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Ausrine Stundyte as Cio-Cio-San, Elizabeth Janes as Butterfly’s child and Sarah Larsen as Suzuki in Seattle Opera's production of Puccini's Madama Butterfly. Photo by Elise Bakketun.
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Would you like your press releases and announcements featured on the OPERA America website and in OperaLink? Submit the url to your announcement in the "Submit a Press Release" section. Press releases must be hosted on your own site or through a third-party site like Google Docs or PitchEngine. Please contact Patricia K. Johnson at PKJohnson@operaamerica.org with questions.
Please send all season announcements to Alexa B. Antopol (EAntopol@operaamerica.org), Reference & Research Librarian.
Main Page Headlines
San Diego Opera Board Meeting Leads To Shake Up In Leadership
Angela Carone | KPBSinewsource.org
A meeting of the San Diego Opera’s board of directors Thursday resulted in a shakeup in the organization’s top leadership spots. Board President Karen Cohn walked out of the meeting along with a group of other members. Another board member told KPBS that Cohn had resigned. Board member Faye Wilson also walked out early, as did opera director Ian Campbell. According to sources who did not wish to be named, roughly 30 of the board’s 50 members remain active with the group.
Plan In The Works To Save San Diego Opera
Marissa Cabrera, Maureen Cavanaugh, Peggy PicoKPBS.org
The season is finished, and in two weeks the San Diego Opera is set to shutdown completely on April 29. That's the date the organization's board of directors set to cease operations. But at least two board members want to postpone and possibly avert the closing of the 49-year-old institution.
McDonald’s, opera, and the decline of western culture
Boyd CatheyCommunities Digital News
Last November, London’s The Daily Telegraph ran a slight piece about the efforts of a McDonald’s restaurant in Australia to deter rowdy teenagers from gathering there to party late at night.
Want to sing with Opera Theatre? Here's your chance
Sarah Bryan MillerSt. Louis Post-Dispatch
They're calling it the "First Annual," which is always dangerous. But Opera Theatre of St. Louis's first-ever "Spring Sing" is a great idea that could well take off.
Robopera: Boerum Hill opera combines androids and arias
Megan RieszBrooklyn Daily
Bow down to your new robot opera-lords. On April 22, a Boerum Hill theater will play host to a one-act opera featuring a futuristic world chock-full of biomorphic androids who perform menial household duties and have sex on command. The production should inspire some laughs, said the show’s artistic director, but it is also deadly serious.
James Levine: 'I doubted I'd ever make it back'
John AllisonThe Telegraph
When James Levine conducts Così fan tutte at the Metropolitan Opera later this month, audiences in New York – and worldwide, thanks to 'The Met: Live in HD' cinema transmission on April 26 – will be witnessing something both routine and remarkable.
San Diego Opera explored rebranding in 2013
staffiNewssource
A web-based consumer study, commissioned by the San Diego Opera company last summer, found potential opera-goers want reasonably priced tickets and a more accessible and welcoming experience for patrons and their families.
Classical grad in experimental opera concert
Victor DeRubeisItemLive.com
Lynn Classical graduate Tyler Gioacchini will be singing in an opera tonight at Salem State University, and he has absolutely no idea how the story will turn out. That’s just fine with him, since he’s going to be among the pioneers of a musical experiment in which the audience will determine the plot and the outcome. It’s called #SSUBuildsAnOpera, and Gioacchini and his castmates will team up with the Salem State Chamber Orchestra and its conductor, Dr. Mary-Jo Grenfell, for an experience that’s believed to be the first of its kind anywhere.
Why did management at the San Diego Opera sit on valuable marketing information?
JW AugustABC 10 News: San Diego
It was called the Strategic Planning Committee and it was created to review all the pressing issues involving the San Diego Opera, issues like what was money being spent on, where it was spent and whether the marketing program made sense. All of this information was tightly controlled by the management team, in particular the woman numerous sources call the power behind the “throne” of the San Diego Opera, Faye Wilson.
Deals by the Incoming La Scala Chief Cause a Stir
Gaia Pianigiani and Rebecca SchmidThe New York Times
Alexander Pereira hasn’t even begun his first season as general manager of La Scala and his stewardship is already generating controversy. Mr. Pereira, who is scheduled to take over the Milan opera house on Oct. 1, signed an agreement to buy four productions for La Scala from the Salzburg Festival, where he is the director, without the approval of the Italian authorities, according to La Scala and the mayor of Milan.
Wearable tech gloves that will change the way we make music
Eileen BrownZDNet
Wearable technology meets the music industry in the form of these gloves. They include motion technology that helps you to get closer to the music that you want to make.
IRS chief committed to new rules for nonprofits despite conservative resistance
Josh HicksWashington Post
The Internal Revenue Service is forging ahead with plans to develop new rules limiting the political activities of tax-exempt groups, despite pressure from conservatives to abandon the effort, the agency’s director said Wednesday.
Many Groups Seek New Sources of Funds as Economy Recovers, Study Finds
Ben GoseChronicle of Philanthropy
Though many groups hoped the economic recovery would help shore up their finances, the study shows they are realizing that the financial downturn wasn’t the only source of their financial woes. As a result, they are trying to fashion new approaches to avoid relying so heavily on traditional sources of support like government grants and contracts.
Board Meeting Leads To Shake Up In San Diego Opera Leadership
Angela CaroneKPBS.org

