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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 Nicholas Wise (NWise@operaamerica.org), Communications and Publications Manager.
Marketing/PR Headlines
Meryl Streep on for biopic of off-key opera singer Florence Foster Jenkins
Ben ChildThe Guardian
Meryl Streep is to star in a biopic of the famously awful opera singer Florence Foster Jenkins for director Stephen Frears, reports Variety.
Colorful productions of Opera Week celebrate the vocal arts
Mary Kunz Goldman The Buffalo News
Like Viva Vivaldi and “Baba Yaga,” Opera Week is fast becoming an autumn tradition for music-minded Western New Yorkers.

Every year, the celebration – which burst on the scene in 2012 – seems to get a little bit richer. This year’s festival, which kicks off today with a ceremony in the Buffalo and Erie County Central Library, celebrates more than opera. It embraces a wide variety of vocal arts.
De Blasio Blasts Giuliani For Protesting ‘Klinghoffer’ Opera
Ross BarkanNew York Observer
“I don’t want to judge something that I haven’t seen. I think that there’s a serious problem today in the world that has nothing to do with this opera. I’ve spoken about it many times,” he said. “There’s an anti-Semitism problem in this world today, particularly in Western Europe that worries me greatly. That’s where my focus is.”
How Millennials Are Reshaping Charity And Online Giving
Elise HuNPR
Millennials are spending — and giving away their cash — a lot differently than previous generations, and that's changing the game for giving, and for the charities that depend on it.
Arts marketers finding new ways to target audiences
Jan SjostromPalm Beach Daily News
Winning patrons these days is no easy matter. Just listen to what marketing expert Sara Billmann said during a recent workshop for arts marketing professionals presented by Americans for the Arts at Palm Beach Opera’s production center in West Palm Beach.

