a story by the production’s director, Stephen Wadsworth. The piece uses the theme of flight as a motif to explore the human condition and takes place during the 30-year period from 1966 to 1996. Amelia addresses such issues as man’s fascination with flight, the Daedalus/Icarus myth and the American experience in Vietnam. Workshops will begin in December 2007, and a projected premiere is set for May 2010.
Your Recorded Heritage: Mozart
Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Voices1/1/1900
This article initiates an ongoing series focusing on singers who flourished pre-1960. One listens to singers of the past not to copy, but for enjoyment, inspiration, and food for thought. Ignoring great recorded singing is like an actor ignoring now-legendary documented performances of Laurence Olivier or Katharine Hepburn. In other words, you miss out on your heritage. Fortunately for us, the singing of historically-important artists on disc is there for the taking. Voices readers need little assistance to locate recordings highlighting today’s greats, but perhaps the information included here will prompt you to investigate those of an earlier vintage. We’ll proceed through the repertoire composer by composer, beginning with Mozart. I remind you that these are the choices of only one listener, chosen from a field of extraordinary richness.
Your Recorded Heritage: Rossini
Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Voices1/1/1900
Our ears are convinced by much of the legato singing we hear in early Rossini recordings: Its elegance wears the years lightly. Coloratura, however, is another story: Once we get past 1920, florid Rossini (especially as far as male singers are concerned) is rarely handled with the astonishing expertise to which we’ve grown accustomed in the decades since Marilyn Horne initiated the “Rossini renaissance.” Major artists today are also expected to ornament Rossini with a degree of authenticity that was not part of the operatic scene when the singers cited in this article were making records. There is nonetheless a good deal to be learned from pre- 1960 Rossini recordings as regards individuality and beauty of timbre, grace of phrasing, and sheer force of personality.
Your Recorded Heritage: Bizet
Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Voices1/1/1900
Georges Bizet’s Carmen has a distinguished recording history in both complete performances and excerpts. From this ever-popular work, as well as the composer’s Les Pêcheurs de perles, there are considerable lessons to be learned from the early decades of recording in terms of balancing elegant vocalism with dramatic urgency. Many singers have gotten by in Bizet with beauty at the expense of text, but a Solange Michel or a Charles Dalmorès demonstrates indisputably that Bizet does not come alive unless the text is commanded in depth.
OPERA America's Action-Oriented Think Tanks
Kelley Rourke ,
Opera America Magazine1/1/1900
OPERA America's Conference is the largest and most visible annual gathering of the opera community — but it is not the only time opera stakeholders come together. Throughout the year, OPERA America convenes meetings of industry leaders around specific topics. Although the discussions vary in size, scope and regularity, they share a common commitment — a commitment to action. Participants not only discuss challenges, they identify steps they can take, from the incremental to the profound, to advance the field.
Best Aria Forward/ Choosing the right audition repertoire is an art in itself
Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Voices8/11/1999
Choosing the right audition repertoire is an art in itself

The arias you choose can make or break an audition, so preparing your list requires considerable thought and more than a little soul-searching. Important issues related to aria choice are covered in these comments from Ken Benson, Artist Manager (Columbia Artists Management, Inc.); Ian D. Campbell, General Director, San Diego Opera; Neil Funkhouser, Artist Manager (Neil Funkhouser Artists Management); Gayletha Nichols, Director, Houston Opera Studio; and Peter Russell, Director, Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, Metropolitan Opera.
Singers and North American Repertoire
Kelley Rourke ,
Voices12/1/1999
The operatic tradition has long traded in exoticism—over the centuries, audiences and artists alike have been drawn to faraway places, mythological figures, and ancient regimes. In North America, one of the more recently established venues and breeding grounds for “the extravagant art,” opera often has been far removed from the everyday experiences of its artists and audiences. But as the century comes to a close, a quick look around yields evidence of a sea change: Opera companies, large and small, are regularly programming North American repertoire, and today’s singers are finding that a mix of old and new works is an artistically satisfying—and professionally viable—way to conduct a career.
Soprano
Bedrich Smetana, Och, jaky´ zal!… Ten lásky sen”
Act Three; &ldquo Prodaná nevesta/The Bartered Bride &rdquo (Marenka)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Voices8/1/2000
Soprano
Bedrich Smetana, Prodaná nevesta/The Bartered Bride (1870), Act Three: Marenka’s recitative and aria, “Och, jaky´ zal!… Ten lásky sen”

