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General Sessions [ + Click to Expand ]
Keynote Address
Thursday, June 10 from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m.
Composer Daniel Catán has written four operas: Florencia en el Amazonas, La Hija de Rappacini (Rappaccini's Daughter) and Salsipuedes, A Tale of Love, War and Anchovies; Catán’s next opera, Il Postino, based on the Oscar-winning film, will soon debut at LA Opera. His lyrical, romantic style lends itself particularly well to the human voice, which features prominently in the majority of his works; he has been compared to Debussy, Richard Strauss and Puccini. The transcription of his speech, Composing Opera: A Backstage Visit to the Composer's Workshop, gives insight into his inspirations, influences and epiphanies. Banking on the Private Purse
Thursday, June 10 from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.
The economic landscape is shifting dramatically as recovery begins to replace recession. Will new economic challenges, like inflation, start to exert pressure on our opera companies? Or will the recovery be sustainable and effect positive change? How will these outside forces influence individual, corporate and foundation giving? This session will provide the latest analysis of economic trends and their impact on donors and consumers. Ronald Florance will discuss the economy and markets. Additionally, Florance will shed light on interacting and advising clients on philanthropic goals, drawing on his experience in a private bank setting.

Speaker: Ronald Florance, Wells Fargo Private Bank; Gregory C. Swinehart, Deloitte Financial Advisory Services; Timothy H. Throckmorton, Wells Fargo Private Bank In Conversation: Achim Freyer
Thursday, June 10 from 1:00 to 1:45 p.m.
Freyer's staging of Der Ring des Nibelungen for LA Opera began last season with Das Rheingold and Die Walküre. His new production of Götterdämmerung will follow in April, followed by three complete presentations of the Ring Cycle in the summer of 2010.

Speakers: Achim Freyer, Director and Designer; Carol Henry, LA Opera (introductory remarks); Yuval Sharon, Director Finding a Better Business Model
Friday, June 11 from 10:45 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Research confirms that the price of producing opera increases annually at more than twice the rate of the Consumer Price Index. Rising ticket prices help to offset short-term costs, but inhibit long-term audience growth. New works, central to the vitality of opera, are so expensive that most opera companies can afford only an occasional premiere. The recent recession, which reduced the value of endowments and underscored a lack of working capital, gave rise to questions about the viability of our business model in its current form. This session will examine strategies to improve the current business model and explore potential alternative approaches to managing the opera enterprise.

Speaker: David McIntosh, Consultant In Conversation: Plácido Domingo
Friday, June 11 from 1:00 to 1:45 p.m.
OPERA America President and CEO, Marc A. Scorca, will interview the renowned tenor as Mr. Domingo reflects on 40 years of opera in America and where he sees the field in the next 40 years. There will be an opportunity for questions from the audience.

Speakers: Plácido Domingo, LA Opera; Marc A. Scorca, OPERA America; Marc I. Stern, LA Opera (introductory remarks) The New and Unusual: Is it Opera?
Saturday, June 12 from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Opera is thriving — in bars, subways and even swimming pools. New ensembles, many of them led by energetic and entrepreneurial artists, are springing up around the country performing new and unusual works with unconventional productions in outlandish venues. Established opera companies, too, are leaving the opera house to perform a variety of works in different locations to serve broader audiences. Creativity abounds, but is it opera? Do labels matter? Hear what leading producers and artists have to say about a subject that is never without controversy, and take away ideas about how you can play a role in defining the art form.

Speakers: John Conklin, Designer; James Conlon, LA Opera (introductory remarks); David Gockley, San Francisco Opera; David Kasunic, Occidental College (moderator); Andreas Mitisek, Long Beach Opera; Diane Paulus, American Repertory Theater Closing Session
Saturday, June 12 from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m.
American Repertory Theater Artistic Director Diane Paulus is an award-winning director of opera and theater. Paulus has taught at Barnard College/Columbia University and the Yale School of Drama, and was recently appointed Professor of the Practice in Harvard University's English Department.

Additional Speakers: Carol Henry, LA Opera; Marc A. Scorca, OPERA America
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Official Airline of Opera Conference 2010:
AA Link
Host Company:
LA Opera
Sponsors of Opera Conference 2010:

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Photo Credits - Images courtesy of Los Angeles Opera. All photos taken by Monika Rittershaus.