$40 Million to Help Build Audiences in the Arts
Felicia R. LeeArtsBeat (The New York Times)
Most arts organizations these days are seeking ways to fill seats and to expand their audiences. On Wednesday, the Wallace Foundation will announce a $40 million effort to help performing arts organizations around the country do so.
Opera discounts: do they deliver?
Simon ThomasWhat's On Stage
The Royal Opera recently ran a promotional initiative in which under 25s were lured into the opera house at bargain prices (just £1-£25 for Mark-Anthony Turnage's Anna Nicole). Not surprisingly, it played to a packed house of youngsters keen to get the Royal Opera House experience and presumably attracted by a work that sounds less 'stuffy' than most of the company's offerings.
'Massive' Klinghoffer Protest Planned for Met Opening Night
Susan ElliottMusical America
The “Coalition Against the Met Terror Opera” (CATO) has announced a “massive” protest scheduled for Sept. 22 starting at 4:30 p.m. It promises “thousands” on hand to declare their disgust with an “opera promoting terrorism, anti-Semitism, and anti-Zionism.”  ...CATO is protesting John Adams’s The Death of Klinghoffer, which opens Oct. 20.
At Home with Renée and Plácido
Michael CooperThe New York Times
...after a summer of armchair travels through the classical music world: Without removing my shoes at a single airport checkpoint, I was able to watch “Trauernacht,” Katie Mitchell’s somber modern staging of Bach cantatas in Aix, check out Anna Netrebko and a baritonal Plácido Domingo in the new production of Verdi’s “Il Trovatore” at Salzburg, and hear the rising young tenor Michael Fabiano sing Alfredo in Verdi’s “La Traviata” from Glyndebourne.
Met Opera, Remaining Unions Reach Contract Deals
Brian WiseOperavore
The Metropolitan Opera has now reached tentative labor agreements with all of its remaining unions. The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) says the deal covers six unions representing several groups of workers, including camera operators, box office treasurers and scene artists and designers.
Colorado Hiker Sings Opera to Calm Stalking Mountain Lion
Daniel XuOutdoor Hub
Can music soothe a savage beast? If you were to ask 40-year-old Kyra Kopenstonsky, she will tell you that it might have saved her from a cougar attack. Kopenstonsky was hiking a trail near Down Valley Park in Placerville, Colorado on Monday when she encountered a mountain lion. According to a report by the San Miguel County Sheriff’s Office, the lion stalked the hiker for about 20 minutes, during which it would often jump forward and crouch whenever Kopenstonsky attempted to move backwards. She told deputies that when she first saw the animal, she picked up a large branch and attempted to look big. That did not seem to faze the cat, so Kopenstonsky said she did the next thing that came to her mind.
In Final Hours, Metropolitan Opera Extends Contract Deadlines for Unions
Michael CooperThe New York Times
The Metropolitan Opera postponed a threatened lockout late on Thursday night, saying that it had done so at the request of a federal mediator who was brought in at the 11th hour to try to salvage its contract negotiations with the unions representing its orchestra and chorus.
Met Opera, unions extend contract talks
Anne MidgetteThe Washington Post
This is the most heartening progress yet in a negotiation period that has been conducted, throughout the summer, in the public eye. With blog posts, calls to the media, and a steady stream of press releases, both the unions and the Met have done their best to steer the discussion.
Google (Opera) Glass Makes Debut in Puccini’s Turandot in Italy
Eric SylversDigits (WSJ)
How do you get young people interested in opera? A better pair of opera glasses, of course. In what is being touted as a first, the opera house in Cagliari, the capital of the Italian island of Sardinia, will have some of its singers and musicians wear Google Glass Wednesday night when they perform Puccini’s Turandot, with the images from the digital devices sent in real time to the organization’s Facebook page.
Foursquare Checks Out of the Check-in Game, Reveals New Logo
Christina WarrenMashable
Foursquare's attempt to transform itself from a check-in app into Yelp continues with a new app and a new logo. Back in May, Foursquare announced that it was taking the check-in out of the main app and wrapping it into Swarm, a new distinct app. When Swarm was released, users who didn't download the app could continue to use Foursquare to check-in to their favorite locations.
David Pogue makes opera debut at Wolf Trap with Google Glass in ‘Carmen’
Anne MidgetteThe Washington Post
At Wolf Trap’s Filene Center, David Pogue is going on stage in “Carmen” with a Google Glass headset, a small wearable computer, and broadcasting snippets of the onstage action to give the audience a sense of what it’s like to be out there under the lights.
Arts companies must adapt to changes at Facebook, report reveals
Chris UnittThe Guardian
A new report released today by digital consultancy One Further reveals that updates to Facebook have resulted in arts companies' messages reaching fewer and fewer people. A new approach to Facebook page management may be necessary.
The Legal Pitfalls of Using Social Media
Asad AliCreative Bloq
There's no escaping the power or reach of social media, as newspapers, magazines and books are steadily being replaced by digital content on iPads, Kindles and smartphones. As both consumers and professionals, we are never far away from a device connecting us with online content that can be instantly shared with our friends and followers – which leaves us potentially vulnerable when it comes to legalities online.
Facebook Still Drives More Traffic Than Any Other Social Network
Alice TruongFast Company
From June 2013 to June 2014, Facebook drove 23.4% of social referrals across the web. Pinterest trailed at a distant second at 5.7%. Twitter, at 1%, came in third place, beating the combined referrals from StumbleUpon, Reddit, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Google Plus, according to content discovery company Shareaholic.
The Future of Opera
Terry TeachoutThe Wall Street Journal
Terry Teachout explains why opera needn't be bound for extinction.
Lorin Maazel, an Intense and Enigmatic Conductor, Dies at 84
Allan KozinnThe New York Times
Lorin Maazel, a former child prodigy who went on to become the music director of the New York Philharmonic, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Vienna State Opera and several other ensembles and companies around the world, and who was known for his incisive and sometimes extreme interpretations, died on Sunday at his home in Castleton, Va. He was 84.
What Do Opera Singers Actually Get Paid?
Jennifer RiveraHuffington Post
There has been a lot of union activity lately in the opera world, and numbers have been thrown around in the press which have caused many an ear to perk up.
Cincinnati Opera is going mobile
Mike SarasonSoapbox Cincinnati
Cincinnati Opera has embarked on a new and innovative project called the Opera Express, thanks to a $50,000 Revolutionary Grant from OPERA America’s Building Opera Audiences grant program.
On the State of Opera
Speight JenkinsOpera Sleuth
A lot of ink has recently been spilled about the demise of opera. Audiences are supposed to be drifting away; the number of subscribers is dwindling; people generally are not interested in our art form; all is gloomy, and opera has been described as being pushed off a precipice by public disdain and disinterest.
Revival Is on the Table for Bankrupt New York City Opera
Sara RandazzoThe Wall Street Journal
Could the curtain rise again at the New York City Opera? The shuttered institution, which closed its doors last fall after years of financial woes, could be revived in some fashion, according to two lawyers working on the opera’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy case.
For Email Newsletters, a Death Greatly Exaggerated
David CarrThe New York Times
Here at the Media Equation, we pride ourselves on keeping our readers abreast of the newest technologies and approaches in reaching audiences. So it gives us great pleasure to reveal a radical publishing technology that is catching on in news media companies big and small. Ladies and gentlemen, behold: email.
Critic's Notebook: A Predicament Right Out of a Melodramatic Opera
Mark SwedLA Times
When announcements for the next opera season began arriving early this year, the overall impression was that our country's companies were getting livelier if not yet up to the more progressive European model.