If you already sing Rusalka’s “Song to the Moon” but crave more Czech repertoire, give Marenka a try. Even if The Bartered Bride isn’t produced quite as frequently as it once was, this soulful lament should be a staple for any lyric soprano able to deal comfortably with a Czech text.
Soprano
Gilbert & Sullivan:
Princess Ida, Act 2: “Minerva!…Oh, goddess wise” (Ida) and
The Yeomen of the Guard, Act 1: Monologue, “’Tis done, I am a bride” (Elsie)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk4/1/2002
Princess Ida, Act 2: “Minerva!…Oh, goddess wise” (Ida) and
The Yeomen of the Guard, Act 1: Monologue, “’Tis done, I am a bride” (Elsie)
Baritone
Massenet, Jules: Le roi de Lahore
Act 4: Recitative and Aria, “Aux troupes du Sultan…Promesse de mon avenir” (Scindia)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk6/1/2002
Act 4: Recitative and Aria, “Aux troupes du Sultan…Promesse de mon avenir” (Scindia)
Bass
Rimsky-Korsakov, Nikolai: Sadko
Act 1: Song, “O scaly groznye drobjatsja s rjoyom volny” (Viking Guest)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk6/1/2002
Act 1: Song, “O scaly groznye drobjatsja s rjoyom volny” (Viking Guest)
Mezzo-Soprano
Thomas, Ambroise: Mignon (1866)
Act 2: Recitative and Aria, “Elle est là, près de lui…Elle est aimée!” (Mignon)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk8/1/2002
Act 2: Recitative and Aria, “Elle est là, près de lui…Elle est aimée!” (Mignon)
Soprano
Blitzstein, Marc: Regina
Act 2: Recitative and Aria, “Mr. Marshall’s such a polite man… Music, music, music” (Birdie)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk8/1/2002
Act 2: Recitative and Aria, “Mr. Marshall’s such a polite man… Music, music, music” (Birdie)
Mezzo-Soprano
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus: La finta giardiniera
Act 2: Aria, “Dolce d’amor compagna” (Ramiro)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk12/1/2002
Act 2: Aria, “Dolce d’amor compagna” (Ramiro)
Soprano
Dvorák, Antonín: Rusalka
Act 2: “Ó marno to je!” (Rusalka)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk12/1/2002
Act 2: “Ó marno to je!” (Rusalka)
Tenor
Tippett, Sir Michael, The Midsummer Marriage
Act 1: Aria, “I don’t know who they really are” (Mark)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk2/1/2003
Act 1: Aria, “I don’t know who they really are” (Mark)
Soprano
Massenet, Jules: Thaïs
Act 2: Recitative and Aria, “Père, qu’il en soit ainsi…L’amour est une vertu rare” (Thaïs)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Original Content4/1/2003
Act 2: Recitative and Aria, “Père, qu’il en soit ainsi…L’amour est une vertu rare” (Thaïs)
Mezzo-Soprano
Cherubini, Luigi: Medea
Act 2: Aria, “Solo un pianto” (Neris)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk4/1/2003
Act 2: Aria, “Solo un pianto” (Neris)
Tenor
Gluck, Christoph Willibald: Alceste
Act 2: Recitative and Aria, “Ô moments délicieux!...Bannis les craintes et les alarmes” (Admète)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk6/1/2003
Act 2: Recitative and Aria, “Ô moments délicieux!...Bannis les craintes et les alarmes” (Admète)
Baritone
Tchaikovsky, Peter Ilyich: Mazeppa
Act 2: Arioso, “O Maria!” (Mazeppa)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk6/1/2003
Act 2: Arioso, “O Maria!” (Mazeppa)
Mezzo-soprano/Contralto
Handel, George Friederic: Partenope
Act 1: Aria, “Io seguo quell fiero” (Rosmira)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk8/1/2003
Act 1: Aria, “Io seguo quell fiero” (Rosmira)
Soprano
Weber, Carl Maria von: Euryanthe
Act 1: Recitative and Aria, “Betörte, die an meine Liebe glaubt…Er konnte mich um sie verschmähn!” (Eglantine)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk8/1/2003
Act 1: Recitative and Aria, “Betörte, die an meine Liebe glaubt…Er konnte mich um sie verschmähn!” (Eglantine)
Tenor
Leoncavallo, Ruggero: La bohème
Act 3: Aria, “Musetta! O gioia della mia dimora…Testa adorata” (Marcello)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk10/1/2003
Act 3: Aria, “Musetta! O gioia della mia dimora…Testa adorata” (Marcello)
Baritone
Marschner, Heinrich: Hans Heiling
Act 1: Aria, “An jenem Tag” (Heiling)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk10/1/2003
Act 1: Aria, “An jenem Tag” (Heiling)
Soprano
Verdi, Giuseppe: Un giorno di regno
Act 1: Recitative, Cavatina and Cabaletta, “Ah! Non m’hanno ingannata!…Grave a core innamorato…Se dee cader la vedova” (Marchesa del Poggio)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk12/1/2003
Act 1: Recitative, Cavatina and Cabaletta, “Ah! Non m’hanno ingannata!…Grave a core innamorato…Se dee cader la vedova” (Marchesa del Poggio)
Mezzo-Soprano
Thomas, Ambroise: Hamlet
Act 2: Recitative and Arioso, “Toi, partir!…Dans son regard plus sombre” (Gertrude)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk12/1/2003
Act 2: Recitative and Arioso, “Toi, partir!…Dans son regard plus sombre” (Gertrude)
Tenor
Weber, Carl Maria von: Oberon
Act 1: Aria, “Von Jugend auf in dem Kampfgefild” (Huon)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk2/1/2004
Act 1: Aria, “Von Jugend auf in dem Kampfgefild” (Huon)
Mezzo-soprano/Contralto
Donizetti, Gaetano: La fille du régiment
Couplets: “Pour une femme de mon nom” (Marquise)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk4/1/2004
Couplets: “Pour une femme de mon nom” (Marquise)
Soprano
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus: Mitridate, re di Ponto
Act 1: Aria, “Parto: Nel gran cimento” (Sifare)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk4/1/2004
Act 1: Aria, “Parto: Nel gran imento” (Sifare)
Bass-Baritone
Strauss, Richard: Arabella
Act One: “Wenn aber das die Folge wär. Gewesen” (Mandryka)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk7/1/2004
Act One: “Wenn aber das die Folge wär. Gewesen” (Mandryka)
Tenor
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus: La finta giardiniera
Act 1: Aria, “Che beltà, che leggiadria” (Count Belfiore)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk7/1/2004
Act 1: Aria, “Che beltà, che leggiadria” (Count Belfiore)
Coluratura Soprano
Offenbach, Jacques: Robinson Crusoë
Act 2: Grande valse, “Conduisez-moi vers celui que j’adore” (Edwige)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk8/1/2004
Act 2: Grande valse, “Conduisez-moi vers celui que j’adore” (Edwige)
Mezzo-soprano/Contralto
Handel, George Frideric: Serse
Act 3: Aria, “Crude furie degli orridi abissi” (Serse)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk8/1/2004
Act 3: Aria, “Crude furie degli orridi abissi” (Serse)
Bass-Baritone
Gluck, Christoph Willibald: Iphigènie en Aulide
Act 2: Aria, “O toi, l’object le plus aimable” (Agamemnon)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk10/1/2004
Act 2: Aria, “O toi, l’object le plus aimable” (Agamemnon)
Tenor
Mascagni, Pietro: L’amico Fritz
Act 3: Recitative and Aria, “Ed anche Beppe amò … O amor, o bella luce del core” (Fritz)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk10/1/2004
Act 3: Recitative and Aria, “Ed anche Beppe amò … O amor, o bella luce del core” (Fritz)
Mezzo-Soprano
Cilea, Francesco: L’arlesiana
Act 3: Aria, “Esser madre è un inferno” (Rosa)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk12/1/2004
Act 3: Aria, “Esser madre è un inferno” (Rosa)
Soprano
Massenet, Jules: Sapho
Act 4: “Ces gens que je connais...Pendant un an” (Fanny)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk12/1/2004
Act 4: “Ces gens que je connais...Pendant un an” (Fanny)
Coluratura Soprano
Gounod, Charles: Mireille
Act 1: Valse-ariette, “O légère hirondelle” (Mireille)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk2/1/2005
Act 1: Valse-ariette, “O légère hirondelle” (Mireille)
Bass
Handel, George Frideric: Orlando
Act 1: Aria, “Lascia Amore e siegui Marte!” (Zoroastro)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk2/1/2005
Act 1: Aria, “Lascia Amore e siegui Marte!” (Zoroastro)
Mezzo-soprano/Contralto
Rossini, Gioachino: Tancredi
Act 1: Recitative, Cavatina and Cabaletta, “O patria!...Tu che accendi questo core…Di tanti palpiti” (Tancredi)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk6/1/2005
Act 1: Recitative, Cavatina and Cabaletta, “O patria!...Tu che accendi questo core…Di tanti palpiti” (Tancredi)
Soprano
Poulenc, Francis: Les mamelles de Tirésias
“Non, Monsieur mon mari…Envolez-vous, oiseaux de ma faiblesse” (Thérèse)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk6/1/2005
“Non, Monsieur mon mari…Envolez-vous, oiseaux de ma faiblesse” (Thérèse)
Baritone
Massenet, Jules: Don Quichotte
Act 1: Recitative and Aria, “Les femmes, Chevalier….Comment peut-on penser du bien” (Sancho)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk8/1/2005
Act 1: Recitative and Aria, “Les femmes, Chevalier….Comment peut-on penser du bien” (Sancho)
Tenor
Smetana, Bedrich: Prodaná nevesta (The Bartered Bride)
Act 2: Recitative and Aria, “Az uzríš…Jak morna verít” (Jeník)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk8/1/2005
Act 2: Recitative and Aria, “Az uzríš…Jak morna verít” (Jeník)
Soprano
Donizetti, Gaetano: Maria Stuarda
Act 2: Recitative, Cavatina and Cabaletta, “E chè! Non ami chè ad insolita gioia … O nube che lieve per l’aria … Nella pace del mesto riposo” (Mar

