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


NATIONAL OPERA WEEK 2014
BREAKS RECORDS

More Than 200 Organizations Celebrated Opera

Activities, Contests and Announcements Reached Across the Country

ERIC OWENS, Honorary Chairman,
encourages the public to experience opera

OPERAAMERICA.ORG/OPERAWEEK


New York, NY – This year marked the most successful NATIONAL OPERA WEEK yet, smashing previous participation records. From Friday, October 24 through Sunday, November 2, 2014, 205 opera companies, schools and organizations across North America presented activities, contests and announcements in 37 states to celebrate opera.

First held in 2009, National Opera Week is an annual event coordinated by OPERA America, the national service organization for opera. National Opera Week celebrates the vibrancy of opera in America today, and conveys the excitement and importance of opera to a wide national audience.

The strength and diversity of established opera companies, community opera ensembles, opera training programs, and opera-related learning and social groups across North America were on display through the wide array of events offered. These activities included performances, family-friendly festivals, lectures, social events, social media contests and announcements of year-round community impact.

Star bass-baritone ERIC OWENS served as Honorary Chairman of National Opera Week 2014. "I'll never forget my first time attending a live opera performance. It was a life-changing experience, simply for having heard the human voice in all of its glorious splendor," stated Owens. "Opera is an all-encompassing art form – it combines music with theater and dance and sets and lighting in a way that no other musical performance does," he continued.

A welcome message from Eric Owens is available at operaamerica.org/OperaWeek.

To highlight many examples of opera's current vitality, OPERA America President/CEO Marc A. Scorca issued a statement on Friday, October 31 on the state of the opera field, which reads in part:

"Over recent months, companies have navigated numerous obstacles to bring exciting performances by outstanding artists to appreciative audiences; a number of them are still struggling to under the weight of deficits that accumulated through the years of the Great Recession. Without oversimplifying the challenges that must be addressed, opera's vitality is not limited to National Opera Week. Artistically, the field has never been more vibrant. Companies are implementing new strategies to build attendance at the same time that public events have demonstrated a tremendous interest in the art form."

The statement may be read in full online.

National Opera Week 2015 takes place from Friday, October 23 to Sunday, November 1, 2015.

For descriptions of selected activities and lists of participating organizations and event states, please see below.

View the full list of National Opera Week 2014 activities at operaamerica.org/OperaWeek.

Participate in the National Opera Week conversation on Twitter with #OperaWeek.


NATIONAL OPERA WEEK 2015
National Opera Week 2015 will be held from Friday, October 23 through Sunday, November 1, 2015. OPERA America encourages all organizations, companies and individuals to participate in this celebration of opera. There is no fee to participate in National Opera Week and membership in OPERA America is not required. More information will be available at operaamerica.org/OperaWeek.

To learn more about participating, contact Patricia K. Johnson at PKJohnson@operaamerica.org.


For more information about OPERA America and its services,
visit operaamerica.org.


facebook.com/OPERAAmerica @OPERAAmerica youtube.com/OPERAAmerica


About OPERA America
OPERA America (operaamerica.org) 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 10,000 subscribers to the association's electronic news service. In response to the critical need for suitable audition, rehearsal and recording facilities, OPERA America opened the first ever NATIONAL OPERA CENTER (operaamerica.org/OperaCenter) in September 2012 in New York City. With a wide range of artistic and administrative services in a purpose-built facility, OPERA America is dedicated to increasing the level of excellence, creativity and effectiveness across the field.

SELECTED ACTIVITIES
See full National Opera Week activity listings at operaamerica.org/OperaWeek.

Amarillo Opera | Bon Appétit! (Amarillo, TX)
Bon Appétit! is a charming short opera based on one of Julia Child's best-loved television shows. Attendees enjoyed a delicious evening of laughter as the flamboyant master chef taught the makings of a classic French chocolate cake — Le Gâteau au Chocolat L'Éminence Brune.

The Dallas Opera | Simulcast at Klyde Warren Park (Dallas, TX)
Attendees viewed a live simulcast of The Marriage of Figaro and a screening of the 1945 Three Stooges classic Micro-Phonies, in addition to participating in a "Worst Bridesmaid's Dress Ever" contest and a bouquet toss. Before the simulcast, attendees could take advantage of a variety of wining and dining options from local food trucks.

Joyce DiDonato | World Series National Anthem, Game 7 (Kansas City, MO; TV)
Opera superstar, Kansas City native and avid baseball fan Joyce DiDonato sang the national anthem before the start of Game 7 of the World Series.

G. Schirmer/AMP Music Sales Classical | Opera Aria Give-Away (online)
G. Schirmer offered free downloads of select arias from operas by Daniel Catán as well as an opera trivia contest on Facebook and Twitter with opera scores and CDs as prizes.

Going Going Gone Sports Gallery | Opera & Baseball (New York, NY)
Opera and technology expert and baseball enthusiast Mark Schubin delivered an illustrated talk about the amazing joint histories of opera and baseball. A video recording of this talk is available on YouTube.

