National Opera Week 2014 Breaks Records
More Than 200 Organizations Celebrated Opera
Activities, Contests and Announcements Reached Across the Country
Eric Owens, Honorary Chairman, Encouraged the Public to Experience Opera
This year marked the most successful National Opera Week yet, smashing previous participation records. From Friday, October 24 through Sunday, November 2, 2014, 205 opera companies, schools and organizations across North America presented performances, activities, contests and announcements in 37 states to celebrate opera.
First held in 2009, National Opera Week is an annual event coordinated by OPERA America, the national service organization for opera. National Opera Week celebrates the vibrancy of opera in America today, and conveys the excitement and importance of opera to a wide national audience.
The strength and diversity of established opera companies, community opera ensembles, opera training programs, and opera-related learning and social groups across North America were on display through the wide array of events offered. These activities included performances, family-friendly festivals, lectures, social events, social media contests and announcements of year-round community impact.
Star bass-baritone Eric Owens served as Honorary Chairman of National Opera Week 2014. “I’ll never forget my first time attending a live opera performance. It was a life-changing experience, simply for having heard the human voice in all of its glorious splendor,” stated Owens. “Opera is an all-encompassing art form — it combines music with theater and dance and sets and lighting in a way that no other musical performance does,” he continued.
A welcome message from Eric Owens is available at operaamerica.org/OperaWeek.
To highlight many examples of opera’s current vitality, OPERA America President/CEO Marc A. Scorca issued a statement on Friday, October 31 on the state of the opera field, which reads in part:
“Over recent months, companies have navigated numerous obstacles to bring exciting performances by outstanding artists to appreciative audiences; a number of them are still struggling to under the weight of deficits that accumulated through the years of the Great Recession. Without oversimplifying the challenges that must be addressed, opera’s vitality is not limited to National Opera Week. Artistically, the field has never been more vibrant. Companies are implementing new strategies to build attendance at the same time that public events have demonstrated a tremendous interest in the art form.”
National Opera Week 2015 takes place from Friday, October 23 to Sunday, November 1, 2015.
For descriptions of selected activities and lists of participating organizations and event states, please see below.
View the full list of National Opera Week 2014 activities at operaamerica.org/OperaWeek.
Participate in the National Opera Week conversation on Twitter with #OperaWeek.
National Opera Week 2015
National Opera Week 2015 will be held from Friday, October 23 through Sunday, November 1, 2015. OPERA America encourages all organizations, companies and individuals to participate in this celebration of opera. There is no fee to participate in National Opera Week and membership in OPERA America is not required. More information will be available at operaamerica.org/OperaWeek.
Amarillo Opera | Bon Appétit! (Amarillo, TX)
Bon Appétit! is a charming short opera based on one of Julia Child’s best-loved television shows. Attendees enjoyed a delicious evening of laughter as the flamboyant master chef taught the makings of a classic French chocolate cake — Le Gâteau au Chocolat L’Éminence Brune.
The Dallas Opera | Simulcast at Klyde Warren Park (Dallas, TX)
Attendees viewed a live simulcast of The Marriage of Figaro and a screening of the 1945 Three Stooges classic Micro-Phonies, in addition to participating in a “Worst Bridesmaid’s Dress Ever” contest and a bouquet toss. Before the simulcast, attendees could take advantage of a variety of wining and dining options from local food trucks.
Joyce DiDonato | World Series National Anthem, Game 7 (Kansas City, MO; TV)
Opera superstar, Kansas City native and avid baseball fan Joyce DiDonato sang the national anthem before the start of Game 7 of the World Series.
G. Schirmer/AMP Music Sales Classical | Opera Aria Give-Away (online)
G. Schirmer offered free downloads of select arias from operas by Daniel Catán as well as an opera trivia contest on Facebook and Twitter with opera scores and CDs as prizes.
Going Going Gone Sports Gallery | Opera & Baseball (New York, NY)
Opera and technology expert and baseball enthusiast Mark Schubin delivered an illustrated talk about the amazing joint histories of opera and baseball. A video recording of this talk is available on YouTube.
