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Press Released: 05 Jan 2016

President/CEO Marc A. Scorca to Lead OPERA America Through 2026

Board of Directors Unanimously Approves 10-Year Contract Extension for Trailblazing Opera Executive

OPERA America, the national nonprofit service organization and leading champion for opera, is pleased to announce that the contract of its president/CEO, Marc A. Scorca, has been extended through 2026. Scorca has led OPERA America since 1990 and celebrated his 25th anniversary at the helm of the organization last year.

Since Scorca's last contract renewal, in 2009, OPERA America has undergone unprecedented growth. In 2012, the organization opened the 25,000-square-foot National Opera Center at its headquarters in Midtown Manhattan, funded by a $14.5 million capital campaign. The Opera Center now serves more than 75,000 artists each year, providing much-needed facilities and services for auditions, rehearsals, performances, recordings and meetings. In February 2015, its Audition Recital Hall was renamed after Scorca in celebration of his 25 years with the organization — an event made possible by a $2 million campaign conducted by board members, friends and colleagues.

"I am thrilled that both OPERA America and the field as a whole will benefit from Marc's continued leadership," stated Frayda B. Lindemann, chairman of OPERA America's Board of Directors. "What Marc has accomplished over his 25 years with the organization — from creating a home for opera in New York City, to providing innumerable one-on-one consultations with opera companies — is nothing short of extraordinary, and I am confident he will propel the organization to new heights over the next 10 years."

In recent years, Scorca has led the organization to embark upon several ambitious new initiatives, including the Leadership Intensive, a professional development program serving emerging opera leaders (supported by American Express); National Opera Week, an annual communications focal point for the industry (launched in 2008 by the National Endowment for the Arts); Onstage at the Opera Center, a series of performances and conversations with industry luminaries (supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs); the New Works Forum, an annual gathering of opera creators and producers (made possible by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation); and the New York Opera Alliance, a consortium of opera companies based in New York City (supported, in part, by the Howard Gilman Foundation). Scorca also oversaw the institution of two new granting programs in 2013: Opera Grants for Female Composers (supported by The Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation), which promote the works of women composing for the opera stage, and Building Opera Audiences grants (supported by the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation), which support projects that encourage new and more frequent attendance at opera performances.

Marc A. Scorca
President/CEO, OPERA America

Marc A. Scorca joined OPERA America in 1990 as CEO. During his tenure, the organization's membership has grown from 120 opera companies to nearly 2,500 organizations and individuals. OPERA America has also administered two landmark funding initiatives in support of North American operas and opera audiences, and it launched an endowment effort in 2000 to create a permanent fund dedicated to supporting new works and related audience development activities. In 2005, Scorca spearheaded OPERA America's relocation from Washington, D.C. to New York City and the subsequent construction of the National Opera Center, which opened in 2012.

Scorca has led strategic planning retreats for opera companies and other cultural institutions internationally, and has participated on panels for federal, state and local funding agencies, as well as for numerous private organizations. He also played an instrumental role in the founding of Opera.ca and Opera Europa, OPERA America's sister organizations. A strong advocate of collaboration, Scorca has led several cross-disciplinary projects, including the Performing Arts Research Coalition and the National Performing Arts Convention (2004 and 2008). He has served as a member of the U.S. delegation to UNESCO and currently serves as an officer of the Performing Arts Alliance, as a member of the Board of Overseers of the Curtis Institute of Music and on the Music Advisory Board of Hunter College (CUNY). Due in large part to Scorca's contributions to the organization, OPERA America was inducted into the American Classical Music Hall of Fame in 2013. Scorca attended Amherst College, where he graduated with high honors in both history and music.

In February 2015, OPERA America's Audition Recital Hall, the physical and metaphorical heart of the National Opera Center, was named in honor of Marc A. Scorca in celebration of his 25th anniversary at the helm of the organization. The dedication ceremony featured a moving video tribute to Scorca's career, which may be viewed on OPERA America's YouTube channel.


For more information on OPERA America, visit About Us.

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