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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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Press Releases & Season Announcements
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.
Finance/General Operations Headlines
John Shirley-Quirk, a Bass-Baritone and Specialist in Britten, Is Dead at 82
Margalit FoxThe New York Times
John Shirley-Quirk, a British chemistry teacher who almost by accident became a world-renowned bass-baritone, performing at the Metropolitan Opera and becoming known as an interpreter of Benjamin Britten, died on April 7, in Bath, England. He was 82.
San Diego Opera Board Meeting Leads To Shake Up In Leadership
Angela Carone | KPBSinewsource.org
A meeting of the San Diego Opera’s board of directors Thursday resulted in a shakeup in the organization’s top leadership spots. Board President Karen Cohn walked out of the meeting along with a group of other members. Another board member told KPBS that Cohn had resigned. Board member Faye Wilson also walked out early, as did opera director Ian Campbell. According to sources who did not wish to be named, roughly 30 of the board’s 50 members remain active with the group.
How to Use Tumblr to Get Your Nonprofit Noticed by Potential Donors
StaffChronicle of Philanthropy
Join us on Tuesday, April 22, at 2 p.m. Eastern time for a live video tutorial on how nonprofits are using Tumblr: for fundraising, for blogs, as a website, or to raise awareness.
8 tech tools every nonprofit should use
Timothy HoustonInsightNews.com
With an estimated 1.5 million nonprofits in the United States alone, nonprofits help with everything from ending local hunger, advocating literacy, and other essential services that help build strong community. Yet for all their diversity, nonprofits share many of the same needs. Here are eight useful tech websites that nonprofits can use to stay organized, funded, and in the public eye. 
Minimum Wage: Tough Choices for States, Cities, and Nonprofits
Rick CohenNonprofit Quarterly
Hopefully, nonprofits are on the side of raising the minimum wage in their states and ensuring that their own employees are beneficiaries. This year already, five states—Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Minnesota, and West Virginia—and the District of Columbia have increased their minimum wage levels above the federal minimum of $7.25 an hour. That means more than half of the states will be above the federal minimum wage. Other states with increases progressing in their legislatures include Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, and Vermont.
Plan In The Works To Save San Diego Opera
Marissa Cabrera, Maureen Cavanaugh, Peggy PicoKPBS.org
The season is finished, and in two weeks the San Diego Opera is set to shutdown completely on April 29. That's the date the organization's board of directors set to cease operations. But at least two board members want to postpone and possibly avert the closing of the 49-year-old institution.
San Diego Opera explored rebranding in 2013
staffiNewssource
A web-based consumer study, commissioned by the San Diego Opera company last summer, found potential opera-goers want reasonably priced tickets and a more accessible and welcoming experience for patrons and their families.
Why did management at the San Diego Opera sit on valuable marketing information?
JW AugustABC 10 News: San Diego
It was called the Strategic Planning Committee and it was created to review all the pressing issues involving the San Diego Opera, issues like what was money being spent on, where it was spent and whether the marketing program made sense. All of this information was tightly controlled by the management team, in particular the woman numerous sources call the power behind the “throne” of the San Diego Opera, Faye Wilson.
Board Meeting Leads To Shake Up In San Diego Opera Leadership
Angela CaroneKPBS.org

There appears to have been a shake-up in the leadership of the San Diego Opera.

Karen Cohn, the chair of the opera board, walked out of a board meeting being held Thursday afternoon at a La Jolla hotel. Another board member told KPBS that she had resigned. Board member Faye Wilson also walked out early, as did opera director Ian Campbell.

