For Immediate Release
Contact: Patricia Kiernan Johnson;



New York, NY — OPERA America, the national service organization for opera, announces the next five 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 the field of 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 of OPERA America. “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, Public Speaking, on Tuesday, January 27, all artists will benefit from tips on the art of speaking in front of an audience from OPERA America’s President & CEO, Marc A. Scorca. This session will provide helpful techniques for making presentations, facilitating group discussion, running effective meetings and making spontaneous remarks when called upon unexpectedly.

Vocologist and New York University Professor of Voice Brian Gill and Dr. Doonam Kim will present Maintaining Your Health amid a Hectic Schedule on Wednesday, January 28. They will share their ideas about creating a balanced lifestyle, dealing with anxiety and finding the resources for maintaining one’s health on the road.

In Learning a Role Inside and Out on Tuesday, February 24, Lenore Rosenberg, director of the Lindemann Young Artist Program at The Metropolitan Opera and Valerie Beaman, opera acting coach, will discuss creating strategies for learning a role and methods for finding resources and research materials for opera singers.

In a program especially designed for budding composers, How Companies Commission Opera will take place on Wednesday, February 25. In this session, panelists will share why opera companies commission new works, how operas and creative artists are chosen and best practices for creative artists to reach opera companies.

For those artists attending music school or heading toward it, Making the Most of Your Degree Program on Wednesday, March 4 will be particularly useful. Panelists in this session will discuss taking the fullest advantage of one’s education, managing time and gaining essential skills outside of degree requirements.

In addition to these five sessions, OPERA America’s Making Connections program will present four additional workshops from March 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, January 27, 2009
Public Speaking
Speaker: Marc A. Scorca, president & CEO, OPERA America
Workshop: 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Reception: 7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Maintaining Your Health amid a Hectic Schedule
Speakers: Dr. Doonam Kim, MD; Brian Gill, vocologist and New York University voice professor
Moderator: Megan Young, OPERA America
Workshop: 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Reception: 7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Learning a Role Inside and Out
Speakers: Valerie Beaman, opera acting coach; Lenore Rosenberg, director of the Lindemann Young Artist Program, The Metropolitan Opera
Moderator: Jonah Nigh, OPERA America
Workshop: 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Reception: 7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009
How Companies Commission Opera
Workshop: 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Reception: 7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Making the Most of Your Degree Program
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.