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Press Release: LA Opera receives OPERA America grant

LA Opera 30th Anniversary Season header

LA Opera receives a Building Opera Audiences grant
from Opera America

$300,000 awarded to nine organizations
to implement innovative audience building activities.

(Los Angeles) April 23, 2015 — LA Opera is pleased to announce that it has been awarded a grant of $70,000 in the third year of OPERA America's Building Opera Audiences grant program. This program, made possible by the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation, supports the efforts of North American opera companies to build informed, enthusiastic audiences for opera through innovative marketing projects.

LA Opera is one of nine organizations in the U.S. and Canada to receive funding totaling $300,000. More than 50 applications totaling over $2.3 million in requests were received by OPERA America, demonstrating how vital audience development programs are to opera organizations today.

Thanks to the grant, LA Opera's Rebranding for the 21st Century campaign will continue a second year of promoting opera to the public by placing opera and opera-related stories in popular television, film, and other entertainment media. The project has already seen success, securing opera in a number of major television and film placements, with others in process. The second year will focus on developing a plan to grow and sustain the campaign as a long-term initiative. In addition to continuing to secure placements, long-term sustainability will be developed by evaluating the elements of the consultant efforts that can be accomplished by in-house staff, identifying funding sources, and exploring partnerships with other opera companies to share resources that will help support the project for the entire community of opera companies.

“This initiative enables us to promote the art form of opera to a broad and general public,” said Christopher Koelsch, LA Opera’s President and CEO. “Success in this initiative offers very real benefits for the entire opera industry, in both the short and long term.”

OPERA America, the field's national nonprofit service organization, leads and serves the entire opera community, supporting the creation, presentation and enjoyment of opera. "As cultural and entertainment options continue to grow, opera companies face increased competition for audiences," stated Marc A. Scorca, President/CEO of OPERA America. "The Building Opera Audiences grant program provides funding to experiment with innovative projects that help engage new and retain current audiences, ensuring that opera and opera companies continue to flourish."

Each funded project will be documented and evaluated throughout its lifespan. The results will be shared with the opera field, so that other organizations can learn from and replicate projects in their communities

The other eight organizations receiving 2015 Building Opera Audiences grants are Florida Grand Opera (Miami), Lyric Opera of Chicago, Opera Lancaster, Opera Memphis, Opera Saratoga, Portland Opera, Tapestry Opera (Toronto) and Utah Symphony | Utah Opera (Salt Lake City). Descriptions of each company's project can be found on OPERA America's website.

Recipients of Building Opera Audiences grants were selected by an independent panel of industry leaders, including Andrew Goldberg (Vice President of Marketing, Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami), Kyle Sircus (Director of Marketing, Playwrights Horizons in New York), Jacob Smith (Development and Marketing Director, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society) and Melanie Thibeault (consultant,).

OPERA America’s Building Opera Audiences grant program is made possible through the generosity of the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation.

About LA Opera
On the eve of its 30th Anniversary Season, LA Opera has become one of America’s most exciting and ambitious opera companies. Presenting benchmark productions of standard repertoire as well as new and rarely-staged operas, LA Opera brings together world-renowned singers, designers, directors and conductors for performances that attract the attention of international audiences and critics. Highlights of recent seasons include the first major staging in two decades of John Corigliano’s The Ghosts of Versailles, the Los Angeles premiere of Einstein on the Beach by Robert Wilson and Philip Glass, the world premiere of Daniel Catán’s Il Postino, the company’s first complete Ring cycles, and the first major U.S. production in four decades of Verdi’s The Two Foscari. In addition to its mainstage performances, LA Opera presents a robust variety of educational programming and innovative community engagement offerings, experienced by more than 120,000 people each season. For more information, please visit LAOpera.org.

About OPERA America
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 12,000 subscribers to the association's electronic news service. In response to the critical need for suitable audition, rehearsal and recording facilities, OPERA America opened the first-ever National Opera Center in September 2012 in New York City. With a wide range of artistic and administrative services in a purpose-built facility, OPERA America 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 that 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 $13 million to assist companies with the expenses associated with the creation and development of new works. For more information, visit OperaAmerica.org.

LA Opera is a non-profit organization dedicated to serving the greater Los Angeles community.

Rolex is the Official Timepiece of LA Opera.
Yamaha is the Official Piano of LA Opera.

LA Opera Media Contact:
Fran Rizzi, Director of Public Relations
frizzi@laopera.org | 213.972.7554

OPERA America Media Contact:
Patricia Kiernan Johnson, Director of Marketing and Communications
pkjohnson@operaamerica.org | 212.796.8628


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