For Immediate Release
Contact: Patricia Kiernan Johnson;

MAY 7 – 11, 2011: BOSTON, MA

Boston Lyric Opera & Opera Boston to Co-Host

Press Contacts:
For Boston Lyric Opera: Paysha Rhone, 857-891-4483,
For Opera Boston: Joyce Linehan, 617-212-9890,

New York, NY — OPERA America, the national service organization for opera, is pleased to announce details of Opera Conference 2011 — Opera Entrepreneurship: Building on Tradition, to be held in Boston, MA, from May 7 to 11. Co-hosted by Boston Lyric Opera and Opera Boston, this largest gathering of opera professionals in North America will convene in Boston’s Theater District.

OPERA America’s annual conference presents a unique opportunity for the field’s leaders to examine the issues affecting the opera community today.

Anticipated highlights of Opera Conference 2011 will include the Opening Keynote Address by Nicholas Negroponte, founder of the MIT Media Lab; a tour of the Lab led by Tod Machover, composer of Death and the Powers, one of the year’s most noteworthy new operas; the Robert L.B. Tobin Director-Designer Showcase; the New Works Sampler in the American Repertory Theater Underground Cabaret, OBERON, hosted by American Repertory Theater Artistic Director Diane Paulus, one of the most important stage directors working in theater and opera today; the Co-Production Marketplace; and performances of Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream by Boston Lyric Opera and Donizetti’s Maria Padilla by Opera Boston. (See attachment for more program details.)

General sessions, which engage the entire conference community in meaningful discussion, include “Think Like a Startup,” led by visionary author and international consultant Stan Davis; “The Audience Knows Best,” a session led by Dr. Thomas Wolf, in which conference attendees will hear from audience members themselves; and “Here to Stay: Capitalizing on Digital Transmission Technology,” a timely and important topic to the field.

A series of seminars and sessions will provide broad perspective and specific leadership training in the areas such as audience development, fundraising, governance, marketing and artistic planning. Capitalizing on the unique educational and cultural resources of Boston, Opera Conference 2011 will also feature a special Artist Weekend, with sessions on musical entrepreneurship and strategic planning for artists.

In addition to these sessions, members of Opera Europa and in Canada will join OPERA America members in an international forum on global challenges and opportunities in the world of opera.

“We are delighted to hold Opera Conference 2011 for the first time in Boston, a culturally rich city with an opera ecology that is flourishing on many levels,” stated OPERA America President and CEO Marc A. Scorca. “The opera field is transforming — companies are taking risks and retooling business practices, repertoire and venue selections, audience cultivation efforts and modes of presentation. Boston offers us the perfect setting to probe this entrepreneurial energy animating the field.”

“Boston Lyric Opera is incredibly honored to co-host Opera Conference 2011 with our colleagues at Opera Boston and the numerous other organizations here in Boston,” said Esther Nelson, Boston Lyric Opera’s General & Artistic Director. “We look forward to showcasing Boston’s thriving opera scene and reinforcing the vitality of the art form on a national stage.”

“We want to extend a warm welcome to conference attendees from around the world. There is nothing quite like Boston in the spring, and we look forward to seeing our colleagues at the opera,” said Opera Boston General Director Lesley Koenig.

In addition to Boston Lyric Opera and Opera Boston, 25 other Boston-area arts institutions will join the two companies in welcoming the national opera community to the conference. Boston’s vibrant arts community, world-renowned educational environment and rich history make it a fitting venue for this gathering.

For more information, including a detailed schedule of events, or to register, please visit the conference website at

Opera Conference 2011 participating organizations include Boston Lyric Opera, Opera Boston, Boston Baroque, The Boston Conservatory, Boston Early Music Festival, Boston University College of Fine Arts, Guerilla Opera, New England Conservatory, American Repertory Theater, Arts Boston, Boston Metro Opera, Boston Opera Collaborative, Boston Singers Resource, Cape Cod Opera, Commonwealth Opera, Emerson College, Harvard University, Intermezzo Opera, Longwood Opera, Longy School of Music, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Metrowest Opera, North of Boston Arts Center, Opera del West, Opera Hub and Worcester Opera Works.

OPERA America gratefully acknowledges the support of the following Opera Conference 2011 sponsors: Amtrak; The Arts Insurance Program, LLC; Arts Consulting Group; ArtsVision; Boston Lyric Opera; CLASSICTIC.COM; Deloitte; Fisher Dachs Associates Theatre Planning & Design; Greater Boston Convention & Visitor Bureau; Opera Boston; Schuler Shook Theatre Planners and Wells Fargo.



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.