Los Angeles Opera, in particular, is coming out of an economic slump and once again beginning to look like an artistic leader. In an especially encouraging development, American — and new American — opera has become commonplace all over the land.
A Day in the Life of a Nonprofit Communicator – Danielle Gates
Kivi Leroux MillerKivi's Nonprofit Communication Blog
Here’s the latest installment in our series on the “Day in the Life” of nonprofit communicators, where we ask you to describe your day in your own words.

Danielle Gates is the communications assistant for the marketing and communications department at RedRover. She supports the team through social media, copywriting and design, and embodies RedRover’s values of being ever-vigilant and ready to spring into action.

Danielle earned a Bachelor’s degree in English from University of California, Davis, and has previously worked as the foster/rescue liaison for Sacramento-area shelters. She shares her home with a Brazilian mastiff named Huckleberry and a gray cat named Tomas.
Bing Just Became an Excellent Way to Search Twitter
Karissa BellMashable
Microsoft added a host of new Tweet-discovery features to its search engine Monday, making it easier for users to find the tweets and accounts that interest them most.

You can now search Bing by hashtag, look up specific Twitter handles or search for tweets related to a specific celebrity. In some cases, Bing will also recommend relevant search terms as you type. When searching for a hashtag, for example, the search engine will suggest popular hashtags as soon as you enter the "#" symbol.
A Modern Opera: Fat Unions May Kill the Fat Lady
Eric GibsonThe Wall Street Journal
An epic confrontation is playing out at the Metropolitan Opera, only it isn't the familiar one between star-crossed lovers. The famed opera company, which opened its doors in 1883, is in a life-or-death negotiation with its unions—15 of them.

That's right, 15 labor unions, with more than 2,000 workers. Stripped of its high-culture context, the Met finds itself in a battle that sounds eerily similar to the fiscal realities many big-city mayors are now confronting when negotiating overtime, work rules and health-care benefits with sanitation workers. It's not entirely similar, though: The average singer in the Met's 80-person chorus makes between $145,000 and $200,000 annually. The curtain could fall at the end of July, when the Met's contract with 15 of its 16 unions expires.
Opera Theatre of St. Louis sees subscription revenue, attendance rise
Angela MuellerSt. Louis Business Journal
Both subscription revenue and attendance have increased by 8.1 percent thus far this year at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, making 2014 the company’s highest grossing subscription season in five years.
Opera bigwigs share survival strategies in SF
David WiegandArts & Not (San Francisco Chronicle)
For a moment there, the opera folks gathered in the ballroom of the Grand Hyatt for Friday’s opening session of the three-day national conference of Opera America were like a family assembled by the bedside of an ailing relative who’d just received a clean bill of health.
Opera awaits after battle with cancer
Kieran BanksThe Queensland Times
Two years ago Booval singing teacher Helen Coleman faced the prospect of never being able to speak again as she faced a battle with thyroid cancer. After doctors performed a thyroidectomy, Ms Coleman's once powerful and classically trained voice was reduced to just a whisper. But month by month and note by note during a challenging rehabilitation period, her voice has returned.
Four Seasons picks up the baton for gourmet tailgating at the opera
Damon ScottAlbequerque Business First
The world-renowned Santa Fe Opera kicks off its season later this month and with it will come some pretty high-level tailgating opportunities. The Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe is offering a gourmet tailgate and backstage tour for guests and residents.
Getting Buy-In for Your Website Redesign
Kimberly HedgesARTSblog
Most projects start with the need to address a deficit, and redesigning a website is no exception. Your current website may not be serving your visitor’s needs, the content might read like a brochure or look dated, the layout of the site may make it hard to find the best content you have to offer, or maybe the design looks like it was built back when we still used DOS. (Well, maybe not that bad, but you know the feeling.) There is just no denying that your website could be doing more.
The Art of Setting the Senses on Edge
Anthony TommasiniThe New York Times
An often-quoted phrase from Milton’s “Comus,” a masque about the god of festivities, describes a roar that emerged from the woods and “fill’d the Air with barbarous dissonance.”

