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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
Behind the scenes at the Portland Opera's costume department (Photos)
Andy Giegerich and Cathy CheneyPortland Business Journal

This week's Portland Business Journal features a glimpse at the Portland Opera's plans to convert its programming to a summer festival format.

Which means that, yup, the Opera will compress its season, now held between September and May, into a three-month period. It will feature shows at both the Newmark and Keller venues.

Opera Review of 2014: the start of opera becoming the domain of the elite?
Rupert ChristiansenThe Telegraph
Until this year, opera in Britain has resisted the pressures of the economic crisis surprisingly well. But in recent months, ominous creaking noises have indicated some very deep rot developing beneath the plastered surface.

A large part of the problem, ironically, is the burgeoning of a new audience – one that is diminishing the operatic economy even as it replenishes it. This phenomenon is largely made up of older people, mostly living outside central London, who toddle along to the local cinema where for about £20 they can see star-studded broadcasts live from the Metropolitan Opera in New York, projected with super-duper HD sound and picture quality, gift-wrapped with glimpses backstage and interviews with the performers.
Just Asking: Opera singer Soloman Howard on the football field vs. the stage
Joe HeimWashington Post

Soloman Howard, 33, is a graduate of the Washington National Opera’sDomingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program. He was born in Washington and now lives in Shirlington.

What question about being an opera singer are you tired of hearing?

When I tell people I sing opera, they say, “Why? There’s so many things you could have done. Why opera?” Well, that’s what my gift is. People will say opera’s boring. And I’ll say, “Have you ever really experienced the grandeur of opera on a large scale?”And most of them have never been to an opera to know how emotional it can be and how it encompasses all of the areas of performing arts and how physically demanding it is.

Sioux City native tells of international success in opera
Ally KarsynSioux City Journal
Growing up in Sioux City, opera singer John Osborn dabbled in a bit of everything from sports like baseball, football and track to being an altar boy. Somewhere between church carnivals and Cub Scouts, he found time to do music and theater, too....
Freud's goal: Keep Chicago's Lyric Opera relevant
MIKE SILVERMANtucson.com
CHICAGO (AP) — When Anthony Freud was 14, his favorite pastime was going to the opera in London and then, on the train ride home to Wimbledon where he lived with his parents, "dreaming about how I could do it better when I ran a company of my own some day."

He's gotten his chance, not once but three times: first in Wales, then in Houston and now in Chicago, where he has been general director of the Lyric Opera since 2011.

US funds an opera about its ugliest massacre
Norman LebrechtSlippedisc.com
The National Endowment for the Arts has awarded $80,000 towards the production costs of an opera on the 1968 My Lai massacre in Vietnam, when more than 300 civilians were slaughtered by US forces.The opera was commissioned by the Kronos quartet from composer Jonathan Berger and librettist Harriet Chessman. It is scheduled for pemiere in 2015 at Stanford University, where Berger is a music professor. He says: ‘I think it will be a reasonably abstract performance… We’re not going to have war scenes set out on the stage…No blood and gore.’
Jake Heggie's golden moment for 'Great Scott'
Janelle GelfandCincinnati.com
It's crunch time for Jake Heggie. The composer of "Dead Man Walking," "Moby-Dick" and "The End of the Affair" is in town for a workshop with the creative team of his latest opera "Great Scott. This is the golden moment where, instead of just hearing it in my head, I get to hear it coming off the page," says the 53-year-old American composer, over coffee last week at the Netherland Hilton, Downtown.
Feel the Noise: How to Appreciate Peking Opera
Kipp WhittakerThe Beijinger
We can all acknowledge that Chinese opera is very different from its Western counterpart. Although someone like Andrea Bocelli would probably make a fine eunuch on the Beijing stage, the similarities between the two styles are very limited. The use of gestures, acrobats, and cacophonous music is so alien to our cultural palate, but if you approach it with an open mind, the beauty of this amazing art form will eventually reveal itself. From the details of the costumes and makeup, to the other worldly sounds coming out of the performers, there is nothing else like it. Here are a few basic concepts to help newcomers get a better understanding of this art form, and clear your path to becoming a Mei Lanfang fanboy. 
Townsend and Fresno Grand opera companies to partner
Marijke RowlandThe Modesto Bee
In what is hoped will be a precedent-setting artistic partnership, Modesto’s Townsend Opera and the Fresno Grand Opera are joining forces. Matthew Buckman, the current Townsend general and artistic director, has been named the next general director of Fresno Grand Opera. He will serve as the head of both groups, merging the two companies’ production seasons to share costs and increase reach. Both companies will remain separate entities, with their own board of directors, but will produce the same operas moving forward.
Here's a startup idea: take opera, add beer, put it in Brooklyn
Daniel RobertsFortune.com
Not every opera company has the budget of The Metropolitan Opera. But smaller companies are earning crowds and buzz thanks to unique, alternative models in creative venues.
Soprano Renee Fleming at 55: 'I May Leave Well Enough Alone'
ReutersThe New York Times
Super Bowl fans heard her hit a creamy "high A" note when she sang "The Star Spangled Banner" in February, and she has a jazzy new Christmas album. But people who want to see Renee Fleming in the operas that made her "America's sweetheart" better hurry.
Change of Aria Code
Robert FairesThe Austin Chronicle
If all those ads for Verdi's A Masked Ball have you wondering just what Austin Opera is and what happened to that other company with those two words in its name – the one that's been producing Verdi and Puccini and Mozart and all those other music-drama heavyweights for more than a quarter of a century, well, there's no real mystery. The companies are one and the same. With the opening of its 28th season, the former ALO has simply dropped the "Lyric" from its name.
Are We Entering the Golden Age of Opera... Marketing?
Jennifer RiveraThe Huffington Post
Some people say opera is dying. Others say it's experiencing a kind of rebirth. I'm in the latter camp, as I mentioned in my most recent articles about the burgeoning of exciting new opera companies in the United States during the past 10 years.

But another aspect of the opera world that seems to be having a rebirth is opera marketing. When you think of making great art, marketing probably isn't the first thing that pops into your head. However, once we accept that we are now firmly living in a digital age, where social media creates revenue and dancing cat videos on YouTube can generate 14 million views and sell advertisements, it's difficult to ignore not only the importance, but the wonderful potential to reach new audiences that innovative marketing campaigns can create.
Opera Star Joyce DiDonato Will Sing National Anthem at Game 7
Karen CrouseThe New York Times
The Royals starter Jeremy Guthrie was not the only person with Kansas City ties who spent Tuesday fervently hoping for the opportunity to perform on Wednesday at a World Series Game 7. The opera singer Joyce DiDonato, who grew up in Kansas City as an avid baseball fan, got the call from Major League Baseball to sing the national anthem for the game, should it be necessary.
Portland Opera makes dramatic move to summer seasons beginning in 2016: 'We want to avoid death by 1,000 paper cuts'
David StablerThe Oregonian
Portland Opera is planning to undergo the biggest change in its 50-year history. Beginning in 2016, the company will perform its entire season in a compressed, 12-week summer period.
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.

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


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