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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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Would you like your press releases and announcements featured on the OPERA America website and in OperaLink? Submit the url to your announcement in the "Submit a Press Release" section. Press releases must be hosted on your own site or through a third-party site like Google Docs or PitchEngine. Please contact Patricia K. Johnson at PKJohnson@operaamerica.org with questions.
Please send all season announcements to Alexa B. Antopol (EAntopol@operaamerica.org), Reference & Research Librarian.
Artist Headlines
Festival Opera: A Rare Holocaust Operatic Commemoration
Jason Victor SerinusSan Francisco Classical Voice
Festival Opera may be cash-strapped these days, but it’s hardly wanting for creative drive and acumen. 
Five highlights of the opera season
Robert HarrisThe Globe and Mail
Canadian Opera Company: Hercules

Director Peter Sellars takes a Sophoclean tragedy about a Greek hero, 
Class, Race, and Classical Music: the Debate
Tom ServiceThe Guardian
Important, this: a debate on Class, Race, and Classical Music hosted by London Music Masters at the English Speaking Union. Candace Allen (whose piece on this crucial subject you can read here), violinist Tai Murray, and LMM’s Executive Director, Rob Adediran, were the panelists who inspired a wide-ranging, controversial, and challenging debate. Up for discussion, among much else, were the idea of who classical music is for, why we think it’s so important for the whole of society to have access to it, and what the institutions of music education and musical excellence can do to become part of people’s lives in areas of economic impoverishment and communities who wouldn’t otherwise have access or opportunity to be involved in this music.
Twitter Rolls Out Its Facebook-Like Profile Redesign
Stan SchroederMashable
Twitter is gradually rolling out a major redesign of user profiles, starting on Tuesday. The new look, which Twitter was testing in February, adds a lot more user information and several new features — and it looks quite similar to Facebook's user profiles. The new profile features a larger user photo and customizable header image. Twitter highlights your tweets that have the most engagement by displaying them slightly larger than the rest. You can also pin one of your tweets to the top of the page.
How Do I Get the Press to Cover My Company?
Maryam Banikarim and Maxine BédatFast Company
Sure, you are in love with your company, but you won't be successful unless you get noticed by the rset of the world -- and that starts with getting some coverage in the media. CMO of Gannett Maryam Banikarim and cofounder of fashion site Zady, Maxine Bédat answer this week's read question.
Could deal to save the opera be near?
Pam KragenSan Diego Union-Tribune
A sharply reduced budget, innovative programming and a list of donors who will step up if San Diego Opera’s current leaders are replaced might be enough to rescue the company from shutdown in two weeks, a board member said Tuesday. Carol Lazier, the San Diego Opera board member who pledged $1 million to save the company on April 4, said she and others will make that case to the full board on Thursday. She said she’s “hopeful” they can persuade the panel to grant a stay of execution.
The Met: What is to be done?
Dawn FataleParterrebox.com
Coming as Peter Gelb did from the music industry, opera lovers hoped that he would display a more distinctive knack for casting and an improved talent pipeline than Joe Volpe offered during the waning years of his tenure. Still, that list of major singers who enjoy productive ongoing relationship with the house has some pretty significant gaps.
Columbia University Announces 98th Annual Pulitzer Prizes in Journalism, Letters, Drama and Music
Sabina LeeColumbia University News
The 98th annual Pulitzer Prizes in Journalism, Letters, Drama and Music, awarded on the recommendation of the Pulitzer Prize Board, were announced today by Columbia University.
Opera's 'Oscars'
Corinne RameyThe Wall Street Journal.
David Hyde Pierce and Joyce DiDonato Host the Opera News Awards
Closing an Opera With 'Dignity'
John M. EgerHuffington Post
After 49 years, the San Diego Opera announced a few weeks ago, it was closing its doors. Ian Campbell, the Opera's CEO and artistic director, said:

"The whole idea is to exit with dignity. ... Exiting with dignity is critical to us. This city doesn't need a bankrupt opera company."

This idea of closing "with dignity" was echoed by Karen Cohn, chairwoman of the San Diego Opera.
UT opera singers stage free, live performance
Kritika Pramod KulshresthaThe Daily Texan
A trip to the SFC Farmers’ Market East last Tuesday would have allowed shoppers to witness a free live opera performance by UT students. UT’s Butler Opera Center, in collaboration with the Austin Lyric Opera, stage a free performance of “The Elixir Project,” which is based off of Italian composer Donizetti’s “The Elixir of Love” at nine venues across Austin. The final performance will be at the Mexican American Cultural Center this Tuesday.
Opera hits high note with 70 auditioning for Project Puccini
Pam McKayRockhampton Morning Bulletin
CYNDI Thomson works in cartography.