That poetic image pretty well sums up the general notion of dissonance in music: a barbarous, discordant, clashing combination of notes. But it’s not that simple. And the subtleties of musical dissonance have become harder to keep straight as the term has been increasingly embraced by other fields, like American politics, where reporters speak of the growing “dissonance” between the two major parties, or psychology, which invented the term cognitive dissonance to describe a state of stress arising from internal contradiction.

Edgar Allan Poe's The Raven Gets an Operatic Tale
Brian WiseOperavore
As the music and literary worlds remember the life and career of Maya Angelou, another eminent American author and poet is drawing attention in New York this week. Like Angelou, Edgar Allan Poe was celebrated for the musicality of his prose, for the melodious lilt he brought to words inherently tense and gothic. His 1845 poem The Raven is a masterpiece of the supernatural, depicting a distraught man's descent into madness as he's tormented by the presence of a mysterious raven.
Opera Screenings Do Not Drive Actual Opera Attendance, Study Finds
Patrick von SychowskiCelluloid Junkie
A UK study just released has found that screening opera in cinemas is not boosting the interest to attend performances in actual opera venues. The research would seem to provide ammunition to those who claim that event cinema screenings of Met and Royal Opera House productions is cannibalizing audiences from regional opera productions and is not increasing interest in the art form as a whole. However, a careful reading of the findings and underlying numbers provides a more complex picture.
Opera screenings failing to boost interest in the art form, survey finds
Nicola MerrifieldThe Stage
Around 85% of audiences that attend live screenings of opera do not feel more compelled to see the art form live afterwards, according to a new survey. The investigation found that, after seeing an opera at the cinema, around 75% of participants reported feeling no different about attending a live production, with around 10% feeling less motivated.
Sex Workers’ Opera opens in Hackney
Emma BartholomewLondon24
Street corner prostitutes, high class escorts, web cam workers and porn stars have all helped write an opera which some of them will perform in Hackney tonight. The Sex Workers’ Opera, which will be staged at The Courtyard Theatre, has been devised through a series of community workshops backed by the Royal Opera House. At least half of the opera’s performers are sex workers but to ensure anonymity for all those who do not want to be “outed” in the media, the whole cast has promised not to keep schtum over whether they’re employed in the industry or not.
The Opera Cocktail
StaffKitchen Riffs
The Opera Cocktail was a classic in pre-Prohibition days. And no wonder—its lightness and clean, crisp flavor make it the perfect palate cleanser before a summer dinner. We’ll be drinking it to celebrate the opening of Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, a summer opera festival that runs from late May through late June. Tonight marks their second performance (Mozart’s The Magic Flute), and in June they’ll be presenting the world premiere of Gordon & Vavrek’s Twenty-Seven. More about all of this later.
Why Did A US Airways Pilot Not Allow Violins On A Charlotte Plane?
Carol JacksonWUNC 91.5
Two classical musicians tried to board a US Airways flight on Memorial Day. They were told that they were welcome, but their violins were not. Nicolas Kendall and Zachary De Pue are frequent flyers. They perform as part of the group Time for Three (Tf3.)  In recent weeks the trio has performed in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Indianapolis. They've always been able to bring their violins with them, in the cabin of the plane.
Paris Opera and Ballet Productions Thrive in Movie Theaters
Celestine BohlenThe New York Times
Going to the opera is an event in Saint-Louis, a small French town of some 20,300 inhabitants nestled near both the Swiss and German borders. People get dressed up, they sip Champagne at intermission: Like operagoers everywhere, they are there to enjoy the occasion, as well as the performance. It doesn’t seem to matter that they are watching a screen in the 250-seat La Coupole movie theater. The performance is live, beamed directly from the Opéra Bastille or the Palais Garnier in Paris, with added features such as behind-the-scenes interviews and an opening introduction.

