For Immediate Release
Contact: Patricia Kiernan Johnson;



New York, NY — OPERA America, the national service organization for opera, announces the next four sessions of its ongoing Making Connections series, a professional development and networking program nurturing the next generation of performing and creative artists. Making Connections is geared toward early-career artists including singers, composers, librettists, designers, directors and others who work in, or would like to work in, opera.

During the course of the full 2008-2009 Making Connections season, which runs from September through May, OPERA America will present a total of 18 different sessions. Each begins with an hour-long panel discussion followed by an informal reception where attendees have the opportunity to meet one-on-one with the panelists, providing a unique networking opportunity.

“One of the most exciting aspects of Making Connections is this direct exchange between the participants,” stated Marc A. Scorca, President & CEO. “In the increasingly competitive arts community, often it’s not only what you know, but who you know that can make a difference. Through Making Connections, OPERA America is able to foster a real dialogue between aspiring artists and decision-makers in the opera community.”

In the next session, “New Works Opportunities with Music Schools” on Tuesday, November 18, young composers and librettists will have the opportunity to meet composer Conrad Cummings (Eros and Psyche). The session will be moderated by Gordon Ostrowski of the Manhattan School of Music.

Former singers will discuss their varied post-performance career paths in “Career Transitions for Singers” on Wednesday, November 19. The roundtable will be led by Jane Bunnell, now a teacher at DePaul University; Darren K. Woods, general director of Fort Worth Opera and Ana De Archuleta, president of ADA Artists Management.

“Choosing a Training Program” on Tuesday, December 9, offers inside advice from representatives of some of the most important training programs in the country: Maryland Opera Studio, Seattle Opera and Pittsburgh Opera. This session will be moderated by Laura Brooks Rice, a teacher at Westminster Choir College and co-director of its CoOPERAtive intensive training program.

Just in time for the audition season, on Wednesday, December 10, Soprano Lauren Flanigan, Artist Manager Ken Benson and Metropolitan Opera Associate Artistic Administrator Lenore Rosenberg will discuss “Putting Your Best Foot Forward in an Audition”.

In addition to these four sessions, OPERA America’s Making Connections program will present nine additional workshops from January through May 2009.

Making Connections sessions take place from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and are held in the OPERA America offices at 330 Seventh Avenue at 29th Street. Following each panel discussion, casual receptions give attendees an opportunity to network with experts. Admission is $5 per session for OPERA America members, $10 for non-members. For additional information on individual sessions and speakers, contact OPERA America at 212-796-8620 or Those interested in attending any of the sessions may register online at

This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

Upcoming OPERA America Making Connections Schedule

Tuesday, November 18, 2008
New Works Opportunities with Music Schools
Speaker: Conrad Cummings, composer
Moderator: Gordon Ostrowski, Manhattan School of Music
Workshop: 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Reception: 7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Career Transitions for Singers
Speakers: Jane Bunnell, DePaul University; Darren K. Woods, Fort Worth Opera; Ana De Archuleta, ADA Artists
Moderator: Anne Choe, Kaufman Center
Workshop: 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Reception: 7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Choosing a Training Program
Speakers: Justina Lee, Maryland Opera Studio; Peter Kazaras, Seattle Opera; William Powers, Pittsburgh Opera
Moderator: Laura Brooks Rice, Westminster Choir College
Workshop: 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Reception: 7:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. (note later time)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Putting Your Best Foot Forward in an Audition
Speakers: Lauren Flanigan, soprano; Ken Benson, CAMI; Lenore Rosenberg, The Metropolitan Opera
Moderator: Anne Choe, Kaufman Center
Workshop: 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Reception: 7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.



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.