She is hoping her latest vocal venture could map a new course for her artistic career.

The talented Rockhampton performer was among the first of more than 70 budding artists who auditioned for a prized role in the chorus of Opera Queensland's production of La bohème.
Teaching music is good for business and law students
Kathryn FehrmanSan Diego Source
There have been more articles recently about schools cutting arts and music budgets. As though music is expendable. As though we and our children can live without it.
Stop Blaming Philanthropists for the Opera and 2015 Meltdowns
Scott LewisVoice of San Diego
The other day, John Lamb at CityBeat wondered what happened to the San Diego Opera and whether it could be linked to what happened to Balboa Park Celebration Inc., the entity charged with putting on a grand party to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of the 1915 Panama California Exposition.
How to Explain Social Networks to Non-Users (Without Making Them Feel Stupid)
Evan LePageHootSuite Blog
Moms are being unfairly maligned online. Posts promising to explain tech tools and trends are now too often framed as, “How would you explain this to your mom.” Examples include the widely circulated “Mom This is How Twitter Works,” to The New York Times’ recent post “How to Explain Bitcoin to Your Mom.” The “mom” character in these pieces is a demographic stand-in for unsophisticated users, but this ignores the reality of women and technology.
Utah Opera Hosts 13th Annual Children's Opera Showcase Tonight
Opera News desk staffBroadwayWorld.com
Utah Opera will give local elementary school students a chance to take the spotlight to perform original operas in a professional theatre. The thirteenth annual Children's Opera Showcase will take place Tuesday, April 15, 2014, at 6:30 PM in the Jeanné Wagner Theatre located in the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center (138 West 300 South).
GRINDR The Opera to Premiere at The West End Cabaret, 5/2-3
Opera News desk staffBroadwayworld.com
Libertine Idol Productions and Charles Czarnecki are presenting the world premiere of Erik Johannes von Ransom's GRINDR The Opera in concert on May 2nd and 3rd at The West End Cabaret, with direction by Rachel Klein. GRINDR is an unauthorized musical parody of the eponymous gay hook-up app that has sweepingly altered the course of modern gay intimacy.
Nicole Paiement: The Bright New Force of Opera Parallèle
Lisa HoustonSan Francisco Classical Voice
At a time when many performing organizations are struggling to stay afloat, and others are closing their doors altogether, there’s a young company in town gaining momentum: Opera Parallèle (or OP). It has found that audiences appreciate the opportunity to see modern works that are rarely performed or brand new, with high musical standards and casts composed of world-class singers. The company’s success is a reflection of its founder, artistic director, and conductor Nicole Paiement’s commitment to taking contemporary opera to the wider audience she so deeply feels it deserves. Paiement is a guest conductor with companies such as Dallas Opera and Washington National Opera, and is on the faculties of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and UC Santa Cruz. As the director of the Blueprint Series at the Conservatory, she is actively involved in the commission and execution of new works. Later this month, she will conduct a new production of a double bill of Kurt Weil’s Mahagonny Songspiel [(1927) and Poulenc’s Les Mamelles de Terésias (1944) at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. In June, the company will present the American premiere of Anya 17, by British composer Andrew Gorb, which contains a plot having to do with sex trafficking in the European Union. 
5 Myths About the Opera
Eduard SchmiegeVoice of San Diego
The future of the San Diego Opera hangs in the balance, and there’s been no shortage of speculation on the causes and implications of such a loss. But in reporting those circumstances, the media has helped perpetuate five myths, represented as facts. Let’s address them here, and dispense with them once and for all.
Death Knell for Opera in San Diego After 49 Years
Adam NagourneyNew York Times
After a three-week battle that convulsed the community here and subjected its once revered opera company to widespread derision and accusations of mismanagement — Ian D. Campbell, its general and artistic director, was nearly booed off the stage when he stepped out to introduce “Don Quixote” this month on opening night — the board of directors on Friday reaffirmed its intention to close down. The final scheduled performance was on Sunday.
Royal Opera House's Les Vêpres siciliennes named Best New Opera Production at the Olivier awards
Christina KennyClassical-Music.com
Stefan Herheim’s production of Verdi’s 1855 grand opera, Les Vêpres siciliennes, has been named Best New Opera Production at this year's Olivier Awards, which took place last night.
Opera classics to be performed by students as part of ‘Talk Opera’ programs
staffmaryland.newszap.com
The world of talk shows is in a state of flux, with Jimmy Fallon taking over the desk for The Tonight Show and Seth Meyers becoming the new host for Late Night. One thing is unlikely to change, however: Opera will still be underrepresented in the mix of celebrity interviews and musical guests.
Local warehouse selling items from closed down NYC Opera house
Gabrielle Bonghiphilly.com
Mid-Century Furniture Warehouse in Kensington has acquired quite the collection of odds and ends from the recently shut down NYC Opera. This weekend they will be hosting a tag sale in their back warehouse along 2nd Street.
Ian Campbell's dramatic and controversial curtain call
Peter RoweSan Diego Union-Tribune
In long career, opera chief has amazed many and infuriated more than a few.
Opera Company Sings Out
Susan Hancewilmingtonbiz.com
Nancy King, opera singer and associate professor in the music department at University of North Carolina Wilmington along with Wendy and Jerry Fingerhut, transplanted New Yorkers and avid Metropolitan Opera fans, have started a grassroots effort to ensure Wilmington has its own performing opera company.
OPERA America: San Diego Opera's challenges are not insurmountable
JW AugustABC10 News
An open letter was sent to San Diego board members from the influential OPERA America, based in New York City, that advises them that the financial problems they're struggling with are not insurmountable.
Opera star takes interim post as company's musical adviser
Phil MillerThe Herald Scotland
Scotland's national opera company has appointed an acclaimed operatic baritone, Sir Thomas Allen, to the ­temporary role of music adviser as it searches for its next music director.
San Diego Opera, waiting for a savior, may have had its final curtain call
Soraya Nadia McDonaldThe Washington Post
After years of floundering ticket sales, the San Diego Opera performed to a sold-out matinee crowd Sunday afternoon, but it may have been too little, too late.
Why It Doesn't Matter That You May Never Reach Inbox Zero
Laura VanderkamFast Company
I had this conversation again the other day: a woman shared her schedule with me, and I noted that she logged back on to work for at least 90 minutes each night. There’s nothing wrong with that per se, but when I inquired what brilliant strategizing transpired during that second shift, I got a rueful reply: “I’m cleaning out my inbox.”

