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Press Released: 26 Oct 2012

OPERA America Announces National Opera Week 2012

Friday, October 26 – Sunday, November 4

Organizations Nationwide Engage Communities through Fun, Free Events

Aretha Franklin, Honorary Chairwoman, encourages the public to experience opera

Nearly 100 opera companies, schools and organizations across the nation will celebrate the fourth National Opera Week from Sunday, October 26 through Sunday, November 4, 2012 by offering free, accessible events to their communities. National Opera Week is coordinated by OPERA America, the national service organization for opera, with support of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).

OPERA America and participating organizations are thrilled to announce legendary artist and opera lover Aretha Franklin as the program’s Honorary Chairwoman. “I may be known as the Queen of Soul, but I love opera, which is why I’m delighted to be the Honorary Chairwoman of National Opera Week,” declared Franklin. “It would be wonderful to see more people involved in classical music. It truly is enriching.” A brief welcome statement from Ms. Franklin is available at bit.ly/OperaWeekVideo.

National Opera Week celebrates the vibrancy of opera in America today and brings the inventiveness and excitement of opera to a national audience. The strength and diversity of established opera companies, community opera ensembles and opera training programs across the United States will be on display through free, dynamic activities designed to engage novices, opera lovers and everyone in between. National Opera Week activities include flash opera events, open houses, online activities, lecture/demonstrations and community performances.

“From behind-the-scenes tours to enlightening performance talks to Twitter contests and more, there is something for everyone during National Opera Week,” states Marc A. Scorca, president/CEO of OPERA America. “National Opera Week draws attention to the creativity and dynamism that propels our field today. We are proud to highlight this depth of opera activity across the United States.”

In addition to coordinating the nationwide program, OPERA America is presenting two National Opera Week events at the newly opened National Opera Center in New York City:

Salon Series: OPERA America Songbook Recital
Tuesday, October 30 at 7:00 p.m.
To celebrate the opening of the National Opera Center, OPERA America commissioned new songs from 47 leading composers, creating the OPERA America Songbook. This event features world premiere performances of selections from this special work.

The Fandom of the Opera
Thursday, November 1 at 6:30 p.m.
Opera and technology expert Mark Schubin presents a highly entertaining lecture describing how the centuries-old art form of opera has contributed to innovations in modern media and technology.

For a full listing of National Opera Week activities, visit operaamerica.org/operaweek.

On Twitter, join @OperaAmerica in the National Opera Week conversation with #OperaWeek.

Select Activities

The Atlanta Opera (Atlanta, GA)
Online Scavenger Hunt: This community-wide Opera Online Scavenger Hunt teaches the public about the art form and its connection to the Atlanta community. Participants may win daily prizes and a finale grand prize, while learning about the city of Atlanta and opera.

The Dallas Opera (Dallas, TX)
Opening Night Plazacast: Community members are invited to picnic on the lawn of Sammons Park and watch the live broadcast of The Dallas Opera’s Aida from the Winspear Opera House.

Opera for the Young (Madison, WI)
Cinderella: Young audiences will be drawn into the enchanting music of this adaptation of Massenet’s opera for children. Opera for the Young’s professional cast is joined onstage by schoolchildren as the chorus.

Palm Beach Opera (West Palm Beach, FL)
OPERA: Deconstructed: A behind-the-scenes look at how an opera is created, from building the sets to the final product. Attendees will also participate in a dramatic reading of an opera

Sarasota Opera (Sarasota, FL)
Little Nemo, the Exhibition: Sarasota Opera partners with the Selby Gallery at the Ringling College of Art and Design to present the incredible flights of fancy of the cartoonist and pioneer animator, Windsor McCay. The exhibit includes original items of McCay’s work from collectors around the country as well as costume sketches, autographs, set models and renderings, and a short documentary on Sarasota Opera’s world premiere production of Little Nemo in Slumberland, music by Daron Aric Hagen and libretto by J.D. McClatchy.

Sarasota Opera (Sarasota, FL)
First Friday Art Walk on Palm Avenue: Sarasota Opera singers perform several short sets of opera arias and duets throughout the evening, while galleries and shops along South Palm Avenue remain open late for shoppers and browsers and merchants offer refreshments.

