Press Released: 06 Aug 2008

OPERA America Announces 2009-2010 Season of Online Learning Courses

Twelve Professional Companies Form Partnership in Ongoing National Effort to Inform Audiences

Twelve North American opera companies are partnering with OPERA America , the national service organization for the field, to deliver the association’s 2008-09 season of Online Learning courses. This season’s offerings include: Verdi’s La traviata, Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro, and the world premiere of Andre Previn’s Brief Encounter.

Designed as a service for opera lovers and those who wish to learn more about the art form, the courses offer an opportunity to explore the many diverse elements of opera using the unique capacity and convenience of the Internet.

Each course features content that focuses on the historical backgrounds, musical styles, literary sources and dramatic structures of each opera. Links to written course lectures are e-mailed to participants once each week for four weeks, which allows learners to review the course material at their own pace. Audio clips and production photos are also provided, aiding in the study of musical style and analysis. An interactive comments and questions feature allows discussion among participants and the instructor.

Audience feedback has been positive. “I loved it. Just the right amount of material. I am a professional musician and I appreciate the fact that the materials were not elementary. I felt it was relevant to all types of learning levels,” wrote course participant, Lynne Sawyer, Burlington, NC.

Instructors are chosen for their first-hand experience and collective expertise in a range of behind-the-scenes disciplines that constitute the world of opera. This season’s Online Learning courses are taught by Andrew Eggert (stage director), Scott Eyerly (composer and teacher), Denise Gallo (specialist in 19th century Italian opera and scholar) and Thomas May (author and critic).

“As with any masterpiece, the more we can learn about its background, historical context or creator’s intent, the more we enrich our experience as we familiarize ourselves with it,” stated Marc A. Scorca, OPERA America ’s President & CEO. “Introducing opera to a broader audience is one of OPERA America’s core goals. These online courses, designed for the avid opera fan as well as the first-time attendee deliver knowledge along with enormous enjoyment.”

Support for the Online Learning program has been provided by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts and Target. Audio has been provided by Opera D'Oro and Allegro Music Corporation.

Each partner company will offer the courses at no charge to its patrons; they are available to the general public for $10 each. The Online Learning program is free to members of OPERA America .

For more information or to register for the course(s): http://www.operaamerica.org/Content/Audiences/Programs/onlineLearning.aspx

2008-09 Online Learning Schedule

La traviata
August 15-September 12
Instructor: Denise Gallo;

Madama Butterfly
September 16-October 7
Instructor: Andrew Eggert

La nozze di Figaro
February 17-March 17
Instructor: Denise Gallo

Brief Encounter
April 1-April 29
Instructor: Thomas May

Partners for the Online Learning courses include The Atlanta Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Lyric Opera of Kansas City , Opera Carolina , Opera Colorado, Opera Memphis, Portland Opera, Sacramento Opera, San Francisco Opera, Utah Symphony & Opera, Washington National Opera and West Bay Opera.

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For more information on OPERA America, visit About Us.

For press inquiries, contact Press@operaamerica.org or 212.796.8628.