She asked how to process email more efficiently so she could move on to more enjoyable things. Unfortunately, I had no such tips. For starters, I have hundreds of unread emails in my inbox at any given time. Not only do I not file emails, I haven’t even figured out how to create folders.
A first in 50 years, Opera to premiere ‘Morning Star’
Janelle GelfandCincinnati.com
Cincinnati Opera will present the world premiere of the opera “Morning Star,” with music by Ricky Ian Gordon and a libretto by William M. Hoffman, during the company’s 2015 Summer Festival.
Unpaid Internships, or Getting Your Foot in the Door of the American Theater
Greg RedlawskHowlRound
In the wake of the death of a camera assistant on a film shoot in Georgia, there’s been plenty of reflection in the film industry regarding the conditions under which crew members perform their duties. I keep reading these articles and thinking about how it all relates to the theater world and, in particular, the nonprofit system of New York City. Our circumstances certainly aren’t identical to those in film, yet there are a lot of problems with entry-level positions in many aspects of our industry. We could do with a little reflection.
U-M professor wins OPERA America grant for female composers
Jenn McKeeMLive
OPERA America, a national service organization for opera, recently announced recipients for its new program, Opera Grants for Female Composers. From an eligible applicant pool of 112, a panel selected 8, and U-M composition professor Kristin Kuster made the cut for "Old Presque Isle" - a 75-minute opera written for female singer, six trumpets, two percussionists and men's chorus, with a libretto by poet Megan Levad (an English lecturer at U-M and assistant director of the Helen Zell Writers' Program). It is believed that the Old Presque Isle lighthouse is haunted, and although the bulb was deactivated in 1979, it continues to shine today.
Homeless Students, Lack of Female Opera Composers Focus of Women’s Research Colloquium
Rick GloadyNews @ the Beach
California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) faculty members Adriana Verdié and Rashida Crutchfield will be the featured speakers at the university’s Spring 2014 Women’s Research Colloquium on Wednesday, April 9, beginning at 5 p.m. in The Pointe of the Walter Pyramid. This year’s theme is “Beginning the Future.”

