Opera Conference 2014: Audiences Reimagined

Opening Session
Following welcoming greetings from FRAYDA B. LINDEMANN, Ph.D., board chairman, OPERA America, DAVID GOCKLEY, general director, San Francisco Opera, and MARC A. SCORCA, president/CEO, OPERA America, Opera Conference 2014 will open with discussion and music. Join legendary mezzo-soprano FREDERICA VON STADE and composer JAKE HEGGIE for an exploration of the dynamics of successful relationships between artists, among artists and opera companies, and with the public. Be inspired by their artistry as we learn from their success in developing a contemporary American opera repertoire that embraces opera's cherished traditions and wins new audiences for the art form.


Speaker Information
FREDERICA VON STADE, mezzo-soprano
Described by The New York Times as "one of America's finest artists and singers," mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade is one of the music world's most beloved figures. For three decades, she has enriched the world of classical music through performances in the great opera houses, concert halls, on television and in recordings.

JAKE HEGGIE, composer
Jake Heggie is the American of the operas Moby-Dick, Dead Man Walking, Three Decembers, To Hell and Back, and Out of Darkness: a triptych of Holocaust stories (Another Sunrise – Farewell, Auschwitz – For a Look or a Touch). He has also composed more than 250 songs, as well as chamber, choral and orchestral works. The operas – most created with the distinguished writers Terrence McNally and Gene Scheer – have been produced extensively on five continents. Dead Man Walking (McNally) has received 40 productions since its premiere, as well as two live recordings. Moby-Dick (Scheer) was telecast in 2013 as part of Great Performances' 40th Season and was recently released on DVD (EuroArts). It is also the subject of the book Heggie & Scheer's Moby-Dick: A Grand Opera for the 21st Century (UNT Press). Heggie, a Guggenheim Fellow, has served as a mentor to Washington National Opera's American Opera Initiative for young composers and librettists for the past two seasons. Upcoming commissions include Great Scott (McNally) for The Dallas Opera, starring Joyce DiDonato; The Radio Hour (Scheer) for the John Alexander Singers; a new project for Houston Grand Opera; songs for Kiri Te Kanawa at Ravinia; and The Word at Hand, Symphonic Songs for mezzo Jamie Barton and cellist Anne Martindale-Williams, co-commissioned by the Pittsburgh Symphony and Carnegie Hall. www.jakeheggie.com.
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All OPERA America facilities are handicapped accessible. The National Opera Center features ground-level entry with elevators to the venue. All spaces are wheelchair accessible, and modular seating can be arranged to accommodate wheelchair users for all programs and performances. Handicapped accessible restrooms are available on all floors.
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