On the occasion of its 50th anniversary in 2020, OPERA America is celebrating 50 years of opera in America by launching a series of initiatives to help move opera forward. These new events and programs will highlight the work of opera companies and artists across America, engage local communities and connect the industry and audiences at a national level.

Founding City Events
OPERA America is partnering with its sixteen founding member companies to celebrate a half-century of opera’s progress in America. The artistic strides of the industry over the last fifty years reflect the achievements of individual opera companies, administrators, artists and advocates in communities nationwide. This series of regional symposia will provide an opportunity for the founders of OPERA America to own their contributions to the vibrancy of opera in this country. Each event will raise public awareness of contemporary opera by showcasing the history of new works premiered by each company over the past fifty years.  

Oral History Project
Over the course of the anniversary, OPERA America will collect oral histories from industry pioneers to immortalize the insights and lessons of the past 50 years. At least 50 oral histories will be recorded in partnership with the New York Public Library. This project aims to empower a new generation of leaders to build on the effort of their predecessors as they advance the art form for new audiences.

Opera Hall of Fame
The Opera Hall of Fame honors the achievements of outstanding living American artists, administrators and advocates. Building on the legacy of the NEA Opera Honors, it will recognize those who have exhibited exceptional leadership, advanced the art form, shaped careers, overcome obstacles and facilitated important progress. Nominations are being accepted through January 15, 2020 at operaamerica.org/HallOfFame.  

#meetopera Campaign
#meetopera is a nationally coordinated, locally implemented promotional campaign designed to unify and motivate members and stakeholders in communicating the vitality and relevance of opera and opera companies. Through a combination of awareness and appreciation via social media, it is intended to lead more people to experience opera and attend more frequently. For more information visit meetopera.org. Go to operaamerica.org/Merchandise to purchase exclusive #meetopera items like baseball caps and t-shirts.  

Artist and Administrative Ambassadors
A cohort of visionary and inspiring “Ambassadors” from the field will help OPERA America envision what the future holds for the art form. Statements from these individuals will be featured in special content in Opera America Magazine, and integrated into OPERA America’s #meetopera website and social media campaign.

Opera Conference 2020 Anniversary Party
Members of the field will join OPERA America to celebrate the achievements of the industry at the 50th annual Opera Conference in Seattle. This special celebration will include tributes, dinner and dancing. Tickets are available at conference.operaamerica.org beginning November 1, 2019.


The 2020 Vision Campaign, is a fundraising effort to support the creative vibrancy of opera in America and nurture the next generation of artists and administrators who will shape the art form and guide the field. It will build OPERA America’s ongoing capacity to serve a growing field, maintain and enhance the National Opera Center, and increase the Opera Fund to enhance programming for the field in two primary components: (1) artistic initiatives, including grant programs and artist training; and (2) leadership development, including programs for administrators of all backgrounds.

View the 50th anniversary announcement video below or read the press release.


Founding Cities
Cincinnati, OH
Charlotte, NC
Houston, TX
Jackson, MS
Kansas City, MO
Louisville, KY
Minneapolis, MN
New Orleans, LA
Omaha, NE
Philadelphia, PA
Pittsburgh, PA
San Diego, CA
Saratoga, NY
Seattle, WA
Tulsa, OK
Washington, D.C.

Founding City Events are generously sponsored by

Oral History Project is generously sponsored by the Arthur F. and Alice E. Adams Charitable Foundation

The Opera Hall of Fame is generously sponsored by The Theodore H. Barth Foundation, Inc.
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