There appears to have been a shake-up in the leadership of the San Diego Opera.

Karen Cohn, the chair of the opera board, walked out of a board meeting being held Thursday afternoon at a La Jolla hotel. Another board member told KPBS that she had resigned. Board member Faye Wilson also walked out early, as did opera director Ian Campbell.

Board pursues steps to save the opera
Pam KragenSan Diego Union-Tribune

4:50 p.m.April 17, 2014  Updated7:15 p.m.
At a chaotic board meeting in La Jolla, president Karen Cohn resigns, is replaced by Carol Lazier

Festival Opera: A Rare Holocaust Operatic Commemoration
Jason Victor SerinusSan Francisco Classical Voice
Festival Opera may be cash-strapped these days, but it’s hardly wanting for creative drive and acumen. 
Five highlights of the opera season
Robert HarrisThe Globe and Mail
Canadian Opera Company: Hercules

Director Peter Sellars takes a Sophoclean tragedy about a Greek hero, 
Class, Race, and Classical Music: the Debate
Tom ServiceThe Guardian
Important, this: a debate on Class, Race, and Classical Music hosted by London Music Masters at the English Speaking Union. Candace Allen (whose piece on this crucial subject you can read here), violinist Tai Murray, and LMM’s Executive Director, Rob Adediran, were the panelists who inspired a wide-ranging, controversial, and challenging debate. Up for discussion, among much else, were the idea of who classical music is for, why we think it’s so important for the whole of society to have access to it, and what the institutions of music education and musical excellence can do to become part of people’s lives in areas of economic impoverishment and communities who wouldn’t otherwise have access or opportunity to be involved in this music.
When Are You Over-the-Hill? Try Age 24
Candy SagonAARP Blog
Think you should worry about your brain slowing down post-age 50? Too late. It’s already started at age 24. Or at least that’s what a Canadian study of players of a hyper-competitive computer game has found. Apparently our cognitive motor skills — meaning the speed at which we process something and then react to it — peak by age 24, then begin to slowly diminish.
Arts Leadership and the Changing Social Contract
Emiko OnoARTSblog
Since I began working in the arts in 2001, there has been a subtle but constant pressure on the sector to transform that can be both distressing and motivating. I will never forget the time in 2003 when Mark O’Neill, then the Head of Museums and Galleries for the city of Glasgow (Scotland), described how a population of shipyard workers reported that they did not attend a nearby museum because the price of admission was too expensive. The nauseating twist was that the museum did not have an admission fee. Last week, this story came to mind again as I spoke with Susie Medak, managing director of Berkeley Repertory Theatre and an arts leader with more than 25 years of experience. Susie’s hypothesis—that the tacit social contract between society and arts organizations is changing—is one I have found to be incredibly useful. The premise of her theory is that it is no longer sufficient for arts organizations to provide distinctive work, attract an audience, and secure financial support—it needs to include wider swaths of people who are largely not involved.
The Next Generation of Major Donors to Museums: Interview with David Gelles
Nina SimonMuseum 2.0
Last week's New York Times special section on museums featured a lead article by David Gelles on Wooing a New Generation of Museum Patrons. In the article, David discussed ways that several large art museums are working to attract major donors and board members in their 30s and 40s. The article both energized and frustrated me. I was excited to see coverage of an important issue of generational shift, but I was frustrated that it appeared to perpetuate traditional, clubbish standards of donor cultivation. I was curious to learn more about what was behind the article.
