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Press Released: 23 Oct 2014

OPERA America Announces National Opera Week 2014

Friday, October 24 – Sunday, November 2

Organizations Nationwide Engage Communities through Events and Announcements

Eric Owens, Honorary Chairman, Encourages the Public to Experience Opera

Over 160 opera companies, schools and organizations across North America will celebrate the sixth annual National Opera Week from Friday, October 24 through Sunday, November 2, 2014, with opera activities and announcements in their communities. National Opera Week is coordinated by OPERA America, the national service organization for opera.

OPERA America is delighted to announce that star bass-baritone Eric Owens is serving as the 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. If you have never been to the opera before, you owe it to yourself to experience this incredibly moving and deeply effecting art form,” he continued.

National Opera Week celebrates the vibrancy of opera in America today, and conveys the excitement and importance of opera to a 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 will be on display through the wide array of events offered. These activities include performances, family-friendly festivals, lectures, social events, social media contests and announcements of year-round community impact.

“Opera is thriving across the United States as is shown by the number and scope of organizations participating in this year’s National Opera Week,” stated OPERA America President/CEO Marc A. Scorca. “Cities large and small are home to vibrant opera organizations that serve the public inside the opera house with inspiring performances and in the community with family programs, lectures/demonstrations and performances in alternative venues. National Opera Week demonstrates and celebrates the diversity of our art form today that promises an exciting future for opera across the country.”

For descriptions of select activities and lists of participating organizations and event states, please see below.

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

A welcome video from National Opera Week 2014 Honorary Chairman Eric Owens is available at operaamerica.org/OperaWeek.

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

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.

The Glimmerglass Festival | OPERA-tion Arts (Cooperstown, NY)
OPERA-tion Arts is a free, interactive education program that culminates in an opera-inspired art show at The Cooperstown Art Association. Glimmerglass staff members join area second grade classes to offer a multimedia presentation on opera. The students then illustrate their impressions of the art form, producing everything from drawings of performers, scenic designs and costume elements to sketches of original operas.

Merola Opera Program | Merola Goes to the Movies (San Francisco, CA)
Merola Goes to the Movies brings opera masterworks to the silver screen. Attendees will glean fascinating insights about the opera from the pre-screening talk and can also enter drawings to win prizes. This screening features Bizet’s Carmen with Plácido Domingo, Julia Migenes-Johnson, Ruggero Raimondi, Faith Esham and François Le Roux. The film is directed by Francesco Rosi.

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 Omaha | Coffee Chat at the Omaha Conservatory of Music (Omaha, NE)
Hal France and friends take a look at opera from the storyteller perspective. The event will include performances by William Shomos, University of Nebraska-Lincoln director of opera; Shelby VanNordstrand, University of Nebraska-Omaha Voice faculty member; J. Gawf, Opera Omaha music director; and Dryden Meints, Opera Omaha chorus member.

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.

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.

San Diego Opera | Taste of Opera (La Jolla, CA)
Love makes the world go around, but so do music and food! Dr. Nicolas Reveles, San Diego Opera’s director of education and community engagement, and John David Peters, San Diego Opera’s scenic studio production carpenter, explore La bohème’s true love story, music, onstage props and the “live food” used in the opera. Don’t miss this elegant evening of masterful French cuisine and behind-the-scenes information from two experts.

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.

Stevens Institute of Technology | The Fandom of the Opera (Hoboken, NJ)
Mark Schubin will deliver an illustrated talk about how opera helped create the modern media world and continues to drive technological development, from electronic home entertainment in the 19th century to quantum entanglement in the 21st.

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 33 States, Districts & Provinces
Alberta (Canada)
District of Columbia
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ontario (Canada)
South Carolina

Additional activities take place online.
165 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

Aroha Philanthropies

Arizona Opera

Artichoke Dance Company

The Art Song Preservation Society of

New York

Arts Council of Washington, Missouri

The AT&T Performing Arts Center

Austin Opera

The Aviva Players

Bank Street Films

Beth Morrison Projects

Big Brothers and Sisters of Erie County

Boston Children’s Museum

Boston Conservatory 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

Heidi Lauren Duke

East Coast Chamber Opera

Erwin H. Johnson Memorial Fund Inc.

Eugene Opera

Fargo-Moorhead Opera

Suzanne Fatta

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

G. Schirmer

Gailliot Family Foundation

Georgia Southern University

The Glimmerglass Festival

GoingGoingGoneSports Gallery

Wayne Gooding

Havre de Grace Opera House Foundation

Hillman Opera Company

The International Vocal Arts Institute

Irish Classical Theatre

Matt Johnson

Kansas Aviation Museum

The Kennedy Center

Kerr Cultural Center

Kimball Foundation

KLUV Radio


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

Sherrill Milnes

Minnesota Opera

MZJ Music

The New York Children’s Opera Studio

New York Opera Alliance

Niagara Arts and Cultural Center

Nickel City OperaOn Top of the World

OPERA America

Opera Atelier

The Opera Atelier

Opera Canada Magazine

Opera Colorado

Opera in Williamsburg

Opera North

Opera Omaha

Opera on the James

Opera Parallèle

Opera Piccola of San Antonio

Opera Saratoga

Opera Tampa

Opera Theater of Pittsburgh

Opera Theatre of Saint Louis


OperaBuffs of Western New York



OPERAtunity Maryland

Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra

Eric Owens

Owlsong Productions, Inc.

Palm Beach Opera

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

San Diego Opera

San Diego State University Lyric

Opera Theatre

San Diego State University Voice Faculty

Sarasota Opera

Savannah Voice Festival

Mark Schubin

The Screening Room

The Sheila and Jody Grant Opera Discovery Program

Sherrill Milnes VOICE Programs

Nyl Smith

Smyrna Opera House

Soprano Meets Contrabass

Joan Ross Sorkin

Mira J. Spektor

Station Exchange at Home

Stevens Institute of Technology

Suites at Station Exchange

SUNY Fredonia

Diyi Tang

Texas Book Festival

Texas State Opera Theatre

Third Eye Theatre Ensemble

The Toronto Opera Club

Toronto Operetta Theater

Tri-Cities 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

VIA Records


Wagner Society of Santa Fe

Washington National Opera

Welltone New Music

Wichita Air Terminal

Wichita Grand Opera

Wichita State University Opera Theatre


Maria Zouves



For more information on OPERA America, visit About Us.

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