For Immediate Release
Contact: Patricia Kiernan Johnson;

November 13 – 22, 2009

Opera has become such a vital part of the American musical fabric, that over 90 companies/organizations from Alaska to Texas, from New York to Los Angeles, and everywhere in between (32 states to be exact/see attachment for full list), will be participating in and celebrating the first ever NATIONAL OPERA WEEK from November 13-22, 2009. National Opera Week is organized by OPERA America, the national service organization for opera (, with the support of the National Endowment for the Arts.

NATIONAL OPERA WEEK will officially be launched with the presentation of the 2009 NEA Opera Honors to Marilyn Horne, John Adams, Frank Corsaro, Lotfi Mansouri and Julius Rudel on November 14 at the Harman Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. (

The National Opera Week celebration will reach from coast to coast with over 90 opera companies from 32 states (plus the District of Columbia). These opera companies will offer a range of free programs for the public that demonstrate the allure and accessibility of this most multi-media of the arts and will be accessible to both opera lovers and newcomers to the art form. These events, showcasing the strength and diversity of established companies, community opera ensembles and opera training programs, will range from open houses, lectures/demonstrations and community performances to the presentation of the nation’s highest award in the field, the NEA Opera Honors. National Opera Week has been created to bring the inventiveness and excitement of opera to a broader national audience (see attachment for examples).

Other noteworthy events of National Opera Week include in New York City the fifth annual Opera News Awards on November 19; the November 22 annual Richard Tucker Music Foundation Gala, showcasing some of today’s most promising young singers; the New York City Opera dedicating all performances from November 14-22 to National Opera Week, with special tributes to Julius Rudel and Frank Corsaro; and the Metropolitan Opera providing special free access to Met performances available on Met Player, the company’s new online streaming service, during National Opera Week.

  • For NEA Opera Honors: M.L. Falcone, Public Relations 212-580-4302
  • For NEA: Victoria Hutter 202-682-5692
  • For OPERA America: Patricia Kiernan Johnson 212-796-8620, ext. 217

  • Examples of diverse programming celebrating National Opera Week
  • List of companies/organizations and states participating



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.