The Juilliard School’s 109th Commencement Speech ~ Joyce DiDonato
Joyce DiDonatoYankeediva
I stand before you this morning, duly humbled, and in awe of the distinguished and hard-earned accomplishment awarded to each and every single one of you on this unforgettable and long-awaited day of your graduation. Look at you! You are gowned and tassled and you’re ready to take on the world! Through that first nerve-racking audition, all those subsequent sleepless nights, the painstaking preparation for your recitals, the endless hours of reed-making and memorization, the blisters and the tears, and now here you walk side by side with the life-long friendships you have now forged, you are about to be Alumni of the acclaimed Juilliard School! I invite you to breathe that in. You, my friends, are living the dream!
In theatre, fiction is being underrated
Lyn GardnerThe Guardian
One of the errors that verbatim theatre often makes is to conclude that because something is true, it is more interesting. Or rather, more interesting than something that has been made up. It's like those Hollywood movie openings that tell you the film you are about to see is "based on a true story". Why should that give it any more currency than a story that has been entirely made up and yet feels as if it's real – or more real than real? After all, imagination is the currency of all writers and theatre-makers.
Maintaining a Classical-­Music Miracle in Cleveland
Craig DuffThe New York Times
When Milton Maltz looked down from his box seat in Severance Hall — the stately home of the Cleveland Orchestra — he used to fear for its future. “I saw gray hair and no hair,” said the longtime orchestra benefactor. “And I said, ‘Where are the young people?’”
Postscript: on opera and the critics’ responsibility
Anne MidgetteThe Washington Post
I have already had my say about the case of Tara Erraught, the mezzo-soprano who was so soundly criticized for being “dumpy” in Glyndebourne’s new “Der Rosenkavalier.” But as the discussion continues to rage online, and the glee of the critic-bashers mounts, I feel the need to make three more points.
An opera singer’s backlash wasn’t just sexism
Mary Elizabeth WilliamsSalon
It’s not just about the sexism – but don’t worry, I’ll give you a little angry feminist ranting about that too. And this is more than about body shaming, though there’s plenty of that in the tale as well. But mostly, this is about arrogance and snark, and what that does to artists — and the aspiring artists watching them.
Met Orchestra's Players Turn to Social Media
Michael CooperThe New York Times
Sometimes the musicians post behind-the-scenes tidbits, like some decades-old advice a viola player found penciled into her part for “Andrea Chénier” by one of her predecessors: “whatcha da mice!” — meaning watch the maestro in one tricky passage. But the recently revamped website by the musicians of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra — imagine a cross between Opera News and BuzzFeed — also has infographics (“Reeds by the Numbers” explains the hours it takes woodwind players to make reeds for their mouthpieces); offers a look at how the audition process recently chose one player from the 208 who had applied; and has an interactive quiz to help newcomers decide “What should your first opera be?”
The famous Canadian author makes her first attempt at writing opera with Pauline
StaffWe Vancouver
We all know Margaret Atwood can write novels. Now, one of Canada’s most beloved writers tackles a new genre. Pauline is Atwood’s first attempt at writing an opera. The opera, with music by world-renowned composer, Tobin Stokes, tells the tale of Canadian writer, poet and actress Pauline Johnson.

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


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