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Press Released: 19 Aug 2022

Opera Luminaries, Past and Present, Convene for OPERA America Salutes Awards Dinner

The one-night-only celebration on October 21, 2022, honors inaugural Opera Hall of Fame Inductees and National Opera Trustee Recognition Award Winners 

OPERA America invites opera enthusiasts and professionals to celebrate some of the field’s most accomplished figures at the OPERA America Salutes awards dinner on Friday, October 21, 2022, at the esteemed University Club of New York in Manhattan.

Hosted by Grammy Award-winning mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves, OPERA America Salutes will feature the induction of the inaugural members of the Opera Hall of Fame and celebration of the most recent winners of the National Opera Trustee Recognition Awards. The evening will include cocktails, dinner, an awards ceremony, and special musical performances by artists of the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program.

The evening’s honorees are:

Opera Hall of Fame

Patricia K. Beggs, general director
Grace Bumbry, soprano and teacher
Matthew Epstein, impresario and artistic director
Simon Estes, bass-baritone and teacher
Gordon Getty, composer and philanthropist
David Gockley, general director
Camille LaBarre, trustee and philanthropist
George Shirley, tenor and teacher
Dawn Upshaw, soprano and teacher
Roma Wittcoff, trustee and philanthropist

Reri Grist, soprano and teacher
Charles MacKay, general director
Marlena Malas, voice teacher
Virginia Zeani, soprano and teacher

National Opera Trustee Recognition Awards

Robert Ellis, San Francisco Opera
Elba Haid, Manitoba Opera
Linda Koehn, Des Moines Metro Opera
Phil Meyer, Pacific Opera Project
Chris and Anita Murray, Opera Las Vegas
H. Bernt von Ohlen, Minnesota Opera

Gary Casagrande, MassOpera
Arlene Ferebee, Opera Carolina
John Fitzgerald, IN Series
Susan G. Marineau, The Santa Fe Opera
Ranney Mize, New Orleans Opera
Carey Newman, Pacific Opera Victoria

“OPERA America is thrilled to gather once again to celebrate some of the most influential members of the North American opera community,” expressed Marc A. Scorca, president and CEO of OPERA America. “These artists, administrators, trustees, and advocates have shaped the landscape of opera that we enjoy today. We have been waiting through the pandemic to give them their moment in the spotlight, and the time is finally here for what will surely be an unforgettable evening.”

OPERA America Salutes marks the conclusion of OPERA America’s extended 50th Anniversary (1970‒2020) celebration. Launched in the fall of 2019 but interrupted by the pandemic, OPERA America’s 50th Anniversary has been dedicated to showcasing the legacy and achievements of the American opera industry. The Opera Hall of Fame, an Oral History Project, special retrospective content, and more are available at operaamerica.org/50thAnniversary.

OPERA America Salutes is open to the public with single tickets ($250+) and tables ($5,000+) available for purchase at operaamerica.org/OASalutes; reservations are required by September 26, 2022. Proceeds from the event will support the next generation of opera leaders by sustaining OPERA America’s professional development programs, including the Leadership Intensive, New General Director Roundtable, and Mentorship Programs. OPERA America is grateful for the generosity of the members of its Host Committee (listed below) who have sponsored tables for the event:

C. Graham Berwind, III Jane A. Robinson
Cincinnati Opera Marc A. Scorca and Joe Alvarez
Karin Eames Jeri Sedlar
David and Frances Ertel Sarah Billinghurst Solomon
Betty and Jean-Marie Eveillard Jill and Bill Steinberg
Carol F. Henry Shoshana B. Tancer
Jane Stieren Lacy Roma B. Wittcoff
Virginia and Nix Lauridsen Carole J. Yaley
Dr. Frayda B. Lindemann Ann Ziff
Susan F. and William C. Morris Anonymous
Noémi Neidorff  


OPERA America Salutes is part of OPERA America’s National Trustee Weekend (October 19‒22), which invites patrons, trustees, and guests from across North America to attend the National Trustee Forum and special events alongside performances of Medea, Idomeneo, and Peter Grimes at the Metropolitan Opera and 1776 at Roundabout Theatre Company. More information is available at operaamerica.org/NTW.

Originally scheduled for March 2022, OPERA America Salutes and National Trustee Weekend activities were postponed to October for the safety of all involved.


For more information on OPERA America, visit About Us.

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