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Press Released: 04 Nov 2014

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.

Select Activities

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
Alberta (Canada)
District of Columbia
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ontario (Canada)
South Carolina

Additional activities took place on TV, radio and online.
National Opera Week Partners

Amarillo Museum of Art

Amarillo Opera

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

Arizona Opera

Aroha Philanthropies

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

Auditorium Theatre

Austin Opera

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

Calgary Opera

The Camerata di Sant’Antonio

Camp Hill Light Opera Experience

Canadian Institute of Czech Music

Canadian Opera Company

Capstone Village

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

Joyce DiDonato

Heidi Lauren Duke

East Coast Chamber Opera


Erwin H. Johnson Memorial Fund Inc.

Eugene Opera

Suzanne Fatta

Fargo-Moorhead Opera

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

G. Schirmer

Gailliot Family Foundation

Georgia Southern University

The Glimmerglass Festival

GoingGoingGoneSports Gallery

Golden Gate Opera

Wayne Gooding

Havre de Grace Opera House Foundation

Hillman Opera Company

Hinesville Lyric Opera

The International Vocal Arts Institute

Irish Classical Theatre

Matt Johnson

The Juilliard School

Kansas Aviation Museum

The Kennedy Center

Kenwood Symphony Orchestra

Kerr Cultural Center

Kimball Foundation

KLUV Radio

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

Mariachi Conservatory

Master the Possibilities Education Center

Merola Opera Program

The Metropolitan Opera Guild

Sherrill Milnes

Minnesota Concert Opera

Minnesota Opera

MZJ Music

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

OPERA America

Opera Atelier

The Opera Atelier

Opera Bracelets

Opera Canada Magazine

Opera Colorado

Opera Columbus

Opera in Williamsburg

Opera Memphis

Opera News

Opera North

Opera Omaha

Opera on Tap Seattle

Opera on the James

Opera Parallèle

Opera Philadelphia

Opera Piccola of San Antonio

Opera Saratoga

Opera Southwest

Opera Tampa

Opera Theater of Pittsburgh

Opera Theatre of Montclair

Opera Theatre of Saint Louis


Opera Volunteers International

OperaBuffs of Western New York



OPERAtunity Maryland


Orlando Music Institute

Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra

Eric Owens

Owlsong Productions, Inc.Palm Beach Opera

Penn State College of Performing Arts

Pensacola Opera

Performance EmPowering

Piedmont Opera

Players Theatre Festival of Short Plays

Point Loma Opera Theatre

Point Loma University of the Nazarene

Ravinia Festival

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

Sarasota Opera

Savannah Voice Festival

Mark Schubin

The Screening Room

The Sheila and Jody Grant Opera Discovery Program

Sherrill Milnes VOICE Programs

Skylight Music Theatre

Nyl Smith

Smyrna Opera House

Soprano Meets Contrabass

Joan Ross Sorkin

Mira J. Spektor

Station Exchange at Home

Stevens Institute of Technology

Straz Center

Suites at Station Exchange

SUNY Fredonia

SUNY Purchase

Syracuse Opera

Tacoma Opera

Diyi Tang

Texas Book Festival

Texas State Opera Theatre

Third Eye Theatre Ensemble

The Toronto Opera Club

Toronto Operetta Theater

Tri-Cities Opera

Tulsa Opera

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

VIA Records


Voicebox: Opera in Concert

Waffle Opera

Wagner Society of Santa Fe

Washington National Opera

Welltone New Music

Wichita Air Terminal

Wichita Grand Opera

Wichita State University Opera Theatre


Maria Zouves



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