For Immediate Release
Contact: Patricia Kiernan Johnson; PKJohnson@operaamerica.org
www.operaamerica.org


OPERA AMERICA ANNOUNCES NEXT
MAKING CONNECTIONS SESSION

WORKSHOPS FEATURE NETWORKING OPPORTUNITIES AND ADVICE
FOR OPERA PROFESSIONALS

New York, NY — OPERA America, the national service organization for opera, will present a panel discussion on Fundraising for Independent Artists, part of its Making Connections series, on Wednesday, March 24 at 6:00 p.m. Making Connections is OPERA America's professional development program for opera artists, including singers, composers, librettists, designers and directors. Making Connections offerings include panel discussions, artist spotlights or master classes, followed by informal receptions where attendees have an exceptional opportunity to network with their colleagues and the presenters.

During their careers, most independent artists will have to raise funds, whether to produce a piece, attend a training program or simply to continue study. Attendees at Fundraising for Independent Artists will learn tips and strategies for cultivating donor relationships and raising funds from panelists Beryl B. Byles, executive coach; Dianne Debicella of Fractured Atlas; Eve Gigliotti, mezzo-soprano; and Anne Ricci of Opera on Tap.

"We are delighted to provide developing opera artists with the opportunity to learn from this stellar array of industry professionals," stated Marc A. Scorca, president and CEO of OPERA America. "What particularly makes these evenings so rewarding is the interactive aspect. Attendees are encouraged to ask questions during the discussions and network with colleagues and presenters at the reception. Several attendees have embarked upon collaboraive projects after having met at our Making Connections sessions."

Making Connections is held in the OPERA America offices on the 16th floor of 330 Seventh Avenue (29th Street). A reception follows each panel discussion. Admission for OPERA America members is $5 in advance or $10 at the door. Admission for non-members is $10 in advance or $15 at the door.

Podcasts of Making Connections sessions are available following the event to OPERA America members at www.operaamerica.org/makingconnections.

Visit www.operaamerica.org/makingconnections for more information or to register.

This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

ABOUT THE PRESENTERS
With over 18 years in her own practice, Beryl B. Byles serves corporate executives, private company CEOs and nonprofit leaders. She applies her over 40 years experience to facilitate change and growth toward greater effectiveness with individual leaders and with leadership teams. Her mission is to challenge and support leaders struggling with growth-oriented choices. Client organizations have included global corporations such as AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals, Cigna and Lockheed Martin, and arts organizations such as Opera Company of Philadelphia and The Philadelphia Orchestra. Her previous experience included organizational consulting, management training and executive outplacement. She also taught for 20 years (nine as adjunct at University of Pennsylvania and the University of Dallas). Given her special interest in opera, in addition to being an active patron, she has especially enjoyed her roles as supernumerary in several operas. She is a member of the Forum of Executive Women, Business Volunteers for the Arts, Community Committee of The Crossing and the Board of Directors of Victory Bank. Her B.A. is from Southeastern LA University and her M.B.A. is from the University of Dallas.

Dianne Debicella joined Fractured Atlas as an administrative assistant in December 2006. Within months, she was promoted to program associate and began helping to support and grow the fiscal sponsorship program. Since March 2008, Debicalla has served as Fractured Atlas's program director for fiscal sponsorship. Debicalla helps over 1,400 sponsored artists and emerging organizations, representing all artistic disciplines, to find funding and other resources to support their work. She has given presentations on arts management, fundraising and fiscal sponsorship at the Foundation Center, Queens Council on the Arts, Columbia University, Pratt Institute, Cooper Union, New York University, Emerson College, Boston University and Massachusetts College of Art. Debicalla previously worked as a project coordinator for a restoration painting studio and as a manager of site development for Planet Aid. She received her B.F.A. in photography from Massachusetts College of Art and is an alumna of The Woodhull Institute. Debicalla completed her Master's of professional studies with distinction from Pratt Institute's Arts and Cultural Management program.

