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Opera for the 80s and Beyond

Opera for the 80s and Beyond, offered from 1983 to 1989, was OPERA America’s first grant program to stimulate its Professional Company Members to produce new work and expand the American opera repertoire.

The program was the brainchild of David DiChiera, founder of Michigan Opera Theatre and then chair of OPERA America, in order to incentivize the creation and inclusion of new work on American opera stages.

Over $2.7 million was awarded in grants that allowed company leaders to attend performances of new works, meet with colleagues and creators, develop new operas through workshops, and commission or produce new works in their seasons.

Opera for the 80s and Beyond was supported by The Rockefeller Foundation, Ford Foundation, Pew Charitable Trusts, Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Fund, National Endowment for the Arts, and William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. It was discontinued in 1989.