Lyric Opera of Chicago | #HoldThatHighNote (online)
Lyric Opera of Chicago asked its social media followers to film a short video singing a note and tagging it with @LyricOpera on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. Participants were encouraged to be as creative as possible, using costumes, props or unique locations. The person with the most creative video won two free tickets to select dates of Lyric productions this season.
Minnesota Opera | Social Media Preview Night (Minneapolis, MN; online)
Minnesota Opera welcomed select press members, bloggers and social media influencers to its final dress rehearsal to participate in live tweeting, posting to Facebook, blogging, note taking and illustrating. Prior to the rehearsal, a member of the Minnesota Opera creative team spoke about the production and answered questions from the group during an informal meet and greet.
OperaBuffs of Western New York | Wayward Sisters (Buffalo, NY)
Contralto Suzanne Fatta took a look at portrayals of witchcraft, magic and folk religions in opera and music-drama throughout the Western canon — from Ulrica and Dido’s Sorceress to Carmen reading the tarot cards. Special attention was payed to the range/fach, character and musical themes attached to these female roles. During the lecture, attendees enjoyed live performances of opera arias.
OperaDelaware | Who’s Afraid of Opera? (Wilmington, DE)
From Sesame Street to Wall Street, from British Airways to Bugs Bunny — opera has been part of your vocabulary all along! OperaDelaware explored some of the most celebrated moments of opera in pop culture, as well as suggestions for what should become part of the mainstream.
Opera Parallèle | My Head is Full of Colors (San Francisco, CA)
Opera Parallèle’s Hands-on-Opera program partnered with fourth graders to present its first commissioned children’s opera. Written for soprano, baritone and a children’s chorus, My Head is Full of Colors was composed by Chris Pratorius with a libretto by Opera Parallèle’s own Nicole Paiement.
Opera Southwest | Amleto (Albuquerque, NM)
Hamlet (Amleto) is an operatic adaptation of the Shakespearean classic that had been lost to history for over 140 years until its recent rediscovery by OSW Artistic Director Anthony Barrese. This production, the work’s American premiere, was the first time it had been presented anywhere in the world since 1871.
Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra | Orlando Phil Shares Its Opera Side (online)
Through its interactive website and social media activity, Orlando Philharmonic showcased the integral role of opera in its current season.
Palm Beach Opera | Opera Day at the Library (West Palm Beach, FL)
In an afternoon filled with fun activities for children of all ages, Palm Beach Opera presented an interactive reading of A Soup Opera by Jim Gill, hosted art stations for free creative expression and gave away tickets for a family performance of The Daughter of the Regiment.
The Santa Fe Opera | Young Voices of The Santa Fe Opera on the Town (Santa Fe, NM)
To celebrate National Opera Week, the Young Voices of The Santa Fe Opera hit the town. On November 1, these talented high school students performed at eight different public locations in Albuquerque.
Sarasota Opera | Understanding Opera: Getting Opera on the Stage (Sarasota, FL)
Greg Trupiano, Sarasota Opera’s director of artistic administration, introduced attendees to essential elements of producing an opera. Attendees also heard from the lighting designer, chorus master and a member of the music staff to learn more about how their contributions make productions possible.
Tulsa Opera | Big Sing (Tulsa, OK)
Tulsa Opera kicked off a new program that gave the general public the opportunity to sing with professional opera singers and chorus members. At each Big Sing event, participants learned a piece of choral music and performed it — all in less than half an hour.
Utah Opera | Halloween Carnival (Salt Lake City, UT)
Utah Opera held a musically themed Halloween Carnival at its production studios on October 29. There were costume contests, face painting by costume artists, photo ops in front of opera scenes, spooky games and prizes. Admission was free with the donation of a can of food for the Utah Food Bank.