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk10/1/2005
Act 2: Recitative, Cavatina and Cabaletta, “E chè! Non ami chè ad insolita gioia … O nube che lieve per l’aria … Nella pace del mesto riposo” (Maria)
Mezzo-Soprano
Handel, George Frideric: Alcina
Act 2: Recitative and Aria, “Disgombra il mio pensiero … Mi lusinga il dolce affetto” (Ruggiero)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk10/1/2005
Act 2: Recitative and Aria, “Disgombra il mio pensiero … Mi lusinga il dolce affetto” (Ruggiero)
Baritone
Bellini, Vincenzo: Beatrice di Tenda
Act 2: Cavatina and Cabaletta, “Qui m’accolse oppresso…Non son io che la condanno” (Filippo)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk12/1/2005
Act 2: Cavatina and Cabaletta, “Qui m’accolse oppresso…Non son io che la condanno” (Filippo)
Tenor
Donizetti, Gaetano: La fille du régiment
Act 2: Romance, “Pour me rapprocher de Marie” (Tonio)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk12/1/2005
Act 2: Romance, “Pour me rapprocher de Marie” (Tonio)
Bass
Verdi, Giuseppe: Luisa Miller
Act 2: Recitative and Romanza, “Ah! Tutto m’arride…Il mio sangue, la vita darei” (Count Walter)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk2/1/2006
Act 2: Recitative and Romanza, “Ah! Tutto m’arride…Il mio sangue, la vita darei” (Count Walter)
Soprano
Tchaikovsky, Peter Ilyich: Charodeika (The Enchantress or The Sorceress)
Act 4: Aria, “Gde zhe ty, moj zjelannyj?” (Kuma)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk2/1/2006
Act 4: Aria, “Gde zhe ty, moj zjelannyj?” (Kuma)
Mezzo-Soprano
Leoncavallo, Ruggero: La bohème
Act 1: Arietta, “Mimì Pinson, la biondinetta” (Musette)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk4/1/2006
Act 1: Arietta, “Mimì Pinson, la biondinetta” (Musette)
Tenor
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus: Die Entführung aus dem Serail
Act 2: Aria, “Wenn der Freude Tränen fliessen” (Belmonte)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk4/1/2006
Act 2: Aria, “Wenn der Freude Tränen fliessen” (Belmonte)
Bass
Donizetti, Gaetano: Lucia di Lammermoor
Act 2: Cavatina and Cabaletta, “Ah! cedi, cedi, o più sciagure…Al ben de’ tuoi, qual vittima” (Raimondo)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk8/1/2006
Act 2: Cavatina and Cabaletta, “Ah! cedi, cedi, o più sciagure…Al ben de’ tuoi, qual vittima” (Raimondo)
Baritone
Janáček, Leos: The Cunning Little Vixen
Act 3: Monologue, “Nerikal jsem to?” (Forester)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk8/1/2006
Act 3: Monologue, “Nerikal jsem to?” (Forester)
Soprano
Bellini, Vincenzo: Beatrice di Tenda
Act 2: Cavatina and Cabaletta, “Ah! se un urna… Ah! la morte a cui m’appresso” (Beatrice)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk10/1/2006
Act 2: Cavatina and Cabaletta, “Ah! se un urna… Ah! la morte a cui m’appresso” (Beatrice)
Mezzo-Soprano
Verdi, Giuseppe: Oberto
Act 2: Recitative, Aria and Cabaletta, “Riccardo! E chi gli resta…Oh, chi torna l’ardente pensiero…Più che i vezzi e lo splendore” (Cuniza)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk10/1/2006
Act 2: Recitative, Aria and Cabaletta, “Riccardo! E chi gli resta…Oh, chi torna l’ardente pensiero…Più che i vezzi e lo splendore” (Cuniza)
Tenor
Britten, Benjamin: Gloriana
Act 1: Lute Song, “Happy were he” (Earl of Essex)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk12/1/2006
Act 1: Lute Song, “Happy were he” (Earl of Essex)
VOX 2007: Showcasing American Composers
Anne Choe, Artistic Services Manager, OPERA America ,
ArtistLink6/11/2007
Opera has an enormous capacity to convey the human experience. The energy of this possibility to express emotions was incredibly palpable at VOX, the annual new works showcase produced by New York City Opera (NYCO) and presented at the Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, New York University, on May 12 and 13, 2007. Each piece performed at VOX was preceded with a short video introduction consisting of interviews with the artists about their inspirations and creative processes. The weekend also included panel discussions and other presentations. More information, including 2008 application forms, can be found at nycopera.com/about/vox.
What I Did This Summer (What Did I Do This Summer?): Your Guide to Staying Productive During the Summer
Anne Choe, Artistic Services Manager, OPERA America ,
ArtistLink7/10/2007
It is the middle of July. If many of you are like me, that statement strikes a bit of despair and wonderment in your hearts and minds. "The summer is half over! What happened to all my grand plans for the summer?" I had some pretty lofty goals for myself including losing 10 pounds (always at the top of my list), boning up on my knowledge of operatic repertoire, advancing my Italian and French skills, and breaking 90 in my golf game. Unfortunately, my better judgment fails me and I opt for fried goodness rather than salad, Knocked Up rather than Fidelio, and going for the green rather than laying-up. But it's not too late! I can still achieve the things that I'd like to by setting realistic goals, creating an advanced plan, and defining the steps needed to achieve the goals I've set for myself.
Soprano
Verdi, Giuseppe: Luisa Miller
Act 2: Recitative, Aria and Cabaletta, "E segnar questa mano... Tu puniscimi, o Signore... A brani, a brani" (Luisa)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk12/1/2007
Act 2: Recitative, Aria and Cabaletta, "E segnar questa mano... Tu puniscimi, o Signore... A brani, a brani" (Luisa)
Tenor
Tchaikovsky, Peter Ilyich, Pikovaya Dama (The Queen of Spades) (1890)
Act 1: Arioso, "Ya imeni yeyo ne znayu" (Ghermann)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2008
Act 1: Arioso, "Ya imeni yeyo ne znayu" (Ghermann)
Mezzo-Soprano
Cherubini, Luigi: Médée
Act 2: Aria, “Ah! nos peines” (Néris)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk3/1/2008
Act 2: Aria, “Ah! nos peines” (Néris)
Dramatic Voices
Staff ,
ArtistLink4/14/2008
Opera singing has not changed over the centuries, but opera houses, orchestras and the scope of repertoire are constantly growing and evolving. A great deal of mystery has surrounded the “dramatic voice,” and early career artists have many questions about their career path, choosing repertoire and training. In an effort to assist singers and educators to sift through the vast amount of information, OPERA America will soon add a Web page dedicated to dramatic voices, consisting of frequently asked questions and responses written by Roger Pines, dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago. The following is a sample of the upcoming Web page’s content:
Bass
Verdi, Giuseppe: I Lombardi alla prima crociata (1842)
Act 1: Cavatina and cabaletta, "Sciagurata, hai tu creduto… O speranza di vendetta" (Pagano)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk5/1/2008
Act 1: Cavatina and cabaletta, "Sciagurata, hai tu creduto… O speranza di vendetta" (Pagano)
Pushing the Boundaries between Opera and Musical Theater
Anne Choe, Artistic Services Manager, OPERA America ,
ArtistLink5/12/2008
The edge between opera and musical theater is definitely becoming more permeable as artists explore different ways to tell stories through music. OPERA America recently hosted a panel discussion on this subject as part of the Making Connections series — "Pushing the Boundaries between Opera and Musical Theater" — with composer Richard Danielpour; Sarah Schlesinger, director of the graduate musical theater writing program at New York University (NYU); and Kris Stewart, executive director of New York Musical Theater Festival (NYMTF). The discussion was moderated by the producing director of Music-Theatre Group, Diane Wondisford.
Baritone
Puccini, Giacomo: La fanciulla del West
Act 1: "Minnie, dalla mia casa" (Jack Rance)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk11/1/2008
Act 1: "Minnie, dalla mia casa" (Jack Rance)
Bass
Strauss, Richard: Die schweigsame Frau
Act 3, finale: "Wie schön ist doch die Musik" (Morosus)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk12/1/2008
Act 3, finale: "Wie schön ist doch die Musik" (Morosus)
Mezzo-Soprano
Monteverdi, Claudio: L'incoronazione di Poppea
Act 1: "Disprezzata Regina" (Ottavia)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk12/1/2008
Act 1: "Disprezzata Regina" (Ottavia)
Selecting Audition Arias
Wendy Nielsen ,
ArtistLink12/8/2008
I often joke with singers that we are all waiting for our letter from God that reads:

