Opera America, an organization associated with Ópera Latinoamérica (OLA), will hold its 2022 conference in the cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul between May 18 and 21. The meeting, which will include the participation of the executive director of OLA, Alejandra Martí, will include talks, discussions and workshops around the question: “What is the mission of an opera company today?” Some of the topics that will be addressed at the Opera America 2022 Conference were present at the Third Ibero-American Theater Meeting last April, such as, for example, reflections on sustainability and the social role of music and poetry, among others.
The cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul will welcome more than 600 administrators, artists, trustees, educators and other professionals from the field of American and international opera for the industry’s largest annual gathering.
Organized by Minnesota Opera and presented by OPERA America, the North American service organization for opera, the 2022 Opera Conference will harness thought leadership, activism and expertise to inspire the future of the art form across the globe.
The conference will bring together a vibrant community of producers, creators and supporters for the first time in three years as the industry seeks new models of service and sustainability post-pandemic. The opera industry has been hit hard by COVID-19, with thousands of performances cancelled, tens of thousands of artist contracts cancelled, and hundreds of thousands in financial losses.
However, with more than $221 million in federal aid and the creative talent of artists and opera company professionals, the opera house did not remain closed for long. Operas on film, outdoor performances, live broadcasts, and a variety of programming were produced that brought opera to audiences that had never encountered it.
This reinvention of programming exposes the central question at the 2022 Opera Conference: What is the mission of an opera company in today’s world? From May 18-21, leading thinkers from the field of opera and from more than 20 organizations in the cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul will consider new possibilities for how opera companies, artists and the art form can give meaning to the communities they serve. Ópera Latinoamérica (OLA) will be represented by Alejandra Martí, executive director of the organization.
“It seems very important to us to participate in this Opera America Conference since we just had our own meeting of Ibero-American theaters last April. On that occasion we worked on different issues that bring together artists and opera professionals, such as, for example, sustainability , sustainability, the public role, the conservation of the lyrical heritage, among many others.For this reason, it is extremely interesting to know what theaters from other latitudes think about the opera of the future and how we can understand the mission of opera in the world of In addition, it is extremely relevant to highlight the relationship between the United States and Latin America given the large Latino community that exists in that country, so through alliances such as the one we have with Opera America we can help that community keep its identity alive “, points out Alejandra Martí.
Towards sustainability in opera
The meeting presented by Opera America, an organization associated with Ópera Latinoamérica (OLA), includes topics that were also present in the three days of reflection and work of the Third Ibero-American Meeting of Theatres, held last April at the Gran Teatre del Liceu and organized by OLA and Ópera XXI.
Among the topics that will be addressed at the Opera America conference is sustainability and sustainability in all areas of opera. As lyrical companies are weathering the COVID crisis, questions are being raised about their ability to return to pre-pandemic levels of operation. Is grand opera affordable? Will the audiences return? Will donors support innovation?
The session will feature presentations by Marc A. Scorca (president of Opera America); E. Loren Meeker (general and artistic director of Opera San Antonio); Timothy O’Leary (general director of the Washington National Opera); Barabra Lynne Jamison (CEO of Kentucky Opera); and Sarah Lutman (founder and director of the 8 Bridges workshop). Panelists will explore the challenges to sustainability and the strategies they will employ to ensure the future vitality of their businesses.
The opera strengthens its social role
Another of the topics that was worked on at the Third Ibero-American Meeting of Theaters was the social role that music and poetry have in the construction and cohesion of communities. Opera America Conference 2022 will feature a general session dedicated to raising awareness of the public role that opera companies play, contributing to the strength of the communities they serve.
Beyond the powerful stories told by virtuoso performers, opera professionals offer educational and economic benefits and contribute to civic pride. Raising awareness of these benefits is essential to gaining support from government agencies, institutional donors, and individual sponsors. The session will have the participation of: Marc A. Scorca; Sarah Fossen (executive director of Minnesota Citizens for the Arts); Reed W. Smith (General Manager of Anchorage Opera); Dayna Frank (CEO of First Avenue & 7th St Entry); Ben Krywosz (Artistic Director of the Nautilus Musical Theatre); Vanessa Rose (executive director of the American Composers Forum); and Tony Shivers (director of government affairs for Opera America), who will discuss strategies to position opera as a valuable public service.