Unpaid Interns Gain the Right to Sue
Michael GrynbaumThe New York Times
Thousands of interns poised to flood New York City’s offices and institutions this summer may be unpaid. But come June, their legal standing will be improved. Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday signed into law a measure intended to ensure that unpaid interns in the city will have the right to sue if they are harassed or discriminated against by an employer — a right, it turns out, that was not reflected in the city’s civil rights code.
Arianna Huffington on the Struggle to Find Work-Life Balance
Rachel GillettFast Company
Arianna Huffington believes we are living in a brave new world--today's work environment is somewhere between the dark ages and the renaissance. The dark ages, she says, include environments and a culture fueled by stress, but she maintains that in order for businesses and individuals to thrive we must transition to a "renaissance" time of mindful living and working.
Twitter Rolls Out Its Facebook-Like Profile Redesign
Stan SchroederMashable
Twitter is gradually rolling out a major redesign of user profiles, starting on Tuesday. The new look, which Twitter was testing in February, adds a lot more user information and several new features — and it looks quite similar to Facebook's user profiles. The new profile features a larger user photo and customizable header image. Twitter highlights your tweets that have the most engagement by displaying them slightly larger than the rest. You can also pin one of your tweets to the top of the page.
9 Little-Known Google Tools You Should Be Using
Sam ColtPolicyMic
If you've explored Google, you know that it's much more than a search engine. With its wide range of extraordinary tools, Google is the backbone of the startup world, as entrepreneurs use these services to make their business rock. The great part is, so can you.
How Do I Get the Press to Cover My Company?
Maryam Banikarim and Maxine BédatFast Company
Sure, you are in love with your company, but you won't be successful unless you get noticed by the rset of the world -- and that starts with getting some coverage in the media. CMO of Gannett Maryam Banikarim and cofounder of fashion site Zady, Maxine Bédat answer this week's read question.
Could deal to save the opera be near?
Pam KragenSan Diego Union-Tribune
A sharply reduced budget, innovative programming and a list of donors who will step up if San Diego Opera’s current leaders are replaced might be enough to rescue the company from shutdown in two weeks, a board member said Tuesday. Carol Lazier, the San Diego Opera board member who pledged $1 million to save the company on April 4, said she and others will make that case to the full board on Thursday. She said she’s “hopeful” they can persuade the panel to grant a stay of execution.
Why Brainstorming Doesn't Work — And What You Should Do Instead
Elizabeth NicholasPolicyMic
There's a popular myth that getting people together and sharing ideas will boost productivity and lead to innovative solutions. But this old-fashioned way of thinking about groupwork isn't true. Brainstorming doesn't work.
The Met: What is to be done?
Dawn FataleParterreBox.com
Coming as Peter Gelb did from the music industry, opera lovers hoped that he would display a more distinctive knack for casting and an improved talent pipeline than Joe Volpe offered during the waning years of his tenure. Still, that list of major singers who enjoy productive ongoing relationship with the house has some pretty significant gaps.
Opera's 'Oscars'
Corinne RameyThe Wall Street Journal.
David Hyde Pierce and Joyce DiDonato Host the Opera News Awards
Closing an Opera With 'Dignity'
John M. EgerHuffington Post
After 49 years, the San Diego Opera announced a few weeks ago, it was closing its doors. Ian Campbell, the Opera's CEO and artistic director, said:

"The whole idea is to exit with dignity. ... Exiting with dignity is critical to us. This city doesn't need a bankrupt opera company."