Dear Wendy,

Your five audition arias should be:
  1. Mi tradì (Don Giovanni)
  2. Embroidery Aria (Peter Grimes)
  3. Vissi d'arte (Tosca)
  4. Song to the Moon (Rusalka)
  5. Es gibt ein reich (Ariadne auf Naxos)
Love, God
Baritone
Barber, Samuel: Vanessa
Act 3: Aria, “I never should have been a doctor, Nicholas” (Doctor)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 3: Aria, “I never should have been a doctor, Nicholas” (Doctor)
Baritone
Bellini, Vincenzo: Il pirata (1827)
Act 1: Aria, “Sì, vincemmo…Ma che vostra è la mia gloria…Sì, vincemmo” (Ernesto)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 1: Aria, “Sì, vincemmo…Ma che vostra è la mia gloria…Sì, vincemmo” (Ernesto)
Baritone
Donizetti, Gaetano: Les Martyrs
Act 2: Aria, “Valeureux habitants de l’antique Arménie…Amour de mon jeune age” (Sévère)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 2: Aria, “Valeureux habitants de l’antique Arménie…Amour de mon jeune age” (Sévère)
Baritone
Rossini, Gioachino: Il turco in Italia
Act 2: Recitative and aria, “O sorte deplorabile!...Se ho da dirla…Ah! se nel mondo” (Geronio)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 2: Recitative and aria, “O sorte deplorabile!...Se ho da dirla…Ah! se nel mondo” (Geronio)
Baritone
Verdi, Giuseppe: Attila (1846)
Act 2: Recitative, cavatina and cabaletta, "Tregua è cogl'unni… Dagli immortali vertici…È gettata la mia sorte" (Ezio)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 2: Recitative, cavatina and cabaletta, "Tregua è cogl'unni… Dagli immortali vertici…È gettata la mia sorte" (Ezio)
Baritone
Verdi, Giuseppe: Ernani (1844)
Act 3: Recitative and Aria, "Gran Dio!… O de'verd'anni miei" (Don Carlo)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 3: Recitative and Aria, "Gran Dio!… O de'verd'anni miei" (Don Carlo)
Bass
Verdi, Giuseppe: Jérusalem (1847)
Act 1: Recitative, cavatina and cabaletta: "Vous priez vainement… Oh, dans l'ombre, dans le mystère… Ah! viens, demon" (Roger)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 1: Recitative, cavatina and cabaletta: "Vous priez vainement… Oh, dans l'ombre, dans le mystère… Ah! viens, demon" (Roger)
Bass
Verdi, Giuseppe: Il trovatore
Act 1: Narrative: “Di due figli…Abbietta zingara” (Ferrando)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 1: Narrative: “Di due figli…Abbietta zingara” (Ferrando)
Bass
Wagner, Richard: Lohengrin (1850)
Act I: Prayer, "Mein Herr und Gott" (King Henry)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act I: Prayer, "Mein Herr und Gott" (King Henry)
Contralto
Chabrier, Emmanuel: L’étoile
Act 1: Rondeau, “Je suis Lazuli” (Lazuli)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 1: Rondeau, “Je suis Lazuli” (Lazuli)
Contralto
Cherubini, Luigi: Medea
Act 2: Aria, “Solo un pianto” (Neris)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Original Content1/1/2009
Act 2: Aria, “Solo un pianto” (Neris)
Contralto
Cherubini, Luigi: Médée
Act 2: Aria, “Ah! nos peines” (Néris)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 2: Aria, “Ah! nos peines” (Néris)
Contralto
Cilea, Francesco: L’arlesiana
Act 3: Aria, “Esser madre è un inferno” (Rosa)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 3: Aria, “Esser madre è un inferno” (Rosa)
Contralto
Handel, George Frideric: Alcina
Act 2: Recitative and Aria, “Disgombra il mio pensiero … Mi lusinga il dolce affetto” (Ruggiero)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 2: Recitative and Aria, “Disgombra il mio pensiero … Mi lusinga il dolce affetto” (Ruggiero)
Contralto
Leoncavallo, Ruggero: La bohème
Act 1: Arietta, “Mimì Pinson, la biondinetta” (Musette)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 1: Arietta, “Mimì Pinson, la biondinetta” (Musette)
Contralto
Monteverdi, Claudio: L'incoronazione di Poppea
Act 1: "Disprezzata Regina" (Ottavia)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 1: "Disprezzata Regina" (Ottavia)
Contralto
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus: La finta giardiniera
Act 2: Aria, “Dolce d’amor compagna” (Ramiro)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 2: Aria, “Dolce d’amor compagna” (Ramiro)
Contralto
Thomas, Ambroise: Hamlet
Act 2: Recitative and Arioso, “Toi, partir!…Dans son regard plus sombre” (Gertrude)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 2: Recitative and Arioso, “Toi, partir!…Dans son regard plus sombre” (Gertrude)
Contralto
Thomas, Ambroise: Mignon (1866)
Act 2: Recitative and Aria, “Elle est là, près de lui…Elle est aimée!” (Mignon)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 2: Recitative and Aria, “Elle est là, près de lui…Elle est aimée!” (Mignon)
Contralto
Verdi, Giuseppe: Oberto
Act 2: Recitative, Aria and Cabaletta, “Riccardo! E chi gli resta…Oh, chi torna l’ardente pensiero…Più che i vezzi e lo splendore” (Cuniza)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 2: Recitative, Aria and Cabaletta, “Riccardo! E chi gli resta…Oh, chi torna l’ardente pensiero…Più che i vezzi e lo splendore” (Cuniza)
Mezzo-Soprano
Chabrier, Emmanuel: L’étoile
Act 1: Rondeau, “Je suis Lazuli” (Lazuli)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 1: Rondeau, “Je suis Lazuli” (Lazuli)
Soprano
Charpentier, Gustave: Louise (1900)
Act 2: Aria, "Oh! moi, quand je suis dans la rue… Une voix mysterieuse" (Irma)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 2: Aria, "Oh! moi, quand je suis dans la rue… Une voix mysterieuse" (Irma)
Tenor
Giordano, Umberto: Siberia
Act 2: Aria, "Orride steppe" (Vassili)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 2: Aria, "Orride steppe" (Vassili)
Tenor
Lortzing, Albert: Der Wildschütz (1842)
Act 2: Aria, “Mich faßt der Schmerz” (Baron Kronthal)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 2: Aria, “Mich faßt der Schmerz” (Baron Kronthal)
Tenor
Haydn, Franz Joseph: L'anima del filosofo ossia Orfeo ed Euridice
Act 1: "Cara speme!" (Orfeo)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 1: "Cara speme!" (Orfeo)
Soprano
Verdi, Giuseppe: La battaglia di Legnano (1849)
Act 1: Recitative, Cavatina and Cabaletta, "Voi lo diceste, amiche… Quante volte come un dono… A frenarti, o cor, nel petto" (Lida)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 1: Recitative, Cavatina and Cabaletta, "Voi lo diceste, amiche… Quante volte come un dono… A frenarti, o cor, nel petto" (Lida)
Tenor
Giuseppe Verdi: Ernani (1844)
Act 1: Recitative, cavatina and cabaletta, "Mercè, diletti amici… Come rugiada al cespite… O tu che l'alma adora" (Ernani)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk1/1/2009
Act 1: Recitative, cavatina and cabaletta, "Mercè, diletti amici… Come rugiada al cespite… O tu che l'alma adora" (Ernani)
Embracing the Past: The Value of History’s Great Opera Recordings
José Rincón, Artistic Services Coordinator, OPERA America ,
ArtistLink2/9/2009
I can trace my love for great opera recordings to one recording of one aria: Joan Sutherland’s “In questa reggia” from the 1972 recording of Puccini’s Turandot with Zubin Mehta conducting. As a high school student just beginning to discover my own voice, the beauty and power of Sutherland’s performance was unlike anything I had ever experienced and it inspired me to search for other treasures in the vast canon of opera recordings. By the time I entered the Crane School of Music I had compiled a list of personal favorites: Pavarotti’s Duke of Mantua, Schwarzkopf’s Marschallin and Popp’s Susanna, to name a few. Listening to these recordings not only reminded me why I loved to sing but also gave me a sense of the illustrious lineage of opera singers whose talent and artistry are an integral part of the art form’s history.
A Legacy of Leadership
Kelley Rourke ,
Opera America Magazine7/1/2009
Each year, OPERA America honors leaders celebrating their 10- and 25-year anniversaries with an opera company. The recipients of this year's service awards hail from companies from across North America whose annual budgets range in size from less than $1 million to more than $25 million. Some of the companies dominate the opera scene in their cities, while others are part of a vibrant local opera ecology.