Board pursues steps to save the opera
Pam KragenSan Diego Union-Tribune
At a chaotic board meeting in La Jolla, president Karen Cohn resigns, is replaced by Carol Lazier.
When Are You Over-the-Hill? Try Age 24
Candy SagonAARP Blog
Think you should worry about your brain slowing down post-age 50? Too late. It’s already started at age 24. Or at least that’s what a Canadian study of players of a hyper-competitive computer game has found. Apparently our cognitive motor skills — meaning the speed at which we process something and then react to it — peak by age 24, then begin to slowly diminish.
Arts Leadership and the Changing Social Contract
Emiko OnoARTSblog
Since I began working in the arts in 2001, there has been a subtle but constant pressure on the sector to transform that can be both distressing and motivating. I will never forget the time in 2003 when Mark O’Neill, then the Head of Museums and Galleries for the city of Glasgow (Scotland), described how a population of shipyard workers reported that they did not attend a nearby museum because the price of admission was too expensive. The nauseating twist was that the museum did not have an admission fee. Last week, this story came to mind again as I spoke with Susie Medak, managing director of Berkeley Repertory Theatre and an arts leader with more than 25 years of experience. Susie’s hypothesis—that the tacit social contract between society and arts organizations is changing—is one I have found to be incredibly useful. The premise of her theory is that it is no longer sufficient for arts organizations to provide distinctive work, attract an audience, and secure financial support—it needs to include wider swaths of people who are largely not involved.
The Next Generation of Major Donors to Museums: Interview with David Gelles
Nina SimonMuseum 2.0
Last week's New York Times special section on museums featured a lead article by David Gelles on Wooing a New Generation of Museum Patrons. In the article, David discussed ways that several large art museums are working to attract major donors and board members in their 30s and 40s. The article both energized and frustrated me. I was excited to see coverage of an important issue of generational shift, but I was frustrated that it appeared to perpetuate traditional, clubbish standards of donor cultivation. I was curious to learn more about what was behind the article.
Unpaid Interns Gain the Right to Sue
Michael GrynbaumThe New York Times
Thousands of interns poised to flood New York City’s offices and institutions this summer may be unpaid. But come June, their legal standing will be improved. Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday signed into law a measure intended to ensure that unpaid interns in the city will have the right to sue if they are harassed or discriminated against by an employer — a right, it turns out, that was not reflected in the city’s civil rights code.
Arianna Huffington on the Struggle to Find Work-Life Balance
Rachel GillettFast Company
Arianna Huffington believes we are living in a brave new world--today's work environment is somewhere between the dark ages and the renaissance. The dark ages, she says, include environments and a culture fueled by stress, but she maintains that in order for businesses and individuals to thrive we must transition to a "renaissance" time of mindful living and working.
9 Little-Known Google Tools You Should Be Using
Sam ColtPolicyMic
If you've explored Google, you know that it's much more than a search engine. With its wide range of extraordinary tools, Google is the backbone of the startup world, as entrepreneurs use these services to make their business rock. The great part is, so can you.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Bored Assumptions about Boards and Fundraising
Laura ZabelSpringboard for the Arts Blog
What Are They Thinking? Using Online Assessment Tools to Improve Board Behavior
Erin WagnerArts Management & Technology Laboratory - Carnegie Mellon
Many arts organizations want to improve the functionality of their boards. But it is impossible to know areas of board strength and weakness if the experiences and efforts of board members are not understood. And without that understanding, it is nearly impossible for an organization to discern the best course of action for board improvement. 
Opera union seeks injunction
Greg Moran and David GarrickU-T San Diego
The labor union that represents singers and chorus members at the San Diego Opera is asking a federal agency to get an injunction freezing the company’s assets so that union members with contracts can be paid. The move by the American Guild of Musical Artists came on the same day that a group trying to keep the San Diego Opera alive lobbied the City Council on Tuesday to help join the fight. “We’ve calculated that the total economic loss to the community of the closure of this company would be close to $7 million,” said Nic Reveles, the opera’s director for education and outreach.
Operatic Drama Swells in Labor Talks at the Met
Michael CooperThe New York Times
As the latest labor talks at the Met have gotten off to their most contentious start in decades, replete with colorfully threatening emails and emotions running nearly as high offstage as on, it is beginning to look as if a little presidential intervention might come in handy again.
You don’t have to work 100+ hours per week to be a great leader
Natasha Golinskyidealistcareers.org

If you’re a nonprofit leader working more than 40 hours per week, I want to stake a very bold claim – you’re working harder than you have to

Here are five things you can do right now to begin getting your life back under control.

Five Best Practices in Nonprofit Crowdfunding
Rob WuBeth's Blog
At CauseVox, We’ve helped thousands of people and nonprofits all over the world crowdfund for nonprofits and social good projects. In the early crowdfunding days, I helped launch a crowdfunding campaign with the American Red Cross and SXSW that raised $120,000 in 10 days.

Nonprofit crowdfunding is changing the landscape in online fundraising. As more and more donors are being exposed to crowdfunding for products and services, they’ll expect your fundraising to shift towards those approaches as well.

Here are five best practices that I’ve learned along the way that you need to follow in order to crowdfund successfully for your nonprofit.
The Business of Opera
Harold F. “Rick” Pitcairn IIBarron's
Running an opera has a lot in common with running a fixed income portfolio. That, at least, was one of the surprise lessons I picked up from Christopher Koelsch, the young, competent and impeccably dressed CEO of LA Opera. (Nickname: Mr. Prada.)
Chew On This: Operatic Mastication
Susanne MentzerThe Huffington Post
Opera lovers have been on the edge of their proverbial seats waiting to hear the latest about yet another company having trouble.
Drama At The San Diego Opera Enters Second Act
Angela CaroneKPBS
Directors of the San Diego Opera will meet today to address mounting concern among some on the board that they did not have adequate information — including an investigation of the opera’s management tactics — before voting two weeks ago to shutter the venerable institution.
San Diego Opera votes to postpone closure
James Chute San Diego Union-Tribune
Following a nearly five-hour emergency meeting, the San Diego Opera’s board of directors voted Monday to stop the clock on the opera’s looming liquidation.
How to Appreciate an Evening at the Opera
StaffMental Floss
If you think going to the opera means listening to a Viking wail in a language you don’t understand for three boring hours, think again. Here’s how to go further and actually appreciate it.
Musical or Opera? Stage Companies Are Drawing on Both Art Forms
David BelcherThe New York Times
When the Chicago Lyric Opera approached the company controlling rights for Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals about staging their Big Five works, it might have quietly made history. By blurring the lines even further in a major opera company repertoire, the move hints at a turning point in how opera companies and symphonies stage American musicals alongside traditional blood-and-guts opera.
Gonzalez urges SD Opera to reconsider
James ChuteSan Diego Union-Tribune
San Diego Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez is supporting a petition drive asking the San Diego Opera’s board to reconsider its decision to cease operations at the end of its 2014 season.
San Diego Opera's Sudden Demise
Janos GerebenSan Francisco Classical Voice
Nobody outside the board of directors — voting 33 to 1 on March 19 for the dissolution of the San Diego Opera this summer — seems to have known that the future of company was in jeopardy. Reports say company members and San Diego Symphony musicians in the pit were stunned to learn of the decision.
Indianapolis Opera confirms cancellation, "challenges"
StaffIndianapolis Business Journal
The Indianapolis Opera said late Tuesday afternoon that it is canceling its fourth and final production of the season in the wake of "financial challenges."
San Diego loses a major opera company: Could it happen in Chicago?
Lewis LazareChicago Business Journal
Seemingly without warning, the San Diego Opera collapsed last week. The 50-year-old opera company in America's eighth-largest city became the second major American opera company to close its doors within just the past year. The famed 70-year-old New York City Opera folded last fall.

