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Press Released: 04 Jun 2012

Over 500 Opera Professionals to Convene for OPERA America’s Opera Conference 2012: Creative Resurgence

June 13 - 16: Philadelphia, PA

Opera Company of Philadelphia to Co-Host
In Association with Opera Volunteers International

OPERA America, the national nonprofit service organization for opera, is pleased to announce details of Opera Conference 2012: Creative Resurgence, to be held in Philadelphia, PA from June 13-16. Co-hosted by Opera Company of Philadelphia and in association with Opera Volunteers International, this largest annual gathering of opera professionals in North America will convene at venues along the Avenue of the Arts, in the heart of Center City. This marks the second time that the conference is being held in Philadelphia; the city previously hosted in 1997.

OPERA America’s annual conference presents a unique opportunity for industry leaders to examine the issues affecting the opera community today from a variety of perspectives. As economic challenges and social change continue to affect the opera field, the opera community has responded by rethinking conventions and a wave of creativity. Through general and open sessions, seminars and special events, Opera Conference 2012 will investigate the innovative artistic and administrative practices that are re-envisioning the art form and increasing opera’s impact in the larger cultural community.

Anticipated highlights of Opera Conference 2012 include the Opening Keynote Address by Douglas McLennan, founder and editor of ArtsJournal; the Chamber Opera Focus, a special series of thematic sessions presented throughout the conference; the New Works Forum, which nurtures more informed producers and creators of new operas and establishes stronger relationships among them; the Singer Training Forum, for those who are dedicated to the identification and development of aspiring singers; the New Works Sampler, a performance showcase of works-in-progress held at Lenfest Hall at Curtis Institute of Music; Closing Keynote Remarks by Pulitzer Prize- and GRAMMY Award-winning composer Jennifer Higdon; and performances of Nico Muhly’s Dark Sisters by Opera Company of Philadelphia and Michael Ching’s Slaying the Dragon by Center City Opera Theater. (See attachment for more program details.)

General sessions, which engage the entire conference community in meaningful discussion, include “The Real Work: Innovation and Resilience in a New Era for the Arts” led by Richard Evans, president of EmcArts and a national expert on organizational innovation; “In Conversation with Michael Kaiser” where the president of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and long-time strategy consultant shares his unique perspective with OPERA America’s President/CEO Marc A. Scorca; a Panel Discussion on Choice and Change, featuring creative approaches to dealing with economic challenges and social change; and the “Working Group Session: Choice, Change and the Creative Resurgence” where attendees chart the future of a fictional opera company, transforming it into a more vibrant and financially viable organization.

A series of sessions will provide broad perspective and specific leadership training in the areas such as audience development, fundraising, governance, marketing and artistic planning. Opera Conference 2012 is presented in association with Opera Volunteers International, and throughout the week, a number of sessions address the important role that volunteers play in the success of the local opera company. A special feature of this year’s conference is the Artist Intensive, capitalizing on the vibrant young artist training resources in Philadelphia, with sessions on opera career paths, networking strategies, feedback auditions and one-on-one mentoring meetings.

“We are delighted to hold Opera Conference 2012 again in Philadelphia, a culturally rich city with a diverse opera ecology,” stated OPERA America President and CEO Marc A. Scorca. “From Opera Company of Philadelphia, whose field-leading initiatives are encouraging the entire opera community to re-examine inherited practices; to world-class training institutions like the Curtis Institute of Music and the Academy of Vocal Arts; to small and edgy ensembles like Opera North, Inc. and Center City Opera Theater, Philadelphia’s opera environment is thriving. This environment in Philadelphia is the perfect setting to delve into the dynamic energy sparking our field today.”

“It is a privilege for all of us at the Opera Company of Philadelphia as well as our city’s wider opera community to be hosting Opera Conference 2012,” stated David B. Devan, General Director of Opera Company of Philadelphia. “As a company, we have been working hard to innovate and ensure that Philadelphia plays a significant role in the future of our art form, and the theme of this conference focuses on inspiring and challenging our industry to respond creatively to the new opportunities that lie before us. We look forward to welcoming our colleagues to Philadelphia and introducing them to the rich culture and history that our city has to offer.”

OPERA America gratefully acknowledges the support of the following Opera Conference 2012 sponsors: American Express; Amtrak; ArtsApp; Arts Consulting Group, Inc.; The Arts Insurance Program; ArtsVision; Bank of America; Boosey & Hawkes; Deloitte; Emerging Pictures; Infintech; The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts; Music Publishers Association of the United States; Opera Company of Philadelphia; POP; Schuler Shook; and William Penn Foundation.


For more information on OPERA America, visit About Us.

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