For Immediate Release
Contact: Patricia Kiernan Johnson; PKJohnson@operaamerica.org
www.operaamerica.org


March 22, 2007

OPERA AMERCA FORMS NATIONAL YOUNG PROFESSIONALS PROGRAM: “YOUNG FRIENDS OF OPERA” OFFERS RECIPROCAL TICKET BENEFITS ON A NATIONWIDE BASIS

New York, NY—OPERA America, the national service organization for opera, announces the formation of “Young Friends of Opera”, a national ticket discount reciprocity program for young professional adults. The program is an effort by the association, in cooperation with opera companies across the country, to increase the availability of affordable tickets to this demographic, many of whom travel frequently with their jobs.

In the past decade, more and more opera companies across the United States have implemented programs designed to attract young professionals, a demographic widely viewed as the future audience for opera and the performing arts. Typically, these companies offer performance tickets at a greatly discounted price to their membership, often along with access to social and education activities.

During its 2006 Annual Conference, OPERA America formed a national steering committee of opera staff members and volunteer members of young professional organizations from around the country. The steering committee quickly realized the value of a national reciprocity program in which a local opera company’s young professional membership could travel to other cities and receive a similar ticket benefit in the community in which they are visiting. Following a series of conference calls and a meeting in New York City, the steering committee agreed that a national reciprocity program would be attractive to opera companies nationwide who offered their own young professional program in their own community.

An “OPERA America Young Friends of Opera” membership card was created and will be distributed to participating opera companies for dissemination to their young professional group membership. The membership card entitles the bearer to reciprocal ticket offers at participating companies subject to the local company’s restrictions and availability.

“OPERA America is pleased to be able to offer this national reciprocity program to our professional company members,” stated Marc A. Scorca, President and CEO. “Programs such as these are vital to encouraging the development of not only our current audience, but both our long-term audience and eventually, donors. Young Friends of Opera will benefit not only our member company’s young professional audiences, but ultimately opera’s audience as a whole.”

#########

ABOUT OPERA AMERICA

OPERA America leads and serves the entire opera community, supporting the creation, presentation and enjoyment of opera.

  • Artistic services help opera companies and creative and performing artists to improve the quality of productions and increase the creation and presentation of North American works.
  • Information, technical, and administrative services to opera companies reflect the need for strengthened leadership among staff, trustees and volunteers.
  • Education, audience development and community services are designed to enhance all forms of opera appreciation.

Founded in 1970, OPERA America’s worldwide membership network includes nearly 200 Company Members, 300 Associate and Business Members, 2,000 Individual Members and more than 16,000 subscribers to the association’s electronic news service. In 2005, OPERA America relocated from Washington, D.C. to New York as the first step in creating the first-ever National Opera Center. With a wide range of artistic and administrative services in a purpose-built facility, the Opera Center is dedicated to increasing the level of excellence, creativity and effectiveness across the field.

OPERA America’s long tradition of supporting and nurturing the creation and development of new works led to the formation of The Opera Fund, a growing endowment which allows OPERA America to make a direct impact on the ongoing creation and presentation of new opera and music-theater works. Since its inception, OPERA America has made grants of nearly $11 million to assist companies with the expenses associated with the creation and development of new works.