Lyric Opera of Chicago | #HoldThatHighNote (online)
Lyric Opera of Chicago asked its social media followers to film a short video singing a note and tagging it with @LyricOpera on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. Participants were encouraged to be as creative as possible, using costumes, props or unique locations. The person with the most creative video won two free tickets to select dates of Lyric productions this season.

Minnesota Opera | Social Media Preview Night (Minneapolis, MN, and online)
Minnesota Opera welcomed select press members, bloggers and social media influencers to its final dress rehearsal to participate in live tweeting, posting to Facebook, blogging, note taking and illustrating. Prior to the rehearsal, a member of the Minnesota Opera creative team spoke about the production and answered questions from the group during an informal meet and greet.

OperaBuffs of Western New York | Wayward Sisters (Buffalo, NY)
Contralto Suzanne Fatta took a look at portrayals of witchcraft, magic and folk religions in opera and music-drama throughout the Western canon — from Ulrica and Dido's Sorceress to Carmen reading the tarot cards. Special attention was payed to the range/fach, character and musical themes attached to these female roles. During the lecture, attendees enjoyed live performances of opera arias.

OperaDelaware | Who's Afraid of Opera? (Wilmington, DE)
From Sesame Street to Wall Street, from British Airways to Bugs Bunny — opera has been part of your vocabulary all along! OperaDelaware explored some of the most celebrated moments of opera in pop culture, as well as suggestions for what should become part of the mainstream.

Opera Parallèle | My Head is Full of Colors (San Francisco, CA)
Opera Parallèle's Hands-on-Opera program partnered with fourth graders to present its first commissioned children's opera. Written for soprano, baritone and a children's chorus, My Head is Full of Colors was composed by Chris Pratorius with a libretto by Opera Parallèle's own Nicole Paiement.

Opera Southwest | Amleto (Albuquerque, NM)
Hamlet (Amleto) is an operatic adaptation of the Shakespearean classic that had been lost to history for over 140 years until its recent rediscovery by OSW Artistic Director Anthony Barrese. This production, the work's American premiere, was the first time it had been presented anywhere in the world since 1871.

Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra | Orlando Phil Shares Its Opera Side (online)
Through its interactive website and social media activity, Orlando Philharmonic showcased the integral role of opera in its current season.

Palm Beach Opera | Opera Day at the Library (West Palm Beach, FL)
In an afternoon filled with fun activities for children of all ages, Palm Beach Opera presented an interactive reading of A Soup Opera by Jim Gill, hosted art stations for free creative expression and gave away tickets for a family performance of The Daughter of the Regiment.

The Santa Fe Opera | Young Voices of The Santa Fe Opera on the Town (Santa Fe, NM)
To celebrate National Opera Week, the Young Voices of The Santa Fe Opera hit the town. On November 1, these talented high school students performed at eight different public locations in Albuquerque.

Sarasota Opera | Understanding Opera: Getting Opera on the Stage (Sarasota, FL)
Greg Trupiano, Sarasota Opera's director of artistic administration, introduced attendees to essential elements of producing an opera. Attendees also heard from the lighting designer, chorus master and a member of the music staff to learn more about how their contributions make productions possible.

Tulsa Opera | Big Sing (Tulsa, OK)
Tulsa Opera kicked off a new program that gave the general public the opportunity to sing with professional opera singers and chorus members. At each Big Sing event, participants learned a piece of choral music and performed it — all in less than half an hour.

Utah Opera | Halloween Carnival (Salt Lake City, UT)
Utah Opera held a musically themed Halloween Carnival at its production studios on October 29. There were costume contests, face painting by costume artists, photo ops in front of opera scenes, spooky games and prizes. Admission was free with the donation of a can of food for the Utah Food Bank.

Wichita Grand Opera | Fright Flight (Wichita, KS)
Wichita Grand Opera and the Kansas Aviation Museum teamed up for Fright Flight — an evening of spooky fun in the historic, haunted Wichita Air Terminal. The evening included live performances of some of opera's eeriest arias, walk-throughs of the haunted terminal areas, tarot readings, a best costume contest, food and dancing.


ACTIVITIES IN 37 STATES, DISTRICTS & PROVINCES
Alabama
Alberta (Canada)
Arizona
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
District of Columbia
Florida
Georgia
Illinois
Indiana
Kansas
Maryland
Massachusetts
Minnesota
Missouri
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Oklahoma
Ontario (Canada)
Oregon
Pennsylvania
South Carolina
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
Wisconsin
Additional activities took place on TV, radio and online.