This idea of closing "with dignity" was echoed by Karen Cohn, chairwoman of the San Diego Opera.
UT opera singers stage free, live performance
Kritika Pramod KulshresthaThe Daily Texan
A trip to the SFC Farmers’ Market East last Tuesday would have allowed shoppers to witness a free live opera performance by UT students. UT’s Butler Opera Center, in collaboration with the Austin Lyric Opera, stage a free performance of “The Elixir Project,” which is based off of Italian composer Donizetti’s “The Elixir of Love” at nine venues across Austin. The final performance will be at the Mexican American Cultural Center this Tuesday.
Opera hits high note with 70 auditioning for Project Puccini
Pam McKayRockhampton Morning Bulletin
CYNDI Thomson works in cartography.

She is hoping her latest vocal venture could map a new course for her artistic career.

The talented Rockhampton performer was among the first of more than 70 budding artists who auditioned for a prized role in the chorus of Opera Queensland's production of La bohème.
Teaching music is good for business and law students
Kathryn FehrmanSan Diego Source
There have been more articles recently about schools cutting arts and music budgets. As though music is expendable. As though we and our children can live without it.
Stop Blaming Philanthropists for the Opera and 2015 Meltdowns
Scott LewisVoice of San Diego
The other day, John Lamb at CityBeat wondered what happened to the San Diego Opera and whether it could be linked to what happened to Balboa Park Celebration Inc., the entity charged with putting on a grand party to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of the 1915 Panama California Exposition.
Who Brands Your Nonprofit? Who Tells Its Story and How?
Carlo M. CuestaNonprofit Quarterly
Organizational identity within the nonprofit sector is also shaped by stories. Unfortunately, the very makeup of the institution and the demands to prove the value, relevancy and effectiveness of its work creates the need for a simplified narrative—one that veers away from the complexity of addressing difficult, sometimes unsolvable issues toward a heroic journey that leads to proof of success. 
Venerable Nonprofit Makes Dumb Mistakes – Can We Learn from Them?
Rob MeiksinsNonprofit Quarterly
The American Academy of Arts and Sciences is a venerable institution celebrating the best and brightest minds in the world. Its website boasts that its membership includes more than 250 Nobel laureates and 65 Pulitzer Prize winners it still made some dumb mistakes in the board’s oversight of the organization’s president and CEO, Leslie Cohen Berlowitz.
Opera production director a skilled mentor
Melissa DanielsTribLive
Jerry Sherk and Tara Kovach met behind the scenes at the opera. Then they fell in love over the phone.
He was the longtime stage manager for the San Francisco Opera. She was an assistant stage manager there for two seasons. When Kovach began a freelance career, traveling across the country, she called him almost every day.
How to Explain Social Networks to Non-Users (Without Making Them Feel Stupid)
Evan LePageHootSuite Blog
Moms are being unfairly maligned online. Posts promising to explain tech tools and trends are now too often framed as, “How would you explain this to your mom.” Examples include the widely circulated “Mom This is How Twitter Works,” to The New York Times’ recent post “How to Explain Bitcoin to Your Mom.” The “mom” character in these pieces is a demographic stand-in for unsophisticated users, but this ignores the reality of women and technology.
Utah Opera Hosts 13th Annual Children's Opera Showcase Tonight
Opera News desk staffBroadwayWorld.com
Utah Opera will give local elementary school students a chance to take the spotlight to perform original operas in a professional theatre. The thirteenth annual Children's Opera Showcase will take place Tuesday, April 15, 2014, at 6:30 PM in the Jeanné Wagner Theatre located in the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center (138 West 300 South).
GRINDR The Opera to Premiere at The West End Cabaret, 5/2-3
Opera News desk staffBroadwayworld.com