The colloquium is an opportunity to learn about research done by women and/or research related to women’s issues and concerns. The event highlights CSULB scholars and provides an opportunity to learn about their work and engage in discussions about their findings.
KCAI students visit Lyric Opera
Jill ToyoshibaThe Kansas City Star
Kansas City Art Institute students in the "Drama of the Body" figure drawing class had the opportunity to visit the Lyric Opera to learn about the building of an opera Thursday, Apr. 10, 2014. Their May 9 final will feature drawings and paintings from source material on Die Fledermaus. Xiaolei McKean (from left), Nandi Harrison, Whitney Johnson and Allason Lewis photograph the score of the opera.
Saving the San Diego Opera: Is it the final act?
Sasha FooKUSI News
When word came last month that the San Diego Opera would be dissolving, there was disbelief, and in some quarters, anger. A seemingly robust opera company was faltering, yet why was the decision made so suddenly to just end it?
The Little Match Girl Passion (or when is opera not opera?)
Roland PeelmanLimelight Magazine
David Lang's Pulitzer Prize winning Little Match Girl Passion is Australia bound, but is it opera?
Stanford University's Immersive Les Misérables, With Opera-Going Experience, Offered April 11-19
Michael GiolaPlaybill
Ram's Head Theatrical Society at Stanford University stages a reinvented production of the Tony Award-winning musical Les Misérables, which includes an immersive element called the Opera-Going Experience Project, April 11-12 and 17-19 in California.
Putting a Ring on it elevates Houston Grand Opera to new heights — and accomplishes a great dare
Joseph CampanaCulturemap Houston
There’s only one Ring — Richard Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen, a mammoth endeavor comprised of four operas for which Wagner crafted both music and librettos over 26 years. With the Friday night premiere of Das Rheingold, Houston Grand Opera initiates this season on its very first Ring, a signature accomplishment for an opera company.
Valkyries Ride All Night To Save Opera Company
Mark MobleyNPR Music
One opera company has vowed to do what it does best until it gets the money it needs. For more than 60 years, Texas-based Rio Grande Opera has attracted world-class singers, directors, conductors and composers to its lavish McDermott Opera House. But as the economy began its freefall, and with no new major donors forthcoming, they hit on a last-ditch strategy no one had ever tried before: a pledge drive marathon they're calling a Lone Star Wagnerrama.
Aspiring opera singer discovers new calling
Ty-Eshia JohnsonThe Ranger
Felix Gonzales, mortuary science department chair, has been working as an undertaker for 41 years, but music was his first love and he aspired to be a world-famous opera singer. Gonzales pursued opera singing in college, participated in opera productions and sang in the San Antonio Mastersingers. That dream didn’t work out so he took up teaching music in public school.
Get schooled in opera: The Santa Fe Opera hits the road to share the art in the far reaches of the state
Journal StaffThe Albuquerque Journal
Once again, The Santa Fe Opera’s troop of apprentices, music director Kirt Pavitt and tour manager Melissa Sardella will pack the opera van and head south. The Spring Tour, the opera’s annual adventure into the New Mexico landscape, offers a taste of opera to cities as far south as Las Cruces and as far north as Farmington. In-school performances present an original piece written especially for the tour. Called “True North,” it is the story of two young couples who have appeared on previous tours together and meet by coincidence in an airport. They become reacquainted and share the stories of their lives. The production incorporates music from opera, musical theater and popular culture.
Former NFL defensive end stars in Knoxville Opera
StaffKansas City Entertainment
A former Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens defensive end is singing one of the lead roles in the Knoxville Opera Company's production of Bellini's "Norma."