Running an opera company is challenging in the best of times, and today's uncertain economy makes it extraordinarily difficult to plan the seasons ahead. But with hard-won wisdom gained from many years of experience, these artistic and general directors strike a tone of cautious optimism as they share their learning and confirm their commitment to quality and creativity.
Creative Programming in Hard Times
Thomas May ,
Opera America Magazine7/1/2009
The majority of contemporary American opera companies sprang up after the Great Depression — which means they're now confronting the most severe economic downturn in their existence. And the performing arts are doubly vulnerable. Not only is institutional funding at risk: audiences, their very lifeblood, have also had to become more cautious about opening their wallets.
Music! Words! Opera! Celebrates 20 Years
Clifford Brooks, Roger Ames ,
Opera America Magazine9/1/2009
It all began about 1980, when Marthalie Furber, newly-appointed education director of OPERA America, conducted an environmental scan to discern what was going on in opera education throughout the country. Many of us already involved in company education departments knew of "create an opera" projects in different opera companies. Exciting things were happening in such locales as the Berkshires, San Diego, Tulsa and Tucson. Carroll Reinhart, a pioneer in the field of music education, had observed the work of a colleague in San Diego and began building from a number of creative processes to develop a methodology for children to create their own pieces of musical theater. He shared this with several opera professionals, including Henry Holt. Not long afterward, he was contacted by Marthalie Furber. The discussions began in earnest.
Check-Up: Health-Care Reform Proposals and the Opera Field
Staff Amy Fitterer, Patricia Read, Derek Davis, David Bennett
Original Content10/13/2009
OPERA America Webinar Series
Virtual Meeting Attendance: Not Present, But Still Here
BoardSource ,
Original Content10/13/2009

In an ideal board meeting, all members are present and engaged in a structured and vigorous debate of the issues on the agenda. The chair leads the discussion, fine-tuned to the overall mood of the board, and ensures everyone's participation. During planned breaks, chatter fills the boardroom, and when the meeting is over, some members hurry out with their carry-ons in tow while others linger to talk to the chief executive and their board colleagues.

In reality, few board meetings are that perfect. For example, at times, even the most committed members are not able to attend every meeting. This is unfortunate because not only do they miss the meeting but the rest of the board misses their contribution.
Recent Trends in Program Coverage, Artistic Expenses and Individual Giving
Larry Bomback, Director of Finance and Operations, OPERA America ,
Original Content10/29/2009
Over the past 10 years, professional opera company budgets in the U.S. grew annually, on average, at a rate that was about two to two-and-a-half times the U.S. consumer price index (CPI). During consultations with board members and general directors, OPERA America President and CEO Marc A. Scorca referred to this percentage as the Opera Price Index (OPI). Core artistic expenses (the sum of artistic personnel, technical/production personnel and production costs) are an important element of this "opera-flation."
Board Members and Personal Contributions
BoardSource ,
Original Content11/5/2009
Many boards spend considerable time defining the board's role in securing adequate resources for the organization. Personal financial contribution should be an essential part of that discussion. Each board should determine its own personal giving policy. For fundraising boards, the target should be to reach 100 percent board member participation.

Why should board members give?
Board members of most charitable organizations are expected to participate in fundraising. The board is responsible for providing a sound financial basis for the organization and by personally contributing, a board member recognizes this responsibility and demonstrates a commitment. A fundraising appeal is particularly convincing if a board member uses him or herself as an exemplary donor. Many foundations only contribute to organizations where every board member is a contributor. And surveys show that nearly 90 percent of American households contribute to charities. Each board member should designate his or her own organization as one of the main recipients of his or her generosity.
To Promote the Expansion and Growth of the Art Form:
OPERA America and American Opera

Kelley Rourke ,
Opera America Magazine12/1/2009
When 17 opera companies came together to create OPERA America in 1970, they articulated a number of goals toward the advancement of the opera. However, it was not until the 1980s that field-wide momentum began to gather around new work.

In 1979, members voted to include a Composer-Librettist Showcase in conjunction with the organization’s annual conference. The first showcase took place in New Orleans in 1981. Fifty-two works were submitted for consideration; seven were chosen for concert presentation, followed by a discussion with composers, librettists and producers. A 144-page volume was published to accompany the showcase and seminar; in addition to a catalog of all the nominated works, it included essays on the state of contemporary opera production. The conversation had begun.

In the years that followed, OPERA America led several initiatives to promote the expansion and growth of the art form. Three landmark regranting programs lessened the financial risk and encouraged companies to add commissions or subsequent productions of American work to their seasons. The success of these programs eventually led to the creation of The Opera Fund, a growing permanent endowment dedicated to enhancing the quality, quantity and creativity of new opera and music-theater. The Opera Fund and its precursor programs have awarded nearly $11 million in funds to companies throughout North America in support of their efforts to expand and enrich the repertoire.
Opera and the Holidays
Evan Wildstein, Manager of Education and Adult Learning Programs, OPERA America ,
Original Content12/3/2009
In the midst of the holiday frenzy, the music that accompanies the festive season provides a happy and sometimes nostalgic respite. The holidays will come and go in the next three weeks, but good art will outlast the more prosaic parts of the season. As opera companies close out 2009 with productions and community events geared to the festive season, families and audiences have ample opportunity to add opera to their celebrations.
Good Habits Underpin Great Fundraising Boards
Jerold Panas ,
Original Content1/6/2010
In this interview, Jerold Panas discusses the traits of successful fundraising boards.

What led you to the topic of fundraising habits?

I work with organizations all over the country, of all sizes, of all types. From YMCAs to colleges to hospitals — and many in between. The budgets range from $1 million a year to $2.6 billion.

And what I've noticed is a common thread woven through each. When an organization is vital, providing outstanding service, and balancing its budget — I find a board that practices very specific habits. Particularly fundraising habits.

How many boards would you say you've worked with?

Keep in mind, I've been at this a long time! I suppose in my 40 years of consulting, I've actively worked with somewhere between 300 to 400 boards.

And roughly how many have had a majority of the habits you write about?

Most boards practice a good number of them. Only a few can claim them all. One thing if for sure — it's easy to spot boards that don't have these habits. They stumble along.
Art and Fame: A Perspective of an Artist as a Young Man
Robert Hansen, executive director, National Opera Association ,
Original Content2/4/2010
When I was something less than two years old, certainly too young to have any real memory of it, I was photographed sitting in the middle of the dining room table wearing nothing but an over-sized and very glamorous hat. I don’t think the photo was posed: I’m sure I donned that hat myself, and from the expression on my face, I’m equally sure I expected to be noticed.

That must have been the earliest expression of my fantasy of fame and celebrity. I began my stage career at the age of five as the little prince in The King and I who crawls between the king’s legs. I relished that moment: the most special of all those child actors who comprised the royal family. Without belaboring the point, I continued performing all through my school years. I was sought after. I sang and performed everywhere and all the time, turning up as a regular in community and school projects, and even one professional program. One kind reviewer called me “everybody’s tenor” and a local philanthropist and arts supporter praised my “multi-faceted talents.” These are words of praise and encouragement that resonate in the formative years. I took the affirmation as a promise of future success. I watched the Academy Awards and Tony shows religiously, fantasizing about the day I would cross the stage to claim my own recognition.
Planned Giving Strategies
Larry Bomback, Thomas Bonhag, Robert Heuer , Larry Bomback, Thomas Bonhag, Robert Heuer
Original Content2/16/2010
A common concern among donors is how assets will be distributed when they can no longer oversee the process. As a donor, how can you best invest money to reap the benefits during your life, but still ensure a lasting and positive impact? As a development director, how do you broach this delicate subject well-informed and effectively? This session, featuring Thomas Bonhag, a Certified Financial Planner from National Madison Group and a member of the Partnership for Philanthropic Planning, will help guide you through the complex financial instruments available, and look at investing via life insurance policies. Robert Heuer, general director of Florida Grand Opera, will also participate.
Nonprofits and Copyrights: What You Need to Know
Kate Spelman, attorney, Cobalt LLP ,
Original Content2/23/2010
There are two things to worry about with copyrights: protecting original material that your organization has created, and making sure that your organization isn't improperly using material that someone else owns. Blue Avocado asked copyright attorney Kate Spelman to help with these issues, and she generously gave all her expertise and time.

