annual conference

A Message from Marc A. Scorca

I hope you, your colleagues, friends and family members are doing as well as possible.

I write to you today to confirm that our 2020 Conference – OPERA America’s 50th – will not take place as planned in Seattle from May 13 to 16. In light of our plans to celebrate our anniversary and look to the future in the city of our founding, this announcement is a disappointment to all of us.

Some of our members have commented that it feels like we are ‘in conference mode’ already. Last week, we engaged with nearly 500 members in a dozen facilitated video conference calls – with more to come this week. These will continue through the coming weeks to make sure our members remain united and informed. Over the next several months we will supplement network and topical conference calls with webinars and video presentations that provide resources and learning opportunities to help you navigate these very uncertain times. We encourage everyone to keep the lines of communication open. Please keep us updated on your situation and needs so we can provide the appropriate support.

If you already registered for Opera Conference 2020, we will contact you in the coming days regarding your cancellation options. For any urgent questions about your conference registration, please contact Jamelah Rimawi at

Finally, we all want to keep opera accessible even as most venues are closed. OPERA America is maintaining a list of upcoming streaming performances available at Please send any updates about your media activity to Nick Wise at

Please do everything possible to remain healthy. We may be isolated at the moment, but remain unified in our commitment to repairing the social fabric of our communities through live performance as soon as we are able to do so.
Opera has the power to convey stories that resonate with today's most important issues. Building on opera's expressive power, opera companies can address community priorities and forge beneficial relationships across the cities they serve. Opera Conference 2020 will catalyze a field-wide effort to improve strategies for research, collaboration and leadership that will increase opera's civic impact, underpin philanthropy and attract new audiences. With Seattle, as our stage, come build the case for opera.

Hosted by Seattle Opera and presented in collaboration with Opera Volunteers International.
About Opera Conference
  • OPERA America's annual conference is the premier gathering of opera professionals in North America.
  • Gain insight and ideas from within and outside the opera field.
  • Build your network to advance your career.
  • Foster organizational partnerships.
  • Discover what opera companies are doing to advance the art form.
  • Learn practical skills that will enhance your contribution to the field.
  • Reconnect with your colleagues.
The opera conference attracts more than 750 attendees, including opera company general directors, staff members, trustees and volunteers, as well as artists and other industry professionals. Each year, OPERA America partners with a host opera company in a different city to offer nearly 100 events over five days. The conference offers inspiring general plenary sessions, informative breakout sessions, exciting performances and abundant networking opportunities.

Sponsors & exhibitors

Opera Conference 2020 offers exceptional access to the largest concentration of opera professionals and decision-makers in North America. Conference sponsors and exhibitors will reach an anticipated 750+ general directors, administrators, trustees, donors, volunteers and artists this year in Seattle. As a conference sponsor, you’ll:
  • Reach key industry decision-makers
  • Showcase your product or service and build brand awareness
  • Network with existing and prospective customers
  • Demonstrate your leadership to the field
  • Gain new insight into the opera industry by attending conference sessions
Contact Vincent Covatto at for a sponsor prospectus.
In their words
I loved that there was an overarching theme that meant all my colleagues from all the networks in our organization were still coming away with the same key messages (the importance of inclusion, community, authenticity, etc.). These are all things I cared about strongly before coming in, and it was amazing to leave knowing my whole organization is now on the same page and using the same vocabulary.
- Tamara Vallejos, Director of Marketing & Audience Development, Opera Colorado
It was energizing to meet with so many people involved in opera and to listen to their experiences in the field. I loved learning about the industry models in place right now, especially topics involving donors and fundraising.
- Alexa Dexa, Composer, OGFC Discovery Grant
I love the focus on values and high level conversations - this is where we need to grow.
- Colleen Maybin, Director of Education and Community Engagement, Vancouver Opera

Conference Locations
2020 Seattle, WA
2019 San Francisco, CA
2018 St. Louis, MO
Lifting Many Voices
2017 Dallas, TX
Creating Collaborative Change
2016 Montréal, Canada
Global Strategies, Local Actions
2015 Washington, DC
Increasing Civic Impact
2014 San Francisco, CA
Audiences Reimagined
2013 Vancouver, BC
Opera Out of Bounds
2012 Philadelphia, PA
Creative Resurgence
2011 Boston, MA
Opera Entrepreneurship: Building on Tradition
2010 Los Angeles, CA
New Realities | New Strategies
2009 Houston, TX
Making Opera Matter
2008 Denver, CO
Taking Action Together
2007 Miami, FL
Opera of the Americas
2006 Seattle, WA
2005 Detroit, MI
Diverse Voices
2004 Pittsburgh, PA
Taking Opera to the Next Stage
2003 Saint Louis, MO
Spirit of Discovery
2002 Toronto, ON
Opera Rally: Unite, Organize, Advance
2001 Atlanta, GA
2000 Houston, TX
1999 Vancouver, BC
1998 Minneapolis, MN
1997 Philadelphia, PA
1996 Los Angeles, CA
1995 Washington, D.C.
1994 Seattle, WA
1993 Miami Beach, FL
1992 San Diego, CA
1991 Chicago, IL
1990 Washington, D.C.
1989 San Francisco, CA
1988 Houston, TX
1987 Dallas, TX
1986 Miami, FL
1985 Miami Beach, FL
1984 Washington, D.C.
1983 New York, NY
1982 Toronto, ON
1981 San Francisco, CA

Previous Conference Materials
To have your company’s photos included in the header rotation, send photos that are at least 1200px wide and 550px tall to Please note that submission of photos does not guarantee inclusion.
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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