OPERA America services to opera trustees are driven by a core belief that the success of companies depends on effective boards that demonstrate sustained commitment to understanding and fulfilling their unique roles and responsibilities. A growing portfolio of programs and resources is informed by the active participation of trustees of companies of all sizes from across the United States and Canada.

National Trustee Forum
The National Trustee Forum is a two-day symposium for trustees of OPERA America’s Professional Company Members. Sessions examine board recruitment and engagement strategies, committee structures, board/staff dynamics, leadership succession and other topics that build trustee understanding of company operations. Each fall, at the recommendation their general directors, trustees are invited to participate in the late winter meeting, which includes a number of special events and performances throughout the weekend.

Upcoming Dates:
• Winter Meeting, Early-February, 2021 | Online
• Winter Meeting, January 2022 | New York, NY

Opera Conference for Trustees
OPERA America’s annual Opera Conference is the largest assembly of opera administrators, trustees and artists in North America. As many as 600 stakeholders convene in a different city every May or June where attendees are hosted by an OPERA America Professional Company Member. Trustees have the opportunity to participate in discussion around civic leadership, artistic planning, marketing initiatives and fundraising strategies, as well as sessions related to good governance. A program of performances and special receptions supplement the daytime learning with opportunities to network with colleagues and peers. For more information, visit

Upcoming Dates:
• Opera Conference 2020, May 13–16, 2020 | Seattle, WA — CANCELLED
• Opera Conference 2021, Spring 2021 | To be announced

Essentials of Opera Governance
OPERA America invites you to a webinar series on the fundamentals of opera company governance. Drawing from his board workshop curricula, President/CEO Marc A. Scorca offers afternoon insights into 10 key topics that are essential to a strong board. Join us for one or more sessions over the course of the fall and spring series. Learn more.

National Opera Trustee Recognition Program
The National Opera Trustee Recognition Program honors opera company trustees for exemplary leadership, support and audience-building efforts on behalf of their opera companies. The program offers OPERA America’s Professional Company Members an opportunity to demonstrate their gratitude and bring national attention to the leaders who play a pivotal role in charting the future of opera in America. Every Professional Company Member is invited to nominate one trustee each year. At least four are chosen by a committee of peers to be honored at a special dinner in New York City.

Upcoming Dates:
• 2022 Nominations Deadline, Early Fall 2021
• 2022 Awards Dinner, Winter 2022 | New York, NY

For more information about participating in trustee programs, contact Dan Cooperman, chief advancement officer, at or 646.699.5266.

Carol Lazier receives a National Opera Trustee Recognition Award. Credit: Jeff Reeder. Trustees at Opera Conference 2017 in Dallas. Credit: Karen Almond.
OPERA America Publications Web Resources on Governance
  • OPERA America Governance Library (available fall 2020): A searchable database of articles from OPERA America publications with pertinence to opera company trustees.
  • BoardSource: BoardSource is an independent nonprofit dedicated to inspiring and supporting excellence in nonprofit governance and board and staff leadership across all sectors.
OPERA America Resource Hubs
  • Anti-Harassment: Resources for helping opera companies prevent harassment, and for individuals who have been victims of harassment, abuse and/or assault.
  • Civic Practice: An introduction, articles and case studies on how opera’s authentic creative assets can address public priorities and community needs.
  • Innovation: Documentation of field learning in areas of artistic vitality, audience experience, organizational effectiveness and community connections, supported by OPERA America Innovation Grants.
  • Audience Research: Studies, reports and data on audience development and field health.
Company Workshops
OPERA America President/CEO Marc A. Scorca is available to lead board and staff workshops on a variety of topics related to governance, civic engagement, leadership transitions and financial health. Consultations can be arranged by contacting Meghan Taylor, executive assistant to the President/CEO, at or 212.796.8623.

For Opera Company Trustees
OPERA America’s Individual Membership brings opera company trustees into the national dialogue about the artistry, business and future of opera in America. For just $75 (tax-deductible), you can engage with leaders and serve your community as an informed advocate for the art form. Benefits include:

News and Publications
  • Access to the Opera Company Governance Report on board demographics and practices
  • Invitation to a live-streamed, biannual “Report from the Field” from President/CEO Marc A. Scorca
  • Subscription to Across the Board, a semiannual bulletin on successful governance practices
Research and Learning
  • Subscription to Opera America magazine
  • Access to the Annual Field Report, a yearly financial and operational study of field health
  • Special member registration rates for the annual Opera Conference and National Trustee Forum
Performances and Media
  • Special member rates for Onstage at the Opera Center performances and interviews
  • Access to the Naxos Video Library of streaming classical music performances
  • Membership to the Performing Arts Alliance
  • OPERA America Action Alerts in support of national policies that benefit the opera field
OPERA America Supporting Members
Supporting Members of $250 or more provide the bedrock for OPERA America’s core work for the field. When you join as a Supporter, you receive a special Opera Company Trustee Welcome Kit with starter information about the state of American opera today.

Join Today
Or call 646.699.5248
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All OPERA America facilities are handicapped accessible. The National Opera Center features ground-level entry with elevators to the venue. All spaces are wheelchair accessible, and modular seating can be arranged to accommodate wheelchair users for all programs and performances. Handicapped accessible restrooms are available on all floors.
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