Wichita Grand Opera | Fright Flight (Wichita, KS)
Wichita Grand Opera and the Kansas Aviation Museum teamed up for Fright Flight — an evening of spooky fun in the historic, haunted Wichita Air Terminal. The evening included live performances of some of opera’s eeriest arias, walk-throughs of the haunted terminal areas, tarot readings, a best costume contest, food and dancing.
|Activities in 37 States, Districts & Provinces|
District of Columbia
Additional activities took place on TV, radio and online.
|National Opera Week Partners|
Amarillo Museum of Art
Amberleigh Retirement Community at Williamsville
The American Center for Puccini Studies
The American Guild of Organists
American Opera Projects
Amherst Chamber Orchestra
AMP Music Sales Classical
The Art Song Preservation Society of New York
Artichoke Dance Company
Arts Council of Washington, Missouri
The AT&T Performing Arts Center
Atlanta Music Project
The Aviva Players
Bank Street Films
Bel Cantanti Opera
Berkshire Opera Festival
Beth Morrison Projects
Big Brothers and Sisters of Erie County
Boston Children’s Museum
Boston Conservatory Opera
Boston Lyric Opera
Boston Opera Collaborative
Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras
Buffalo and Erie County Library
Buffalo Master Chorale
Buffalo Niagara Youth Chorus
Buffalo Opera Unlimited
Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra
The Camerata di Sant’Antonio
Camp Hill Light Opera Experience
Canadian Institute of Czech Music
Canadian Opera Company
Celebrate National Opera Week Buffalo/Niagara Region
The Cheektowaga Symphony
Chopin Singing Society
Combined Rotary of Pensacola
Connecticut Concert Opera
The Cooperstown Art Association
Creative Arts Charter School
Cutting Edge Concerts New Music Festival
The Dallas Opera
dell’Arte Opera Ensemble
Heidi Lauren Duke
East Coast Chamber Opera
Erwin H. Johnson Memorial Fund Inc.
First Presbyterian Church at Hilton Head
Florentine Opera Company
Florida Grand Opera
The Fontenelle Forest
Forest Room 5
Frank E. Merriweather, Jr. Library
Fredonia College Choir
Fresco Opera Theatre
Gailliot Family Foundation
Georgia Southern University
The Glimmerglass Festival
Golden Gate Opera
Havre de Grace Opera House Foundation
Hillman Opera Company
Hinesville Lyric Opera
The International Vocal Arts Institute
Irish Classical Theatre
The Juilliard School
Kansas Aviation Museum
The Kennedy Center
Kenwood Symphony Orchestra
Kerr Cultural Center
KMFA, Classical 89.5
Live and Learn Bethesda
Los Angeles Opera
Lyric Opera of Chicago
Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach
Marble City Opera
Master the Possibilities Education Center
Merola Opera Program
The Metropolitan Opera Guild
Minnesota Concert Opera
National Endowment for the Arts
The New York Children’s Opera Studio
New York Opera Alliance
Niagara Arts and Cultural Center
Nickel City Opera
On Top of the World
The Opera Atelier
Opera Canada Magazine
Opera in Williamsburg
Opera on Tap Seattle
Opera on the James
Opera Piccola of San Antonio
Opera Theater of Pittsburgh
Opera Theatre of Montclair
Opera Theatre of Saint Louis
OPERA THINK TANK
Opera Volunteers International
OperaBuffs of Western New York
Orlando Music Institute
Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra
Owlsong Productions, Inc.Palm Beach Opera
Penn State College of Performing Arts
Players Theatre Festival of Short Plays
Point Loma Opera Theatre
Point Loma University of the Nazarene
Reimagining Opera for Kids
Riviera Beach Library
Rochester Opera Guild
San Diego Opera
San Diego State University Lyric Opera Theatre
San Diego State University Voice Faculty
The Santa Fe Opera
Savannah Voice Festival
The Screening Room
The Sheila and Jody Grant Opera Discovery Program
Sherrill Milnes VOICE Programs
Skylight Music Theatre
Smyrna Opera House
Soprano Meets Contrabass
Joan Ross Sorkin
Mira J. Spektor
Station Exchange at Home
Stevens Institute of Technology
Suites at Station Exchange
Texas Book Festival
Texas State Opera Theatre
Third Eye Theatre Ensemble
The Toronto Opera Club
Toronto Operetta Theater
The University of Alabama Opera Theatre
University of Nebraska, Lincoln
University of Nebraska, Omaha
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
University of North Texas
University of Northern Colorado Opera Theatre
The University of Tennessee at Knoxville
Utah Symphony | Utah Opera
Voicebox: Opera in Concert
Wagner Society of Santa Fe
Washington National Opera
Welltone New Music
Wichita Air Terminal
Wichita Grand Opera
Wichita State University Opera Theatre
For more information on OPERA America, visit About Us.
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