Libertine Idol Productions and Charles Czarnecki are presenting the world premiere of Erik Johannes von Ransom's GRINDR The Opera in concert on May 2nd and 3rd at The West End Cabaret, with direction by Rachel Klein. GRINDR is an unauthorized musical parody of the eponymous gay hook-up app that has sweepingly altered the course of modern gay intimacy.
Nicole Paiement: The Bright New Force of Opera Parallèle
Lisa HoustonSan Francisco Classical Voice
At a time when many performing organizations are struggling to stay afloat, and others are closing their doors altogether, there’s a young company in town gaining momentum: Opera Parallèle (or OP). It has found that audiences appreciate the opportunity to see modern works that are rarely performed or brand new, with high musical standards and casts composed of world-class singers. The company’s success is a reflection of its founder, artistic director, and conductor Nicole Paiement’s commitment to taking contemporary opera to the wider audience she so deeply feels it deserves. Paiement is a guest conductor with companies such as Dallas Opera and Washington National Opera, and is on the faculties of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and UC Santa Cruz. As the director of the Blueprint Series at the Conservatory, she is actively involved in the commission and execution of new works. Later this month, she will conduct a new production of a double bill of Kurt Weil’s Mahagonny Songspiel [(1927) and Poulenc’s Les Mamelles de Terésias (1944) at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. In June, the company will present the American premiere of Anya 17, by British composer Andrew Gorb, which contains a plot having to do with sex trafficking in the European Union. 
5 Myths About the Opera
Eduard SchmiegeVoice of San Diego
The future of the San Diego Opera hangs in the balance, and there’s been no shortage of speculation on the causes and implications of such a loss. But in reporting those circumstances, the media has helped perpetuate five myths, represented as facts. Let’s address them here, and dispense with them once and for all.
Death Knell for Opera in San Diego After 49 Years
Adam NagourneyNew York Times
After a three-week battle that convulsed the community here and subjected its once revered opera company to widespread derision and accusations of mismanagement — Ian D. Campbell, its general and artistic director, was nearly booed off the stage when he stepped out to introduce “Don Quixote” this month on opening night — the board of directors on Friday reaffirmed its intention to close down. The final scheduled performance was on Sunday.
Royal Opera House's Les Vêpres siciliennes named Best New Opera Production at the Olivier awards
Christina KennyClassical-Music.com
Stefan Herheim’s production of Verdi’s 1855 grand opera, Les Vêpres siciliennes, has been named Best New Opera Production at this year's Olivier Awards, which took place last night.
Opera classics to be performed by students as part of ‘Talk Opera’ programs
staffmaryland.newszap.com
The world of talk shows is in a state of flux, with Jimmy Fallon taking over the desk for The Tonight Show and Seth Meyers becoming the new host for Late Night. One thing is unlikely to change, however: Opera will still be underrepresented in the mix of celebrity interviews and musical guests.
Local warehouse selling items from closed down NYC Opera house
Gabrielle Bonghiphilly.com
Mid-Century Furniture Warehouse in Kensington has acquired quite the collection of odds and ends from the recently shut down NYC Opera. This weekend they will be hosting a tag sale in their back warehouse along 2nd Street.
Ian Campbell's dramatic and controversial curtain call
Peter RoweSan Diego Union-Tribune
In long career, opera chief has amazed many and infuriated more than a few.
Opera Company Sings Out
Susan Hancewilmingtonbiz.com
Nancy King, opera singer and associate professor in the music department at University of North Carolina Wilmington along with Wendy and Jerry Fingerhut, transplanted New Yorkers and avid Metropolitan Opera fans, have started a grassroots effort to ensure Wilmington has its own performing opera company.

Spring 2014 Magazine Issue
  • From Gold Rush to Google
  • Before, After and During Opera Conference 2014
  • OPERA America's New Works Forum Expands and Explores
Contact Us
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