The University of Alabama Opera Theatre (Tuscaloosa, AL)
Opera Workshop for Everyone: The University of Alabama Opera Theatre offers opera classes to residents of Capstone Village Retirement Community on the campus of the university. Participants who are normally in the audience get a first-hand opportunity to experience the workshop training and skill sets which opera singers study to hone their craft as opera actors. Opera students and faculty lead residents in mini-classes in improvisation, movement, acting, opera history and other topics, and the residents serve as mock audition panelists.

Utah Symphony | Utah Opera (Salt Lake City, UT)
Random Acts of Opera: Utah Opera’s Resident Artists offer surprise performances of Random Acts of Opera in the atrium of the downtown public library.

Virginia Opera (Norfolk, VA)
Open Rehearsal: This event provides a behind-the-scenes look at a technical rehearsal as an opera production moves from the rehearsal studio to the mainstage. Activities include commentary and insight by Virginia Opera staff and access to staging rehearsals on the set.

V.O.I.C.Experience (Savannah, GA)
An American Songbook Concert with Composer Carlisle Floyd: Legendary composer Carlisle Floyd presents an evening of American music, including his own works, sung by V.O.I.C.Experience artists. He will share insights with the audience about his compositions, with scenes from Susannah, Of Mice and Men and other masterworks. Special guest appearances by the Savannah Philharmonic Chorus and host Sherrill Milnes.

Activities in 27 States
New Hampshire
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
South Carolina

Plus events online, in the District of Columbia, and in British Columbia and Ontario, Canada.
104 National Opera Week Partners

Amarillo Opera

Amore Opera

Arizona Opera

The Atlanta Opera

Austin Lyric Opera

Boston Lyric Opera

Brooklyn Symphony Orchestra

Buffalo Opera Unlimited

Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra

Canadian Opera Company

Central City Opera

Chicago Opera Theater

Cincinnati Opera

ConcertOPERA, Philadelphia

Creative Opera

The Curtis Institute of Music

The Dallas Opera

Dvorak Trio of Orchard Park, NY

Eastman Opera Theatre

Empire State Lyric Theatre

Erwin H. Johnson Memorial Fund

First Presbyterian Church of East Aurora

Florentine Opera

Florida Grand Opera

Fort Worth Opera

The Glimmerglass Festival

Golden Gate Opera

The Hillman Opera of Fredonia NH

Brian Jagde

Knoxville Opera

Lyric Opera of Chicago

Michigan Opera Theatre

Minnesota Opera

Mozart Society of America

Nashville Opera

New Freedom Theatre

New York Opera Exchange

Niagara Arts and Culture Center

Nickel City Opera

OPERA America

Opera Atelier

Opera Birmingham

The Opera Buffs, Inc.

Opera Colorado

Opera Company of Philadelphia

Opera Exposures

Opera for the Young

The Opera Foundation of Buffalo, Inc.

Opera in the Heights

Opera Lafayette


Opera Memphis

Opera North

Opera OmahaOpera on the James

Opera San José

Opera San Luis Obispo

Opera Southwest

Opera Theater of Pittsburgh

Opera Theatre of Saint Louis

Opera Volunteers International

OPERABuffs of Western New York




Orchard Park Chorale

Pacific Opera Victoria

Palm Beach Opera

Piedmont Opera

Portland Opera

The Prismatic Debussy Festival

San Francisco Opera

The Santa Fe Opera

Sarasota Opera

Savannah Philharmonic Chorus

Mark Schubin

The Screening Room

Shenandoah Conservatory

State University of New York at Fredonia

State University of New York at Potsdam

Syracuse Opera

Telfair Museum of Art

Tennessee Performing Arts Center

The Three Sopranos

Toledo Opera

Tri-Cities Opera

Trinacria Productions

University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa

University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music

University of Colorado Opera Theatre

University of Northern Colorado

University of South Carolina

University of Southern California

University of the Pacific

University of Toledo

Utah Opera




For more information on OPERA America, visit About Us.

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