For Immediate Release
Contact: Patricia Kiernan Johnson;

OPERA America Announces National Opera Week 2012
Friday, October 26 – Sunday, November 4

Organizations Nationwide Engage Communities through Fun, Free Events

ARETHA FRANKLIN, Honorary Chairwoman,
encourages the public to experience opera

Nearly 100 opera companies, schools and organizations across the nation will celebrate the fourth NATIONAL OPERA WEEK from Sunday, October 26 through Sunday, November 4, 2012 by offering free, accessible events to their communities. National Opera Week is coordinated by OPERA America, the national service organization for opera, with support of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).

OPERA America and participating organizations are thrilled to announce legendary artist and opera lover ARETHA FRANKLIN as the program’s Honorary Chairwoman. “I may be known as the Queen of Soul, but I love opera, which is why I’m delighted to be the Honorary Chairwoman of National Opera Week,” declared Franklin. “It would be wonderful to see more people involved in classical music. It truly is enriching.” A brief welcome statement from Ms. Franklin is available at

National Opera Week celebrates the vibrancy of opera in America today and brings the inventiveness and excitement of opera to a national audience. The strength and diversity of established opera companies, community opera ensembles and opera training programs across the United States will be on display through free, dynamic activities designed to engage novices, opera lovers and everyone in between. National Opera Week activities include flash opera events, open houses, online activities, lecture/demonstrations and community performances.

“From behind-the-scenes tours to enlightening performance talks to Twitter contests and more, there is something for everyone during National Opera Week,” states Marc A. Scorca, president/CEO of OPERA America. “National Opera Week draws attention to the creativity and dynamism that propels our field today. We are proud to highlight this depth of opera activity across the United States.”

In addition to coordinating the nationwide program, OPERA America is presenting two National Opera Week events at the newly opened National Opera Center in New York City:

  • Salon Series: OPERA America Songbook Recital
    Tuesday, October 30 at 7:00 p.m.
    To celebrate the opening of the National Opera Center, OPERA America commissioned new songs from 47 leading composers, creating the OPERA America Songbook. This event features world premiere performances of selections from this special work.

  • The Fandom of the Opera
    Thursday, November 1 at 6:30 p.m.
    Opera and technology expert Mark Schubin presents a highly entertaining lecture describing how the centuries-old art form of opera has contributed to innovations in modern media and technology.

For a full listing of National Opera Week activities,

On Twitter, join @OperaAmerica in the National Opera Week conversation with #OperaWeek.




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.