Kate Spelman is an attorney at Cobalt LLP in Berkeley, CA, with a national and international practice in copyright law. She has worked for Fortune 500 companies, as well as many nonprofits. She is a board member of the American Intellectual Property Law Education Foundation.
Tenor
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Mitridate, Re di Ponto (1770)
Act 1: Cavata: “Se di lauri il crine adorno” (Mitridate)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk3/1/2010
Mitridate, Re di Ponto isn’t an unknown work anymore. Over the past 25 years it’s been produced by many major opera companies and festivals internationally. If you enjoy Mozart but feel that Don Ottavio and even Ferrando don’t show off your extensive range to the utmost, try Mitridate, who traverses a full two octaves in the first of his five (!) arias.
Ten Ways to Get Your Students to Use the OPERA America Web Site and Love it
Laura Lee Everett, University of Maryland Opera Studio ,
Original Content3/3/2010
In working with both the Technical/Production and Singer Training Forums, I was lucky enough to be taken on a “virtual tour” of the newly updated OPERA America Web site. Twice. The second time around, I was able to take note of the moments where my colleagues’ attention seemed to wander and asked, “What do I need to point up to get everyone engaged when I take this information back to school?” Here are 10 easy ways to get your students, staff and faculty to utilize the great resources on the OPERA America Web site.
Taxing Foreign Artists
Robyn Guilliams, FTM Arts Law attorney, Larry Bomback, Director of Finance, OPERA America, Amy Fitterer, Director of Government Affairs, OPERA America , Robyn Guilliams, FTM Arts Law attorney, Larry Bomback, Director of Finance, OPERA America, Amy Fitterer, Director of Government Affairs, OPERA America
Original Content3/17/2010
Visiting artists bring a sometimes unique perspective to your stage, and equally unique issues to your tax returns. Pretty much anyone who performs in the US gets taxed, but the simplicity ends there. What compensation is subject to withholding? Can artists without a Social Security Number be paid? Answers to those questions, and any others you may have particular to your situation, in this discussion with FTM Arts Law attorney and tax-withholding expert Robyn Guilliams, co-author of Artists From Abroad.
Fundraising for Independent Artists
Beryl B. Byles, executive coach, Dianne Debicella, program director, fiscal sponsorship, Fractured Atlas; Eve Gigliotti, mezzo-soprano; Anne Ricci, general managing diva, Opera on Tap
Making Connections3/24/2010
Many, if not most, independent artists will have to raise funds during their careers - to produce a piece, attend a training program or simply to continue study. Panelists at this session will discuss their experiences, tips and strategies for cultivating donor relationships and raising funds.
Teen Audiences and Education Programs
Evan Wildstein, Manager of Education and Adult Learning Programs, OPERA America ,
Original Content4/6/2010
The most recent Opera Education Survey Report (2008) reported that opera companies are devoting less time and resources to teen audiences. This survey found that grades 6-8 represented 5% of education audiences, while grades 9-12 comprised 8%. In 2006, the survey found the same audiences were 12% and 9%, respectively. There is consensus in the field that it is a challenge to reach teen audiences for many reasons. "In general," says Fort Worth Opera Education Director Clyde Berry, "teens are the trickiest audience because you have to justify why anything you want them to know is important. If you can't make it relevant to them with real-world connections, then they're not going to 'buy' it."
Tenets to Raise Money By
Certain factors are irrefutable, says philanthropy's grandmaster

Jerold Panas ,
Original Content4/8/2010
For my book, Mega Gifts: Who Gives Them, Who Gets Them, I spoke with more than 50 men and women who had made gifts of $1 million or more. I also collected data from more than a thousand fundraising professionals.

As for me, I bring over 40 years to this magnificent business of helping others undertake consequential acts of kindness and generosity.

What I’ve discovered is that there are clearly factors and forces that motivate large gifts. The proof is irrefutable. There is more commonality in the factors than there are differences. And as extraordinarily unique as people are, the drive and consideration that propels them to a major gift is very much the same.

During the preparation of Mega Gifts I combined all I’d learned from my donors and all I could read on the subject. I mixed this generously and openly with my own feelings and attitudes.

What have evolved are 62 factors that I’m convinced guide, shape and determine the success of securing the mega gifts. Here I’ll share a random seven with you.
What Makes a Great Board?
Expert shares his insights

Andy Robinson ,
Original Content4/8/2010
Andy Robinson is the author of Great Boards for Small Groups and its companion book, Big Gifts for Small Groups. We recently sat down with Robinson to discuss various aspects of nonprofit boards.

What makes a great board, in your opinion?

Robinson: Just what you’d expect; a list of qualifications that’s easy to understand but can be hard to find. Passion for the mission, clear expectations and clearly defined roles, a sense of camaraderie and enough time to do the job right. It also helps to have a bit of flexibility, humor and humility.

So why aren’t there more great boards?

Robinson: The word “great” implies ambition, so the goal is inherently difficult. Faced with the challenge if building a strong board, most organizations move in the wrong directions: they fear that the truth will scare away prospective candidates, so they “low-ball” their expectations. Unfortunately, if people can’t meet your board requirements, you’d rather find out before you invite them — and not after they’ve joined the board.
Visa Processing for Foreign Guest Artists
Amy Fitterer, OPERA America, Jonathan Ginsburg and Andi Floyd, FTM Arts Law
Original Content4/21/2010
The opera industry has recently seen delays and problems in visa processing by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), underscoring the risk that foreign guest artists will be unable to enter the country in time for their rehearsals and performances. Join us to hear from attorney Jonathan Ginsburg as he shares timely advice and best practices for assembling petitions that will increase your chances of petition approval. Ginsburg is considered one of the top immigration attorneys in the U.S. for foreign guest artists. He co-authored the Artist From Abroad Web site, and has conducted numerous presentations and training sessions across the country on visa processing.
Baritone
Gaetano Donizetti: Maria di Rohan (1843)
Act 1: Recitative, cavatina, recitative, cabaletta: “Son cifre di Riccardo!...Bella e di sol vestita…Voce fatal di morte…Ogni mio bene in te sperai” (Enrico, Duke of Chevreuse)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Aria Talk5/3/2010
The only baritone aria/cabaletta scene by Donizetti that I ever hear in auditions is Enrico’s from Lucia. There’s a lot more where that came from! Maria di Rohan, next-to-last of Donizetti’s more than 50 operas and not as familiar as it deserves to be, boasts a terrific baritone scena where you can show everything you’ve got.
Building and Managing Your Network
Charles Jarden, executive director, American Opera Projects; Laura Brooks Rice, Westminster Choir College and CoOPERAtive Program; Leah Wool, mezzo-soprano ,
Making Connections5/26/2010
To be successful, opera artists must accumulate a staggering amount of knowledge and skills. Those who attempt to meet so many demands alone, particularly given the transient lifestyle of an opera career, will quickly find themselves overwhelmed. This session will cover the need for advisors, identifying appropriate team players, communicating your goals to your supporters and managing this dynamic group through your own personal and professional growth.
Professional Development: The Gift that Keeps on Giving
By José Rincón, Artistic Services Manager ,
Original Content12/1/2010
The holidays are upon us and if you are wondering what to get the singer, composer, librettist, director or designer on your gift list, put down the Hickory Farms catalog and consider giving a gift that is not only thoughtful but useful, too. If you are an artist yourself, why not spend some of the cash you get from grandma on a membership or subscription to a service organization that will help you advance your career? Here are several member- or subscription-based organizations that offer an array of programs and resources for creative artists:
Mezzo-soprano and Contralto
George Frideric Handel, Hercules (1744)
Act 1: A. Recitative and aria, “Then I am lost!… There in myrtle shades reclined” B. Aria, “Begone my fears” (Dejanira)

Roger Pines, Dramaturg, Lyric Opera of Chicago ,
Original Content1/1/2011
OPERA America’s “Aria Talk” column focuses not on the tried-and-true audition arias you undoubtedly already know, but on somewhat more off-the-beaten-track repertoire. The hope is that this music will prove a refreshing musical and interpretive change not only for you, the performer, but also for those hearing you in auditions.

