A Learning Laboratory for Opera
Opera America Magazine •
A lot is happening as OPERA America heads into its 40th year, including a virtual facelift. A new Web site design puts OPERA America’s wealth of existing resources, along with some new additions, at the fingertips of its members in a format that is easy to navigate.
The mission of the redesign team was simple: How can we create a Web site that delivers timely news and information about the field along with the tools and resources necessary to enhance every level of opera participation, from creation to presentation to enjoyment?
Upon visiting the new, streamlined homepage, users will immediately note that the simplified layout, along with a redesigned organizational structure, allow users to access the resources they need in a manner that is both intuitive and accommodating.
What has emerged is a dynamic vehicle for the understanding of and participation in the field of opera. The new homepage will host regularly-updated news headlines, network specific articles from OPERA America staff, tutorials about how to best use your OPERA America membership and an improved calendar of events that will keep members abreast of OPERA America’s programs. Combined, these features will put news and information a click away and reduce the need to have as many e-newsletters, which should make already-overcrowded inboxes everywhere a bit easier to tame.
From the homepage, users will be able to access portals that broadly fit their interests, including Artistic and Administrative Professional Development Resources; Education, Audiences and Community Service; and Advocacy and Public Policy. Users will also find immediate access to the most often used Research, Publications and Directories, as well as information about OPERA America.
In order to enhance and expand its role as a professional and audience development tool, several programs will be revamped and new programs will be added to the Web site. Opera lovers looking to brush up on their knowledge of the art form will find an updated Glossary of Terms with audio examples and an expanded Learning Center (formerly Cornerstones) that will encompass a wide variety of information about the most frequently performed operas in the repertoire. New operas will be added each month to this invaluable learning resource.
A new webinar series will be provided free of charge to professional company members. The webinars, tailored to specialty networks such as development, marketing, finance, education, artistic administration, technical/production and governance, will provide up-to-date, practical advice that can be put to use immediately, empowering users with strategic support to respond to longer-term opportunities and challenges. The webinars allow OPERA America to deliver beneficial programming to as many members as possible in real time, and as a permanent resource. They will supplement, not replace, existing professional development activities.
Administrative staff will also find an online speaker series focusing on various concerns within the field and new virtual conferencing capabilities that will allow staff to share documents during conference calls and other important events. Likewise, artists will be able to access both Making Connections and the Salon Series online, and they will be able to search OPERA America’s articles about artist career development, including those from Aria Talk.
Big things are happening online. If you haven’t been to
www.operaamerica.org in a while, you owe it to yourself to give it another try.
About the Author: