For Immediate Release
Contact: Patricia Kiernan Johnson;


New York, NY — OPERA America, the national service organization for opera, announces four grant programs to be administered through June 2011. Grants totaling more than $250,000 will be awarded through the following programs:

  • Opera Fund Repertoire Development grants assist OPERA America Professional Company Members and their partners in meeting the special costs incurred by developing and producing new North American opera and music-theater. Repertoire Development grants allow the creators and/or producers to assess and refine a work in progress. The grant may be used to offset creative fees, recording expenditures for evaluation and archival purposes, or other costs associated with the development of a new opera/music-theater work, including but not limited to a lab production, workshop, reading or revision. Over the past 20 years, OPERA America’s Opera Fund has provided grants totaling more than $10.5 million to assist companies with the creation and development of works such as Akhnaten (Glass), Cold Sassy Tree (Floyd), Dead Man Walking (Heggie), Elmer Gantry (Aldridge), Frau Margot (Pasatieri), Little Women (Adamo), Margaret Garner (Danielpour), Nixon in China (Adams), Shining Brow (Hagen) and A Streetcar Named Desire (Previn).
    Intent to apply deadline: August 23, 2010 | Application deadline: October 1, 2010

  • The Robert L.B. Tobin Director-Designer Showcase is a bi-annual program offered as part of OPERA America's continuing effort to foster emerging opera artists. Emerging director-designer teams submit a production proposal for a work selected from a list of North American operas. Four teams chosen as finalists will receive a stipend to create more complete renderings and models for the concept and will receive a trip to Opera Conference 2011 in Boston, MA to present their production proposal to a group of opera company general, artistic and production directors. The program connects promising directors and designers with those who are in a position to promote their careers. Members of all four finalist teams from the first Director-Designer Showcase in 2009 have been offered career-advancing opportunities with opera companies across the U.S. as a result of their showcase participation. OPERA America is grateful for the commitment from The Tobin Theatre Arts Fund to continue this granting initiative.
    Intent to apply deadline: August 23, 2010 | Application deadline: October 1, 2010

  • The MetLife Foundation Music! Words! Opera! Teacher Training Program provides grants to Professional Company Members and their school partners to host training workshops for teachers using OPERA America's multi-level curriculum series, focusing on opera masterpieces while allowing students to produce their own opera. Since its inception in 1990, Music! Words! Opera! has served more than 32,500 students, nearly 1,300 music educators and over 600 music programs.
    Application deadline: September 10, 2010

  • New Works Exploration Grants provide support to representatives of OPERA America Professional Company Members who wish to travel to another city to attend a performance or workshop of a new opera and meet with the creative artists and administrators who are responsible for the work’s creation. The goals of the program are to broaden awareness of new North American opera and music-theater works across the field and create relationships among opera companies interested in pursuing the creation and production of new works. Grants cover the cost of transportation and lodging. OPERA America gratefully acknowledges The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for its support of this program.
    Application deadline: Applications are accepted on a rolling basis until June 1, 2011.

These grant opportunities exemplify several of OPERA America’s key objectives: enhance the vitality of opera in North America through the creation and production of new works, develop an understanding and appreciation of the art form among future audiences, and encourage creative artists who will write and interpret new works.

“We are delighted that The Tobin Theatre Arts Fund, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and MetLife Foundation have made generous contributions to OPERA America in support of these programs,” stated OPERA America President & CEO Marc A Scorca. “Along with our own improved endowment, which supports The Opera Fund grants, these opportunities provide invaluable support to a wide range of opera constituents, including opera companies, educators and artists.”

Further information, including guidelines and application procedures, is available at

These grant opportunities are made possible through the generosity of Opera Fund donors and The Tobin Theatre Arts Fund, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and MetLife Foundation.



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.