Eve Gigliotti is a classical vocal artist who performed in both the traditional and modern operatic mediums. Roles performed include Flora in La traviata, Carmen, Mother Marie in Dialogues of the Carmelites, The Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors, the Commere in Four Saints in Three Acts and Vera Boronel in The Consul. Gigliotti has performed with companies throughout the U.S., including Glimmerglass Opera, Central City Opera, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Seattle Opera and Encompass New Opera Theater. In her commitment to performing new work, Gigliotti has premiered pieces by Daniel Felsenfeld, Christian McLeer, Glen Cortese, Elena Ruehr, Martin Hennessy, Conrad Cummings and Joseph Summer, and has recorded selections of Summer's work on "Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer's Day," released on Albany Records. As a singing actress, she received critical acclaim for her turn as Angelina Rinucci, the ghost of opera-divas-past in world premiere of The Second Tosca, a play written by Tom Rowan and directed by Kevin Newbury at the 45th Street Theater in New York City. Gigliotti is the founder and director of "Eve Gigliotti's The Opera Project," a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a nonprofit arts service organization.

Lyric soprano Anne Ricci has performed with various opera companies in and around New York City. In 2005, she made her Avery Fisher Hall debut with the National Chorale, singing the soprano solo in Aaron Copland's An Immorality. She has sung with American Opera Projects, The Remarkable Theatre Brigade, The Chicago Humanities Festival, the International Fringe Festival, Making Books Sing and The Blue Man Group. Ricci is the general director and a founding member of Opera on Tap (OOT), a nonprofit organization that offers regular affordable operatic performances to New York City and New Orleans residents, while at the same time provides opportunity and support to young singers caught between the educational world and the professional world. Founded in 2005, OOT continues to garner great press and has developed into a multi-tiered organization encompassing over 45 singers, 25 instrumentalists, five staff members nationwide and an active and engaged board of directors.

UPCOMING MAKING CONNECTIONS SCHEDULE

Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Fundraising for Independent Artists
     Panelists: Beryl B. Byles, executive coach; Dianne Debicella, program director, fiscal sponsorship, Fractured Atlas; Eve Gigliotti, mezzo-soprano;
     Anne Ricci, general managing diva, Opera on Tap

     Presentation: 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
     Reception: 7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010
An Evening with Martina Arroyo on Role Preparation
     Participants: Martina Arroyo, soprano; Marc A. Scorca, president and CEO, OPERA America

     Discussion: 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
     Reception: 7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Building and Managing Your Network
     Panelists: Charles Jarden, executive director, American Opera Projects; Laura Brooks Rice, Westminster Choir College and
     CoOPERAtive Program

     Presentation: 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
     Reception: 7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.



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ABOUT OPERA AMERICA

OPERA America leads and serves the entire opera community, supporting the creation, presentation and enjoyment of opera.

  • Artistic services help opera companies and creative and performing artists to improve the quality of productions and increase the creation and presentation of North American works.
  • Information, technical, and administrative services to opera companies reflect the need for strengthened leadership among staff, trustees and volunteers.
  • Education, audience development and community services are designed to enhance all forms of opera appreciation.

Founded in 1970, OPERA America’s worldwide membership network includes nearly 200 Company Members, 300 Associate and Business Members, 2,000 Individual Members and more than 16,000 subscribers to the association’s electronic news service. In 2005, OPERA America relocated from Washington, D.C. to New York as the first step in creating the first-ever National Opera Center. With a wide range of artistic and administrative services in a purpose-built facility, the Opera Center is dedicated to increasing the level of excellence, creativity and effectiveness across the field.

OPERA America’s long tradition of supporting and nurturing the creation and development of new works led to the formation of The Opera Fund, a growing endowment which allows OPERA America to make a direct impact on the ongoing creation and presentation of new opera and music-theater works. Since its inception, OPERA America has made grants of nearly $11 million to assist companies with the expenses associated with the creation and development of new works.