Keys to a Successful Singer/Conductor Relationship
Neal Goren, Gotham Chamber Opera; Erie Mills, soprano; Steven Osgood, conductor ,
Making Connections1/26/2011
An established conductor can be a major ally in the advancement of a singer’s career, but the success of this relationship relies on trust, respect and a lot of preparation. Learn how to make the singer/conductor relationship a mutually beneficial one from this session’s panel of distinguished artists.
Ten Ways to Use the OPERA America Website Today
Jose Rincon, Artistic Services Manager, OPERA America ,
Original Content2/1/2011
OPERA America members have a wide range of services at their fingertips via the OPERA America website. Our web-based resources are designed to help both artists and administrators learn about opera as an art form and as an industry.
The Art of Entrepreneurship and Education
by Laura Day Giarolo, Manager of Education & Community Engagement, OPERA America ,
Original Content4/4/2011
Next month, leaders from across the opera industry will gather for the annual opera conference in Boston — Opera Entrepreneurship: Building on Tradition — which will feature many opportunities to reexamine the way in which we approach our work.

The word entrepreneur is nothing to shy away from: though it's often included alongside business jargon like ROI and time-value of money, it can just as easily be aligned with arts education buzzwords like creativity and innovation. Successful entrepreneurs are able to identify a wish, want or desire held by a certain population and find a unique and creative way to make that wish come true.
The Nuts, Bolts and Secrets of Covering
Katherine Drago, mezzo-soprano ,
Making Connections4/20/2011
Working for an opera company as a cover is a great way to begin building a reputation in the industry as a talented artist and dependable colleague. This interactive seminar will teach you the essential dos and don’ts of covering, as well as techniques for notating and reviewing blocking, how to conduct yourself during rehearsals and more.
Collegiate Collaboration
Brooke Feldman, Artistic Services Intern, OPERA America ,
Original Content7/11/2011
As a stage management student at Syracuse University, one of the first things I learned was that performing arts production is a collaborative process. Every class that I took, from basic rehearsal techniques to budgeting, steered back to the concept of collaboration. I was fortunate enough to stage manage productions across a spectrum of genres during my time at school, but it was through my work with Syracuse’s opera workshop that I learned the true meaning of collaboration.
Tips for Assembling Your Opera Fund Application
Lyndsay Werking, Artistic Services Manager, OPERA America ,
Original Content8/4/2011
As the summer comes to an end, we at OPERA America are excited to be launching the next round of grant opportunities through The Opera Fund. This year, awards will be given in the Audience Development category for projects that focus on community engagement activities undertaken in conjunction with the creation and/or production of a new or existing American work. The deadline to submit a letter of intent is August 26. The competition for limited funds is highly competitive. In looking through past grant proposals, we have created some general guidelines to help you as you prepare your application.
DIY Professional Development
Laura Day Giarolo, Director of Learning & Community Engagement, OPERA America ,
Original Content8/4/2011

Conferences and informal conversations alike provide opportunities for professionals to learn from and share with one another, building on the strength of their shared experiences. OPERA America provides several opportunities for mentors, mentees and peer groups to reconnect through in-person Forums, online chats and listserv conversations, and other arts organizations and arts service organizations offer similar services. Weekly or monthly e-newsletters (like OperaLink) have been known to spark conversations around the water cooler, but many of the more recent transformations in do-it-yourself professional development (DIYPD) have come through the blogosphere and through social and professional networking sites.

Singers: How to Research Producing Opera Companies
Megan Young ,
Original Content10/11/2011
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of opera producers in North America. So, how do you know which are appropriate for you at your current level of career achievement? Do you send out 100 headshots and resumes and hope for the best? We think not! Do your research ahead of time to find the opportunities that are appropriate for you. You'll cut down on the volume of materials you send out and you'll be less likely to be put on the "do not hear" list. To start your research, use OPERA America’s Career Guide for Opera. Read on for a comprehensive list of qualities to examine before you choose to audition…
Stress Management for Opera Artists
Robin Rigby, stress management consultant ,
Making Connections12/15/2011
Stress is often unavoidable, especially in the competitive and grueling world of opera. Fortunately, there are proven methods of reducing and managing stress and the factors that cause it. At this session you will learn how to effectively deal with stress so that you can stay healthy, productive and achieve your goals as an artist.
How to Talk About Finances So Non-Financial Folks Will Listen
Bridgestar Staff ,
Original Content12/22/2011
Nonprofit staff members almost universally understand the importance of achieving the mission of the organization and are trained in delivering direct services such as feeding the hungry, educating low-income children, or advocating for a more sustainable environment. However, many of these individuals, while highly skilled in a particular program area, do not have a lot of training and experience in working with financial data. Understandably, when prioritizing their work, nonprofit line managers will often choose to spend their time feeding the hungry over examining numbers on a departmental budget spreadsheet.
In Conversation with Stephanie Blythe
Stephanie Blythe, Marc A. Scorca ,
Making Connections1/4/2012
Mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe is one of the most celebrated and critically acclaimed opera artists of our time. She has performed at major opera houses all over the world in repertoire ranging from Handel to Wagner and this season she returns to the Metropolitan Opera for Rodelinda, Aida and the complete Ring Cycle. Join us as this singular artist discusses her craft and career with OPERA America President & CEO Marc A. Scorca.
Opera Advocacy: Not Just About Appropriation
Brandon Gryde, Director of Government Affairs, Dance/USA and OPERA America ,
Original Content1/24/2012
By now, most in the performing arts community have learned that the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) received yet another cut for FY12. With the final funding amount at $145.979 million, the NEA has almost $9 million less this year on top of the $12 million cut in FY11.

These cuts were already reflected in the first round of Art Works grant allocations (in both the number and size of grants) and also in the change in FY13 guidelines with the elimination of consortium grants.

While funding for the NEA has been a flagship issue for the arts community and advocates, it’s important to know that this is not the only issue that the performing arts face in 2012. OPERA America represents the opera community in a wide array of issues — some that may be very familiar, and others that may be completely new.
The Blind Leap of Leadership
Laura Day Giarolo, Director of Learning and Community Engagement, OPERA America ,
Original Content1/24/2012
"I need you to jump off a cliff."
— President Josiah Bartlett, "The West Wing," Season 6, episode 3 ("Third Day Story")

It's not exactly the warmest, most enthusiastic job offer ever; yet, in many ways, assuming a position of leadership requires a leap of faith. Whether an individual is a new CEO or it is his or her first time supervising staff, being an effective leader requires a delicate blend of personal know-how and interpersonal skills.
Evaluation and Assessment: Beyond Anecdotal Evidence
Laura Day Giarolo, Director of Learning & Community Engagement, OPERA America ,
Original Content3/5/2012
Once a month, OPERA America staff members gather to discuss reports and publications that we’ve recently read. At our most recent Journal Club, one colleague reported on The Arts and Human Development: Framing a National Research Agenda for the Arts, Lifelong Learning, and Individual Well-Being, released fall 2011 by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. While the report’s purpose was to outline areas of arts participation ripe for future research, one of the studies cited, The Creativity and Aging Study: The Impact of Professionally Conducted Cultural Programs on Older Adults, found that older adults who participated in arts activities "reported higher overall physical health, fewer doctor visits, less medication use, fewer instances of falls and fewer health problems when compared to the comparison group. The intervention group also evidenced better morale and less loneliness than the comparison group. Similarly, [those participating in arts activities]… reported a trend toward increased activity." To which OPERA America staff members said, "Well, duh!"
In Conversation with Stephen Wadsworth
Stephen Wadsworth; Marc A. Scorca ,
Original Content3/13/2012
Director Stephen Wadsworth’s work has been seen at major opera houses around the world including La Scala, Vienna State Opera and Covent Garden. He recently directed the Metropolitan Opera’s new production of Boris Godunov and the Broadway production of Terrence McNally’s Master Class. Join us as this leading artist sits down with OPERA America President Marc A. Scorca for an evening of candid conversation.

