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Press Released: 16 Sep 2009

National Endowment for the Arts and OPERA America Announce National Opera Week

November 13 – 22, 2009

Opera has become such a vital part of the American musical fabric, that over 90 companies/organizations from Alaska to Texas, from New York to Los Angeles, and everywhere in between (32 states to be exact/see attachment for full list), will be participating in and celebrating the first ever National Opera Week from November 13-22, 2009. National Opera Week is organized by OPERA America, the national service organization for opera (www.operaamerica.org/now), with the support of the National Endowment for the Arts.

National Opera Week will officially be launched with the presentation of the 2009 NEA Opera Honors to Marilyn Horne, John Adams, Frank Corsaro, Lotfi Mansouri and Julius Rudel on November 14 at the Harman Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. (www.arts.gov/honors/opera).

The National Opera Week celebration will reach from coast to coast with over 90 opera companies from 32 states (plus the District of Columbia). These opera companies will offer a range of free programs for the public that demonstrate the allure and accessibility of this most multi-media of the arts and will be accessible to both opera lovers and newcomers to the art form. These events, showcasing the strength and diversity of established companies, community opera ensembles and opera training programs, will range from open houses, lectures/demonstrations and community performances to the presentation of the nation’s highest award in the field, the NEA Opera Honors. National Opera Week has been created to bring the inventiveness and excitement of opera to a broader national audience (see attachment for examples).

Other noteworthy events of National Opera Week include in New York City the fifth annual Opera News Awards on November 19; the November 22 annual Richard Tucker Music Foundation Gala, showcasing some of today’s most promising young singers; the New York City Opera dedicating all performances from November 14-22 to National Opera Week, with special tributes to Julius Rudel and Frank Corsaro; and the Metropolitan Opera providing special free access to Met performances available on Met Player, the company’s new online streaming service, during National Opera Week.


• For NEA Opera Honors: M.L. Falcone, Public Relations 212-580-4302
• For NEA: Victoria Hutter 202-682-5692
• For OPERA America: Patricia Kiernan Johnson 212-796-8620, ext. 217

Select Activities

Washington National Opera (Washington, DC)
“Opera in All 8 Wards” – WNO’s weeklong initiative to present free performance and enrichment activities in all eight wards of Washington, DC. Events will include free public performances by WNO’s Domingo-Cafritz Young Artists; educational presentations for young people in DC’s libraries; bilingual in-school presentations and more.

Houston Grand Opera (Houston, TX)
Declaration of Opera Week will take place at Lohengrin curtain on November 13, announcing a week’s worth of initiatives which include free lobby viewing of the 2009 NEA Opera Honors video tributes and a display from the archives documenting the activities of the honorees at the Houston Grand Opera; national radio broadcasts; an instrument petting zoo (incorporating orchestra musicians and staff members interfacing with the public); pre-performance talks and talk backs.

Chicago Opera Theater (Chicago, IL): “Flash” Opera Performances
Chicago Opera Theater will present “flash” performances of popular opera favorites featuring their Young Artists all over the city, including Millennium Park, Union Station and various “L” stops. Chicago Opera Theater will use Twitter and YouTube to promote the locations and times of the “flash” performances.

New Orleans Opera (New Orleans, LA)
The New Orleans public is invited to participate in a YouTube contest by sending in a video of their best opera interpretations (can sing, tell a story, animate a story – just be creative) for a chance to win free opera tickets; a contest to win free tickets by submitting an original work of opera related art to be judged by two curators from the new Orleans Museum of Art; partnering with a local gallery for a photography show of New Orleans Opera productions since Hurricane Katrina; opera night at the Hornets game for ticket giveaway and National Anthem performance by the New Orleans Opera.

Opera San José (San José, CA): Opera in a Box
A public presentation of a special opera experience for K-12 students at the public library. With the help of a trunk filled with costumes, four resident artists and a pianist will dispel all the preconceived notions that seem to make opera so foreign to today’s iPod generation. From Rossini’s The Barber of Seville to Bizet’s Carmen, OSJ’s talented singers will present an immensely entertaining lesson on the art form, with a little “Hannah Montana” style thrown in for good measure.

