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Press Released: 26 May 2010

OPERA America Conference 2010: New Realities | New Strategies

June 9 – 12: Los Angeles, CA

Keynote Speaker: Daniel Catán, Composer of Florencia en el Amazonas, Salsipuedes, La Hija de Rappaccini and the Upcoming LA Opera World Premiere of Il Postino

Highlights Include Wagner’s Acclaimed Ring Cycle at LA Opera, Conversations with Achim Freyer and Plácido Domingo, OPERA America’s 40th Anniversary Dinner, Panel Sessions with Industry Experts, Networking Opportunities with Colleagues and Introducing: Co-Production Speed Dating

OPERA America, the national service organization for opera, is pleased to announce details of Opera Conference 2010: New Realities | New Strategies, to be held in Los Angeles, California from June 9 to 12. Co-hosted by LA Opera, this largest gathering of opera professionals in North America will convene at the Omni Hotel at California Plaza in downtown Los Angeles, across from the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.

OPERA America’s annual conference presents a unique opportunity for the field’s leaders to examine the unprecedented issues affecting the opera community today. In addition to collaborative workshops, conference attendees may look forward to a Keynote Address by composer Daniel Catán, and open and general sessions led by industry experts.

“The new economic landscape has had a significant impact on the way the opera field functions,” stated OPERA America President and CEO Marc A. Scorca. “Navigating through these changing times requires new skills, tools and strategies to successfully produce opera, attract audiences and secure contributions. Opera Conference 2010: New Realities | New Strategies will engage the opera community in addressing these issues to ensure a dynamic future for our art form.”

Over the past few decades, Los Angeles has transformed itself into one of the leading creative centers of the world. The city hosts a diverse array of creative industries, including music, television, film, dance, entertainment, art, architecture, design, digital media, fashion, publishing and theater, becoming a cultural mecca boasting more than 300 museums and significant world-class cultural institutions. Downtown LA, the conference location, is a bustling business center by day and vibrant metropolis by night. This is the second time that OPERA America’s conference has been held in Los Angeles; the first was in 1996.

OPERA America gratefully acknowledges the support of the following Opera Conference 2010 sponsors: American Airlines, the official airline of Opera Conference 2010; Arts Consulting Group; Bennett Direct; DCM, Telemarketing and Telefundraising for the Arts; Deloitte; Fisher Dachs Associates, Theatre Planning & Design; co-host LA Opera; Opera News; Schuler Shook, Theatre Planners; and Wells Fargo.

Program Highlights

Keynote Address
Daniel Catán, whose opera Il Postino will premiere at LA Opera this fall, will deliver the Keynote Address at Opera Conference 2010. Catán is a strong advocate for the cultural significance of opera and his works have been performed by numerous companies around the world, including Seattle Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Theater der Stadt Heidelberg, Theater an der Wien and Théâtre du Châtelet (Paris). Significantly, his Florencia en el Amazonas (1996) was the first Spanish-language opera commissioned by a major American company, Houston Grand Opera. Other operas by the Los Angeles-based composer include La Hija de Rappaccini (San Diego Opera, 1994) and Salsipuedes (Houston Grand Opera, 2004).

The Ring at LA Opera
Taking place during Opera Conference 2010, LA Opera’s Ring Cycle is designed and directed by the visionary artist Achim Freyer and under the musical leadership of James Conlon, an acclaimed exponent of Wagnerian repertoire. Wes Blomster of Opera Today said that Götterdämmerung “…is not only a singular triumph for Los Angeles Opera, it is further a milestone in the staging of Wagner in America.”

Ricky Ian Gordon’s Orpheus and Euridice at Long Beach Opera
Conference attendees will travel by coach to Long Beach for dinner overlooking the water, followed by Long Beach Opera’s “notorious opera in a swimming pool.” Elizabeth Futral and GRAMMY-nominated clarinetist Todd Palmer transform the Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool into the River Styx for this most innovative and visionary production.

Sessions and Seminars
Six general sessions bring together the entire conference constituency to explore topics that affect all aspects of the opera field. These sessions include Banking on the Private Purse with presenters from Wells Fargo; The New and Unusual: Is it Opera? featuring maestro James Conlon, professor and author David Kasunic, Long Beach Opera Artistic and General Director Andreas Mitisek, American Repertory Theater Artistic Director Diane Paulus, San Francisco Opera General Director David Gockley and theater designer John Conklin; Finding a Better Business Model presented by David McIntosh; Conversations with Plácido Domingo and Achim Freyer and a closing keynote address by Diane Paulus.

Twenty-two open sessions will be offered during the course of Opera Conference 2010 that address the needs of staff and trustees in the areas of artistic and artist training, management, development, finance, marketing, public relations and technical/production. Session titles include Forging Beyond the Premiere; Online Fundraising; Innovation in Assessing and Evaluating Education Programs; Managing the Multigenerational Workforce; Critics, Bloggers and the Changing Media Landscape; New Tech, New Safety Issues; Recruiting and Retaining Active Board Members; and more.

Full-day, intensive seminars have been crafted to provide expert advice and tools to help organizations thrive in vital areas. The conference seminars are: Leadership Advance, Soliciting New and Increased Annual Gifts, Making an Impact with Social Media and Technology, and Revolution in the Board Room.

New Works Sampler
Esteemed members of LA Opera’s Domingo-Thornton Young Artist Program will present excerpts from recently-premiered and soon-to-premiere North American operas at this popular Opera Conference event. Featured operas include: Animal Tales by Kitty Brazelton and George Plimpton (Family Opera Initiative), The Inventor by Bramwell Tovey and John Murrell (Calgary Opera), Paul’s Case by Gregory Spears and Kathryn Walat (American Opera Projects), Il Postino by Daniel Catán (LA Opera), Propeller by Mary Ellen Childs and Marisha Chamberlain (Nautilus Music-Theater) and The Snow Globe by Skip Ewing (Nashville Opera).

Introducing: Co-Production Speed Dating
Across North America, rental stock of the standard repertory is aging, highlighting the need for co-production relationships in the opera field. OPERA America has been asked to turn the spotlight onto increased co-production activity among its members. With this new charge, OPERA America returns to the purpose for which it was founded in 1970 — to facilitate co-production among charter members. At this event, Professional Company Member representatives will court potential co-producers during a two-hour session. The following operas will be featured: Carmen, Aïda, The Barber of Seville, Faust, Rigoletto and Turandot.

Anniversary Dinner
On Friday, June 11, we will celebrate the 40th Anniversary of OPERA America and the 20th Anniversary of Marc A. Scorca as president and CEO of the organization at the City Club on Bunker Hill.

Special Package for the Public
OPERA America has also designed a conference package for the operagoing public. For just $125, patrons receive access to OPERA America’s Online Learning Course on the Ring Cycle taught by renowned Wagner scholar Thomas May, Opening Session and Keynote Address, In Conversation: Achim Freyer, In Conversation: Plácido Domingo, the New Works Sampler, Is It Opera? Featuring James Conlon, Closing Session Featuring Diane Paulus and access to the Exhibit Hall. Tickets to the Ring Cycle and Orpheus and Euridice may be purchased for an additional fee.


For more information on OPERA America, visit About Us.

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