Ta'u Pupu'a studied music at Julliard after an injury ended his career in professional football. He will perform the role of Pollione on Friday at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday at 2:30 p.m.
Three nonprofits forming alliance to enhance music education, performance opportunities throughout Central Alabama
Michael HuebnerAL.com
Three nonprofit organizations are joining forces for the cause of music education in central Alabama.
Yo-Yo Ma, other artists bring music to Detroit's Spain Elementary
Ann ZaniewskiDetroit Free Press
Legendary cellist Yo-Yo Ma had a captive audience as music flowed from his instrument, sparking smiles and a few dropped jaws. The setting was not an orchestra hall, but a classroom.
Funding Arts Education One Vans Custom Culture Sneaker at a Time
Jessica WiltARTSblog
Vans Custom Culture began as a much smaller project lead by a high school art teacher in Colorado, Franky Scaglione, and his best friend, Shawn Gruenhagen, who is a sales rep for Vans. The competition was originally held between classmates at Wheat Ridge High School in Denver who customized blank Vans shoes that Shawn brought them. It morphed into a larger, national high school art competition once Shawn brought the idea back to the Vans marketing team at our headquarters in Southern California. Using Franky and Shawn’s original concept of a competition around custom shoes, we launched the first national edition of Custom Culture in 2010. The goals of the program were the same then as they are now.  First, give high school students a chance to express themselves creatively. Second, put some much needed funds back into the hands of high school art programs. Third, create a platform to raise awareness for the importance of art education in our schools.
Sarasota Opera stays true to composer with Verdi bill
William LittlerTheStar.com
As far as I have been able to determine, Verdi’s Jérusalem has not been performed in Canada in all of the 167 years since its 1847 premiere in Paris. Come to think of it, it hasn’t been performed in most other countries either, at least since the 19th century, which is why music critics from around the continent converged on Florida recently for one of its extremely rare stagings by the world’s current leading producer of early Verdi, Sarasota Opera. No, I am not joking. By 2016, unless the gods intervene, Sarasota Opera will have become the first company anywhere to have produced every note Verdi wrote: all the operas in all their different versions (a total of 33), as well as all the Italian master’s nonoperatic music.

Amid challenges, FW Opera still opens a daring festival
Scott CantrellDallas News
Quick: Which American opera company is daring enough to devote more than half its 2014 season to American operas composed in the last 25 years? Yes, that would be Fort Worth Opera, which opens its three-week 2014 festival Saturday at Bass Performance Hall. The four operas include the professional premiere of With Blood, With Ink, by composer Daniel Crozier and librettist Peter M. Krask, and the first regional presentation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Silent Night, by composer Kevin Puts and librettist Mark Campbell. Two “Frontiers” showcases will sample excerpts from additional new operas from the Americas.
San Diego Opera hires Mark Fabiani to handle crisis publicity
David NgLos Angeles Times
San Diego Opera has enlisted the spin expertise of Mark Fabiani -- the former deputy mayor of Los Angeles and former special counsel to President Bill Clinton -- to handle the company's public relations as it faces mounting criticism over its decision to shut down. A PR man with a long roster of prominent clients, Fabiani was an ascendant L.A. politician during the '80s. He served as the chief of staff under L.A. Mayor Tom Bradley and also took on the role of deputy mayor. Fabiani later served as special counsel to President Clinton, advising him on the Whitewater scandal and other matters.
Do Recordings Kill Music?
Sasha Frere-JonesThe New Yorker
The musician and writer David Grubbs began his career far from the silence and mushrooms of John Cage, the musician, philosopher, and writer. As a teen-ager in Louisville, Grubbs formed the band Squirrel Bait, an organized explosion that converted punk rock into something twice its original size, more melodic and chaotic than earlier iterations. From there, Grubbs moved into a series of disparate bands, mostly playing music fairly far removed from the tendencies of rock. One long-running project that he conducted with Jim O’Rourke, Gastr del Sol, seemed like a collation of all the parts of sound that are deëmphasized on mainstream rock records: silence, dissonance, scrapes, and squeaks.
Are You Making These 5 Twitter Mistakes?
Katerina PetropoulouTwitterCounter.com
Twitter can be a great tool for establishing your brand, building a community and extending your influence. But to get the most out of Twitter and do all of the above, first you need to avoid making these common mistakes.

Spring 2014 Magazine Issue
  • From Gold Rush to Google
  • Before, After and During Opera Conference 2014
  • OPERA America's New Works Forum Expands and Explores
Contact Us
330 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001
P 212-796-8620 • F 212-796-8621
Info@operaamerica.orgDirections
From Airport:
The easiest way to reach the OPERA America offices is to get a cab at the airport. Cost is $40-45
(not including tip).
  • JFK - Take the AirTrain ($5 - approx. 15 minutes) to the Jamaica Street Station and transfer to the Long Island Railroad (LIRR). Take the LIRR to Penn Station ($12 - approx. 35 minutes). See Penn Station directions below.
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From Penn Station/Madison Square Garden:
Leave the station through the 7th Avenue/33rd Street exit and walk south for four blocks. The building is on
the right hand side.

From Grand Central Station:
Take the Train to the 42nd/Times Square station and transfer to the Train.
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.

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
MTA Web site.