Opera Boston (Boston, MA): Opera Boston Underground
Opera Boston Underground is a cabaret series offered in an informal bar setting. The eclectic opera program is produced and presented by young singers for a young professional and student audience.

Opera on the James (Lynchburg, VA): Free Student Admission for Food Donation
In response to the theme of hunger in Hansel and Gretel and in support of our community, Opera on the James will give a free student ticket for Hansel and Gretel to children 12 and under who bring a nonperishable food item to the Opera office in advance or to the E.C. Glass box office before the performance.

Tri-Cities Opera (Binghamton, NY): Tri-Cities Opera Center Open House
The company will feature tours of costume and scenery shops, an open rehearsal of Hansel and Gretel, and an opera masterclass with Resident Artists in Training.

University of Kentucky Opera Theater (Lexington, KY)
The University of Kentucky Opera Theater will present several “spontaneous” events featuring opera scenes around town and on campus, also during lunch hours at the student center.

Activities in 33 States
Alabama (2)
Alaska (1)
Arizona (10)
California (10)
Colorado (2)
District of Columbia (2)
Florida (4)
Georgia (2)
llinois (4)
Indiana (1)
Kansas (1)
Kentucky (1)
Louisiana (1)
Maryland (3)
Massachusetts (2)
Michigan (1)
Minnesota (1)
Mississippi (1)
Missouri (2)
Nebraska (1)
New Hampshire (1)
New Mexico (1)
New York (22)
North Carolina (2)
Ohio (2)
Oregon (3)
Pennsylvania (4)
Tennessee (2)
Texas (8)
Virginia (3)
Washington (1)
Wisconsin (1)
93 National Opera Week Partners

The Academy of Vocal Arts

Amarillo Opera

American Lyric Theater

American Opera Projects

Anchorage Opera

Annapolis Opera

Asheville Lyric Opera

The Atlanta Opera

Austin Lyric Opera

Boston Lyric Opera

Center for Contemporary Opera

Central City Opera

Chelsea Opera

Chicago Opera Theater

The Collegiate Chorale

The Crane Opera Ensemble at SUNY, Potsdam

Curtis Institute of Music

da Corneto Opera

Dayton Opera Association

El Paso Opera

Eastman Opera Theatre

Encompass New Opera Theatre

Eugene Opera

Family Opera Initiative/Ardea Arts

Florentine Opera Company

Florida Grand Opera

Fort Worth Opera

Georgia State University School of Music

Glimmerglass Opera

Golden Gate Opera

Gotham Chamber Opera

Houston Grand Opera

Indianapolis Opera

The Juilliard School

Los Angeles Opera

Loveland Opera Theatre

Lyric Opera of Chicago

Lyric Opera of Kansas City

Manhattan School of Music

The Martina Arroyo Foundation

Maryland Opera Studio: UMD, College Park

Metropolitan Opera Guild

The Metropolitan Opera

Michigan Opera Theatre

The Minnesota Opera

Mississippi Opera Association

Muddy River Opera Company

Music-Theatre Group

Nashville Opera

New Orleans Opera Association

New York City Opera

Opera Birmingham

Opera Boston

Opera Carolina

Opera Cleveland

Opera Company of Philadelphia

Opera Francais de New York

Opera in the Heights

Opera in the Ozarks

Opera Memphis

Opera North

Opera Omaha

Opera on Tap

Opera on the James

Opera San Jose

Opera Santa Barbara

Opera Tampa

Opera Theatre of Northern Virginia

Opera Theatre of Saint Louis

Opera Vivente

Palm Beach Opera

Pensacola Opera

Pittsburgh Opera

Portland Opera

Rogue Opera

San Antonio Opera

San Diego Opera Association

San Francisco Conservatory of Music

The Santa Fe Opera

Seattle Opera

Texas Christian Univ. School of Music

Townsend Opera Players

Tri-Cities Opera Company

University of Alabama at Birmingham

University of Kentucky Opera Theatre

University of Southern California

University of the Pacific

Virginia Opera

Richard Wagner Society of New York

Washington Concert Opera

Washington National Opera

West Bay Opera Association, Inc.

Wichita State University Opera Theatre



For more information on OPERA America, visit About Us.

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