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For the first-ever time, OPERA America is pleased to offer a video package from Opera Conference 2010: New Realities | New Strategies.

If you were unable to attend our annual conference in Los Angeles this year, or if you are from an industry outside of opera but have a related interest, sign up now to purchase a video package for $295. If you did attend the conference and would like to share sessions with your staff, or watch sessions you may have missed, buy the package for only $195.

OPERA America’s video package contains general sessions and a number of open sessions specific to trustees, marketing, education, finance, development, technical/production and artistic professionals.
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List of Sessions Available
  • General Sessions:

    • Opening Keynote — 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 — 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

    • Finding a Better Business Model — 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

    • The New and Unusual: Is it Opera? — 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 — 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.

  • In Conversation:

    • Plácido Domingo — OPERA America President and CEO, Marc A. Scorca, will interview the renowned tenor as Plácido 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.

    • Achim FreyerAchim 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.

  • Open Sessions:

    • Rallying Support from Your Local Government & Community — Opera companies need the support of local and national government and the community in order to survive and thrive. Especially in times of economic difficulty, the fight for funding involves a struggle to legitimize the arts as a necessary and worth cause. During this session, we will discuss ways to address, influence and shape both public perception and governmental policy towards opera companies.

      Speakers: Michael Alexander, Grand Performances; Amy Fitterer, OPERA America; Olga Garay, Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs; Stephen D. Rountree, LA Opera; Laura Zucker, Los Angeles County Arts Commission

    • The Major Gifts Trio — Major gifts are often the result of collaboration among staff and board. Greg Robertson, Chief Development Officer at Houston Grand Opera, will lead a panel focusing on the roles of the Development Director, General Director and Board Chair. The discussion will address the responsibilities, time management, communications and trust involved in this important threefold partnership. Development staff, general directors and trustees will learn how each of these positions can best support the other in the cultivation of major gifts "friendraising" as well as fundraising.

      Speakers: Susan Boren, Spencer Stuart; Greg Carpenter, Opera Colorado; Carol Penterman, Nashville Opera; Greg Robertson (moderator), Houston Grand Opera

    • Managing Board Dynamics — Board members have felt the impact of the recent recession at home and in their own businesses, leaving little time or energy for the challenges facing the opera company. For long-serving board members, the recession came after a decade of responding to financial challenges. This session will explore how board and staff leaders combat "board member fatigue" and inspire new ideas and fresh energy to advance their companies through difficult financial times.

      Speakers: Susan Bienkowski, Long Beach Opera; Jane Robinson, Florida Grand Opera; Marc A. Scorca (moderator), OPERA America; Darren K. Woods, Fort Worth Opera

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.