205 PARTICIPATING ORGANIZATIONS
Amarillo Museum of Art
Amarillo Opera
Amberleigh Retirement Community at Williamsville
The American Center for Puccini Studies
The American Guild of Organists
American Opera Projects
Amherst Chamber Orchestra
AMP Music Sales Classical
Arizona Opera
Aroha Philanthropies
The Art Song Preservation Society of New York
Artichoke Dance Company
Arts Council of Washington, Missouri
The AT&T Performing Arts Center
Atlanta Music Project
Auditorium Theatre
Austin Opera
The Aviva Players
Bank Street Films
Bel Cantanti Opera
Berkshire Opera Festival
Beth Morrison Projects
Big Brothers and Sisters of Erie County
Boston Children's Museum
Boston Conservatory Opera
Boston Lyric Opera
Boston Opera Collaborative
Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras
Buffalo and Erie County Library
Buffalo Master Chorale
Buffalo Niagara Youth Chorus
Buffalo Opera Unlimited
Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra
Calgary Opera
The Camerata di Sant'Antonio
Camp Hill Light Opera Experience
Canadian Institute of Czech Music
Canadian Opera Company
Capstone Village
Celebrate National Opera Week Buffalo/Niagara Region
The Cheektowaga Symphony
Chopin Singing Society
Combined Rotary of Pensacola
Connecticut Concert Opera
The Cooperstown Art Association
Creative Arts Charter School
Cutting Edge Concerts New Music Festival
The Dallas Opera
dell'Arte Opera Ensemble
Joyce DiDonato
Heidi Lauren Duke
East Coast Chamber Opera
EntertainingTV
Erwin H. Johnson Memorial Fund Inc.
Eugene Opera
Suzanne Fatta
Fargo-Moorhead Opera
First Presbyterian Church at Hilton Head
Florentine Opera Company
Florida Grand Opera
The Fontenelle Forest
Forest Room 5
Frank E. Merriweather, Jr. Library
Fredonia College Choir
Fresco Opera Theatre
G. Schirmer
Gailliot Family Foundation
Georgia Southern University
The Glimmerglass Festival
GoingGoingGoneSports Gallery
Golden Gate Opera
Wayne Gooding
Havre de Grace Opera House Foundation
Hillman Opera Company
Hinesville Lyric Opera
The International Vocal Arts Institute
Irish Classical Theatre
Matt Johnson
The Juilliard School
Kansas Aviation Museum
The Kennedy Center
Kenwood Symphony Orchestra
Kerr Cultural Center
Kimball Foundation
KLUV Radio
KMFA, Classical 89.5
LehrerDance
Live and Learn Bethesda
Los Angeles Opera
Lyric Opera of Chicago
Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach
Marble City Opera
Mariachi Conservatory
Master the Possibilities Education Center
Merola Opera Program
The Metropolitan Opera Guild
Sherrill Milnes
Minnesota Concert Opera
Minnesota Opera
MZJ Music
National Endowment for the Arts
The New York Children's Opera Studio
New York Opera Alliance
Niagara Arts and Cultural Center
Nickel City Opera
On Top of the World
OPERA America
Opera Atelier
The Opera Atelier
Opera Bracelets
Opera Canada Magazine
Opera Colorado
Opera Columbus
Opera in Williamsburg
Opera Memphis
Opera News
Opera North
Opera Omaha
Opera on Tap Seattle
Opera on the James
Opera Parallèle
Opera Philadelphia
Opera Piccola of San Antonio
Opera Saratoga
Opera Southwest
Opera Tampa
Opera Theater of Pittsburgh
Opera Theatre of Montclair
Opera Theatre of Saint Louis
OPERA THINK TANK
Opera Volunteers International
OperaBuffs of Western New York
OperaDelaware
Opera-Lytes
OPERAtunity Maryland
OperaWorks
Orlando Music Institute
Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra
Eric Owens
Owlsong Productions, Inc.
Palm Beach Opera
Penn State College of Performing Arts
Pensacola Opera
Performance EmPowering
Piedmont Opera
Players Theatre Festival of Short Plays
Point Loma Opera Theatre
Point Loma University of the Nazarene
Ravinia Festival
Reimagining Opera for Kids
Riviera Beach Library
Rochester Opera Guild
San Diego Opera
San Diego State University Lyric Opera Theatre
San Diego State University Voice Faculty
The Santa Fe Opera
Sarasota Opera
Savannah Voice Festival
Mark Schubin
The Screening Room
The Sheila and Jody Grant Opera Discovery Program
Sherrill Milnes VOICE Programs
Skylight Music Theatre
Nyl Smith
Smyrna Opera House
Soprano Meets Contrabass
Joan Ross Sorkin
Mira J. Spektor
Station Exchange at Home
Stevens Institute of Technology
Straz Center
Suites at Station Exchange
SUNY Fredonia
SUNY Purchase
Syracuse Opera
Tacoma Opera
Diyi Tang
Texas Book Festival
Texas State Opera Theatre
Third Eye Theatre Ensemble
The Toronto Opera Club
Toronto Operetta Theater
Tri-Cities Opera
Tulsa Opera
The University of Alabama Opera Theatre
University of Nebraska, Lincoln
University of Nebraska, Omaha
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
University of North Texas
University of Northern Colorado Opera Theatre
The University of Tennessee at Knoxville
UrbanArias
Utah Symphony | Utah Opera
VIA Records
VisionIntoArt
Voicebox: Opera in Concert
Waffle Opera
Wagner Society of Santa Fe
Washington National Opera
Welltone New Music
Wichita Air Terminal
Wichita Grand Opera
Wichita State University Opera Theatre
WNED
Maria Zouves