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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.
General Director Headlines
Opera production director a skilled mentor
Melissa Daniels Pittsburgh Tribune Review
Jerome R. Sherk of Ross died on Thursday, April 10, 2014, of cancer. He was 65.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
Bored Assumptions about Boards and Fundraising
Laura ZabelSpringboard for the Arts Blog
Royal Opera House Warns Culture Secretary Sajid Javid Over Ticket Tout Support
Asa BennettHuffington Post UK
Culture secretary Sajid Javid is facing a growing backlash from arts and sports organisations over his praise for ticket touts as "classic entrepreneurs" who should be able to charge however much they want when they sell a ticket. A spokesman for the Royal Opera House said that ticket touts deprive the public of the chance to enjoy their shows by snapping up the cheap tickets they offer to sell on at much higher prices. "We receive a grant from the Arts Council to help make the Royal Opera House accessible to all. We have over 40% of our seats prices are less than £40," a spokesman told HuffPostUK.
Vienna Philharmonic: worthy winner of the Birgit Nilsson Prize
Rupert ChristiansenThe Telegraph
Endowed by the fortune left by the legendary Swedish dramatic soprano when she died in 2005, the Birgit Nilsson Prize grants an individual performer, production or institution $1 million for outstanding achievement in the field of classical music, with special emphasis on opera. It is the biggest single award to the arts anywhere in the world, delivered by the King of Sweden in Stockholm in October, and as such has been compared in prestige to the Nobel Prize.

I am the British representative on the international jury, and this year we have determined that the laurel should pass to the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. Although I am entirely in favour of this decision, I suspect that in certain quarters it will cause a degree of controversy or scepticism, on grounds which I hope I can briefly but firmly refute.
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. 
Soprano debuts in two Met Opera roles within day
AP staffRapid City Journal
Opolais on Saturday become the first singer in the Met's 131-year history to make two major role debuts within a day.
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.
Copland opera gets Aussie premiere
Lauren GarnetLimelight magazine.com

Melbourne's boutique opera company challenges the fine line between reality and theatre with new production.

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.
Opera group lobbies SD council
David GarrickU-T San Diego
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. Reveles is part of a group of employees, union members, vendors and supporters trying to persuade the opera board to reverse a March 19 decision to permanently close the opera on April 19 after 49 years. Nearly 20,000 people have signed a petition circulated by the group, called the “White Knight Committee.”
Opera board member donates million
James ChuteU-T San Diego
San Diego Opera board member Carol Lazier is stepping up. The company announced late Friday that Lazier, who is already a $500,000 donor to the opera’s 2014 season, is giving the company $1 million to allow it to explore other options and “encourage the board to rescind the dissolution vote.” The San Diego Opera’s board of directors, which last month voted to close April 14 after the final performance of the 2014 season, voted last week to extend that deadline until April 29.
No Tutus, Please
Joan AcocellaThe New Yorker
The resurgence of ballet in opera.
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.

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.)
In London, Opera Stays in the Conversation
Fred PlotkinOperavore
Visits to this city are bracing because it is a place where ideas ferment and people seem engaged with culture as a means of understanding who they are. Opera always seems to be part of the conversation. I wish I could report that New Yorkers cared as much about it as people do here. London has fewer opera companies than New York and does not have the many intriguing little troupes we do, but more people seem aware of what is happening at the Royal Opera at Covent Garden and the English National Opera, even if they are not operagoers themselves.
OPERA America Names Eight Grant Winners
Allan KozinnArtsBeat (The New York Times)
Late last year, Opera America set out to encourage women composers to write new operas, and offered incentives, by way of a two-year grant program, underwritten by the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation. The organization announced the first group of recipients of its Opera Grants for Female Composers on Tuesday. Eight composers, and their proposed projects, were chosen from among 112 eligible applicants. Each will receive a $12,500 grant to help develop her opera.
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.
This Amazing Interactive Site Lets You Create Symphonies With Your Keyboard
Kyle Van HemertWired
The “portable animation and sound kit,” as creator Jono Brandel describes it, lets you conduct audiovisual symphonies simply by tapping your computer keyboard (or, if you’re on a phone or tablet, by tapping your touchscreen). Each letter of the alphabet gets mapped to a unique sound and a playful animation.
More women take charge in orchestra offices and on podiums
Sarah Bryan MillerSt. Louis Post-Dispatch
It’s not only women instrumentalists whose numbers have increased, says Polly Kahn, vice president for learning and leadership development at the League of American Orchestras, but women executives and conductors.
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."
What does it mean to be a ‘strategic’ arts manager?
Michael RushtonFor What It's Worth (ArtsJournal)
First, the manager thinks carefully about the goals she wishes her organization to achieve, whether profit or some other mission-related goals, and chooses the set of actions that will most effectively move the organization towards that goal. 
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.
San Diego Opera chooses a noble death
Jim ChuteSan Diego Union-Tribune
But given the company's financial condition, were there other options?
Get. Arts. Fast.
William GrimesThe New York Times
New York is a city with a vast tolerance for marathon entertainment. But wait. The city that gave the world the New York minute has a need for speed that only cultural sprints can satisfy, short-burst offerings that slip smoothly into even the tightest leisure-hour schedule. On a prosaic level, short art frees up precious time. The vexed problem of whether to eat before or after the show evaporates when the thing wraps up after an hour or so. Scheduling becomes easier, and the workweek less of a barrier, if you can make it home by 10.
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.
Ulysses Festival draws on Civil Rights Act for inspiration
Théoden JanesThe Charlotte Observer
In 2013, Charlotte’s Ulysses Festival celebrated the arts community by using the theme of technology to root itself in the present. Opera Carolina General Director James Meena, the festival’s head organizer, said this speaks to what he and other leaders in the arts community strive for every day.

Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2014/03/20/4780511/ulysses-festival-draws-on-civil.html#storylink=cpy


Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2014/03/20/4780511/ulysses-festival-draws-on-civil.html#storylink=cpy
The Philadelphia Story
David Patrick StearnsOpera News
Things are looking up, operatically speaking, in the City of Brotherly Love.
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.
The Worst of Times: Now Metropolitan Opera to Cut Labor Salaries and Set Costs, Outraged Unions Await Negotiations
Ian HolubiakClassicalite
Though classical and opera recordings may be staving off serious financial dread, at least for now, live performances have been taking a serious hit at the box office.
Met Opera Seeking Concessions in Union Talks
Michael CooperThe New York Times
The Metropolitan Opera is seeking concessions from its unions, whose contracts are up at the end of July, as it begins a round of labor negotiations that promise to be contentious.
Tri-Cities Opera general director, Reed Smith, resigns
StaffThe Central New York Business Journal
The Tri-Cities Opera (TCO) board of directors has announced that Reed W. Smith, general director, is resigning to pursue other interests, according to a news release.

Winter 2013 Magazine Issue
  • A Banner Year for America Repertoire
  • The Political Voice on the Opera Stage
  • Trustees as New Music Advocates

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