For Immediate Release
Contact: Patricia Kiernan Johnson;

OF THE 2011-2012 SEASON

Events from September through May feature opera stars such as
Stephanie Blythe, Amy Burton, Nico Muhly and Stephen Wadsworth

New York, NY — In September and October, OPERA America, the national service organization for opera, will present its first three Making Connections workshops of the 2011-2012 season, entitled Stages of Developing a New Work, Effective Auditions and How to be a Teaching Artist. Making Connections is OPERA America's professional development program for the next generation of performing artists, including singers, composers, librettists, designers and directors. Making Connections offerings include panel discussions, artist spotlights and master classes, followed by informal receptions where attendees have the exceptional opportunity to network one-on-one with the presenters and their colleagues.

On Wednesday, September 21, Making Connections focuses on questions surrounding the Stages of Developing a New Work. Who should be on the creative team? When is a work is ready for the next stage of development? When should the public hear it? At this session, artists and administrators at the forefront of contemporary opera provide insight into how to create, develop and produce new works. On the panel, composer Nico Muhly will be joined by John Glover, composer; Beth Greenberg, director; and Jim Schaeffer, general director of Center for Contemporary Opera.

Effective Auditions showcase the best of the singers' vocal abilities and give a glimpse into their artistic point of view. Even if the part goes to someone else, the singer can still make an impact on the audition panel. On Wednesday, September 28, experts from both sides of the audition table discuss strategies for an effective audition season. Panelists: Alexandra Bacon, Barrett Vantage Artists; Gordon Ostrowski, Manhattan School of Music and Megan Young.

On Wednesday, October 12, attendees will discover How to be a Teaching Artist. At this session, artists interested in engaging community members in schools, hospitals and other social service organizations will learn more about the wide range of business and interpersonal skills needed to be successful teaching artists. Panelists: Tom Cabaniss, composer; Neil Ginsberg, composer; Amy Kirkland, Weill Institute and Camille Zamora, soprano.

"Through Making Connections, OPERA America provides the opportunity for developing opera artists to gain valuable insight into the many professional skills needed to hone their careers," stated Marc A. Scorca, president and CEO. "Not only do the attendees learn from the stellar array of panelists, but many professional relationships have been forged during the networking opportunities after each Making Connections session."

Making Connections events are held in the OPERA America offices on the 18th floor of 330 Seventh Avenue at 29th Street. A reception follows each panel discussion. Admission for the September 21 and October 12 sessions is $15 for members and $20 for non-members. The September 28 session is free.

For those outside the New York City area or who are unable to attend the events in person, certain Making Connections events (noted below) are streamed live, for free, at

Visit for more information or to register.


September 21, 2011: Stages of Developing a New Work
Panelists: John Glover, composer; Beth Greenberg, director; Nico Muhly, composer; Jim Schaeffer, Center for Contemporary Opera

September 28, 2011: Effective Auditions (FREE) – live stream
Panelists: Alexandra Bacon, Barrett Vantage Artists; Gordon Ostrowski, Manhattan School of Music; Megan Young

October 12, 2011: How to be a Teaching Artist
Panelists: Tom Cabaniss, composer; Neil Ginsberg, composer; Amy Kirkland, Weill Institute; Camille Zamora, soprano

November 9, 2011: In Conversation with Stephanie Blythe (FREE) – live stream

December 7, 2011: Acting Resources for Singers
Panelists: Jennifer Aylmer, soprano; Amy Burton, soprano; Chuck Hudson, director; Jonah Nigh, Columbia University

January 11, 2012: In Conversation with Stephen Wadsworth (FREE) – live stream

February 15, 2012: Tax Tips for Independent Artists (FREE) – live stream
Panelists: Anne Adamowsky, Trudy Durant & Associates; Larry Bomback, OPERA America

February 22, 2012: Fiscal Sponsorship 101
Panelists: Dianne Debicella, Fractured Atlas

April 4, 2012: Training and Working in Europe
Panelists: Ana De Archuleta, ADA Artist Management; John Bellemer, tenor; Jocelyn Dueck, pianist/coach; Kelley Rourke, OPERA America

May 2, 2012: The Opera Field: An Overview of Current Trends (FREE) – live stream
Panelists: David B. Devan, Opera Company of Philadelphia; Anne Ricci, Opera on Tap; José Rincón, OPERA America; Marc A. Scorca, OPERA America

May 16, 2012: Keys to a Successful Singer/Director Relationship (FREE) – live stream
Panelists: Sari Gruber, soprano; Kevin Newbury, director; Nancy Rhodes, Encompass New Opera Theater



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.