Stephen Wadsworth’s 2010—2011 season began with a new Boris Godunov at the Metropolitan Opera, continued with a Met revival of Iphigénie en Tauride and a production of The Bartered Bride shared by the Met’s Lindemann program and The Juilliard School, and ended with Terrence McNally’s Master Class on Broadway with Tyne Daly as Maria Callas. This season he directs Rodelinda at the Met, King Roger at Santa Fe and Don Giovanni at Juilliard, where he is, and begins a new translation of Beaumarchais’ Figaro plays commissioned by the McCarter Theater in Princeton. As The James S. Marcus Faculty Fellow and director of the post-graduate advanced training for singers at Juilliard and Head of Dramatic Studies for the Lindemann program, he teaches the full school year. He has directed at La Scala, Vienna State Opera, Covent Garden, the Edinburgh Festival and Netherlands Opera, as well as all over the United States, including at Seattle Opera, for whom he has staged ten productions, notably the Ring cycle (last revival 2013). He co-wrote A Quiet Place with Leonard Bernstein and has translated and adapted plays of Marivaux (published by Smith and Kraus), Molière and Goldoni. His work in the spoken theater includes Aeschylus’ Oresteia trilogy at Berkeley Rep, Molière’s Don Juan at Seattle Rep, the Old Globe in San Diego, the Shakespeare Theatre in Washington, D.C. and the McCarter, three Marivaux titles all over the country, and world premieres of Anna Deavere Smith’s Let Me Down Easy and Beth Henley’s Impossible Marriage at Roundabout. The French government named him a Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters, and he is an Artist-in-Residence at the Aspen Institute.
Totally Non-Non-Non-Partisan Dude!
Brandon Gryde, Director of Government Affairs, OPERA America ,
Original Content4/4/2012
Believe me — I completely understand. I, too, have friends on Facebook who continue to post political memes. These posts beget even more ridiculous comments from their friends, ones that make online super contributors sound intelligent. The comments can rile you so much that you believe yourself to be the only person capable of setting these individuals straight.

But before you add your obviously rational voice to the discussion and inform your friends-of-friends of their comment's inaccuracies, PLEASE MAKE SURE THAT YOU'RE NOT POSTING TO YOUR OPERA COMPANY'S FACEBOOK ACCOUNT.

During an election year, emotions run high; candidates from both parties, eager to increase their media exposure, tend to make extreme statements. This makes it even easier to get caught up on the fracas.
Measuring Brand Personality: Why Customer Service, Social Marketing and Brandmaking are Becoming the Same Thing
Patricia Martin, Culture Scout Blog ,
Original Content4/17/2012
Everything communicates. Everything. What our brands do, say, show, process or sell. My colleague, Nancy Goldstein, is a brand strategist who is especially passionate about this. And she's right.

Lately, I've been studying the best behaviors of social brands. That's why this infographic caught my eye. It reveals interesting insights into customer service and social commerce.
An Excellence Manifesto for the Digital Age
Douglas McLennan, ArtsJournal ,
Original Content6/22/2012
  1. Excellence is Meaningless

Excellence doesn’t stand out when everything is excellent. In a world where “all the women are strong, all the men are good looking and all the children are above average,” being good looking, strong and above average won’t get you noticed. We perceive excellence when it stands out from the things around it. When everything is excellent then excellence is average. It’s in our nature to want more, to want different. Most declarations of excellence aren’t about excellence at all; they’re about positioning. In the digital age, when ideas and bits and bytes are cheap and endlessly reproducible, excellence is a mutable concept.
Jules Massenet, Werther (1892), Act One: Recitative and Aria, “Alors, c’est bien ici…Ô Nature”; and Act Two, Recitative and Aria, “Un autre est son époux!…J’aurais sur ma poitrine”
by Roger Pines ,
Aria Talk8/2/2012
I’ve heard innumerable tenors audition with “Pourquoi me réveiller,” but no one sings either of Werther’s other two arias. This seems unfortunate, considering that “Pourquoi” is handicapped by its unvaried mood and two identical verses. You have fabulous alternatives in the arias from both Act One (ravishing musically and textually) and Act Two (blazingly dramatic, with a stunning climax). Don’t ignore those other two arias — it’s time to remind your listeners that Werther isn’t all about waiting for his high A-sharps!

Living Opera
Darren K. Woods, General Director, Fort Worth Opera ,
Original Content10/1/2012
Fort Worth Opera’s Darren K. Woods on setting a new festival agenda

I guess you could say that opera festivals are in my blood. My first opera job as a professional singer was as an apprentice artist for Santa Fe Opera. I worked at Santa Fe most summers for the next 14 years, along with the festivals in Saint Louis, Chautauqua, Glimmerglass, Sarasota and several others, but eventually I retired from singing and became a general director. When I came to Fort Worth, the board charged me with breathing new life into our 60-year-old stagione company, and the idea of changing into a festival format was a natural leap for me — albeit an exciting and frightening one. It would necessitate altering our business model completely, trying something that had never been done in north Texas, and risking a patron base that was comfortable attending operas spaced out over the year. However, facing stiff competition from the hundreds of other arts organizations serving a population of over six million people in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, it was a matter of change or die.
OPERA America's Role Preparation Primer
José Rincón, Artistic Services Coordinator, OPERA America ,
Original Content10/10/2013
Contributors: Ann Baltz, OperaWorks; Valerie Beaman; ActingforOpera.com; Clyde Berry, Fort Worth Opera; Daniel Biaggi, Palm Beach Opera; Johnathon Pape, Eastman School of Music
Learning a complete operatic role is a major milestone in a singer's career that requires organization and strategy. The preparation process begins long before any notes are plunked on the piano and continues after the final double bar. To get a sense of what it takes to effectively learn a new role, OPERA America surveyed five members of the Singer Training Forum for what they consider to be the essential steps, questions and resources a singer should keep in mind throughout the preparation process.

The contributors to OPERA America’s role preparation primer offer a range of experience and expertise in the field of singer training and career development. And while their respective strategies for tackling a role are nuanced and unique, four main areas of focus emerge when the strategies are compared: the source, the score, the text and the character. These areas, and other considerations, are further explored in this article.
An Evening with Librettist Mark Campbell
Mark Campbell, Jennifer Aylmer, Wallis Giunta, Troy Cook, Matthew Tuell, Timothy Long ,
Salon Series8/14/2014
Excerpts from Silent Night, Rappahannock County, Lucrezia, The Inspector, A Letter to East 11th Street and Songs from an Unmade Bed performed by soprano Jennifer Aylmer, mezzo-soprano Wallis Giunta, tenor Matthew Tuell, baritone Troy Cook and pianist Timothy Long.

Mark Campbell is one of the most in-demand librettists working in opera today. In the past year alone he premiered four new works, including Silent Night for Minnesota Opera (music by Kevin Puts, directed by Eric Simonson), The Inspector for Wolf Trap Opera (music by John Musto, directed by Leon Major) and Rappahannock County for Virginia Opera, Virginia Arts Festival, University of Richmond and the University of Texas (music by Ricky Ian Gordon, directed by Kevin Newbury).

Fall 2014 Magazine Issue
  • Are Women Different?
  • Preparing for Klinghoffer
  • Emerging Artists: Act One


Contact Us
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From Airport:
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From 42nd Street/Times Square:
Take the Train to the 28th Street stop and walk north on 7th Avenue.
The building is on the same block as the train stop.

For more detailed directions, most up-to-date pricing or to specify a different starting location, please visit the
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