Could it happen in Chicago too?
Chicago opera scene hits high note with loyal audiences
Mary WisniewskiReuters
The plot summary of U.S. opera in recent years has unfolded like the last act of a Verdi tragedy: New York City Opera, dead; Opera Boston, dead; San Diego Opera, on its final aria.

The Chicago opera scene, however, is all up tempo.
La Scala's Incoming Boss Takes Aim at Booing Superfans
Brian WiseOperavore (WQXR)
Being booed and heckled has long been part of the game for singers at La Scala.
San Diego Opera chooses a noble death
Jim ChuteSan Diego Union-Tribune
But given the company's financial condition, were there other options?
San Francisco Opera Looks to the Future, Eyes Wide Open
Janos GerebenSan Francisco Classical Voice
Lamenting the folding of the San Diego Opera as "a tragedy," the general director of the San Francisco Opera rallied his troops this evening, but pulled no punches about the challenges ahead.
San Diego Opera will close, in 'a sign of the times'
David NgCulture Monster (Los Angeles Times)
The San Diego Opera shocked many in the arts world by announcing it will cease operations at the end of the current season, citing a tough fundraising environment and weak ticket sales.
Opera in America: Is it Circling the Toilet?
Jennifer RiveraThe Huffington Post
Man, it has been a rough couple of years for regional opera companies. My husband hosts an opera podcast on which he has had to add a segment called "The Weekly Dirge" where they discuss which opera company has bitten the dust that week. Opera Pacific, Cleveland Opera, San Antonio Opera, to name a few, followed by the shocking and devastating closure of New York City Opera, and now this week, the San Diego Opera.
San Diego Opera votes to fold
James ChuteThe San Diego Union-Tribune
After 49 years, opera makes surprise move of quitting after 2014 season.
San Diego Opera to call it quits at end of 2014 season
David NgCulture Monster (Los Angeles Times)

It will be curtains for the venerated San Diego Opera. In a surprising move, the company announced Wednesday that it will cease operations at the end of the current season, citing financial reasons including a tough fundraising environment and weak ticket sales. The company said its board made the decision Wednesday to avoid declaring bankruptcy and to be able to honor its remaining commitments.

San Diego Opera: Exiting with dignity — and mystery
U-T San Diego Editorial BoardThe San Diego Union-Tribune
The death of the San Diego Opera, after 49 years of world-class performances, is a shocking and tragic loss for San Diego. It is also a bit of a mystery.
Lincoln Center, other arts groups, form new alliance
Theresa Agovino Crain's New York Business
Members of Audience 360, including Carnegie Hall and Alvin Ailey, will share ticketing and customer information to help with branding, marketing and government advocacy.
Rice University moves forward on 'transformative' opera theater project
Olivia PulsinelliHouston Business Journal

Rice University said Monday it has selected a design team for the Shepherd School of Music’s new opera theater. The predesign phase is expected to begin in mid-April. Diller Scofidio + Renfro was named the architect for the facility, and Fisher Dachs Associates will lead the theater design. Both are based in New York City. Additionally, Chicago-based Threshold Acoustics will provide acoustical direction for the project.

New York Met Opera Union Foresees Plunging Pay
Jennifer MaloneyMetropolis (The Wall Street Journal)
The Metropolitan Opera’s singers, dancers and stage managers would lose between 22% and 39% of their compensation if the company’s proposed work-rule changes are implemented, according to a preliminary analysis by their union.
An Italian Conductor Looks to U.S. Models
James PaneroThe Wall Street Journal
At the Teatro Regio Torino, the Turin opera house, Gianandrea Noseda has been the music director since 2007. The country's austerity measures, which hit hard over the past five years, have slashed state funding for cultural institutions. And in the birthplace of opera, where the government has traditionally provided lavish support for culture and the arts, many opera houses have had no choice but to curtail productions, limit artistic recruitment and training, and, in some cases, go dark.

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.