Executive Director Sara Nealy
Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?
Dear Festival Opera Patrons and Friends,
It's been a really rough couple of years for Festival Opera, with some bumps and bruises, but not without some small triumphs as well. We faced staggering debt at the end of our 2011 season, but have reduced that debt by more than half with your help, and we even managed to show signs of life and growth. During our "virtually dark" 2012 season, we managed to bring some of our greatest alumni talents onto the stage for a benefit concert in what was a joyous stand for the company and the art form. It inspired many of us to recommit and persevere.
We used our reduced resources to stage Opera in the Park to give back to our community, and we dipped our toes into the waters of contemporary, smaller-scale chamber opera as we worked to get back on solid financial footing. Again, with the help of loyal and committed patrons, foundations, and benefactors, we are halfway to that goal. We look ahead with a plan to reunite our opera family with a new vision for the future: a Festival Opera that presents fully-staged standard repertory opera productions, stages a free Opera in the Park event, explores new formats and venues with a smaller-scale work each year — and an occasional commission of new work by a promising emerging composer — along with providing meaningful community engagement activities (mini-operas, demonstrations, and other programs) in schools and other community settings. We seek creative ways to provide inroads and access to opera.
These programs, events and performances are all based on the understanding that we need to do more than sustain this art form we love; we must also participate in stretching the envelope to see how it can be nurtured and expanded to become relevant to wider groups of people in the future.
We can no longer stand still, repeat the past, and expect better results. We must all live in the question, "what can and should opera be?" Please stay with us on this journey, and open your hearts and your minds to the exploration of how we can keep opera alive and vibrant in our community.
I invite you to take a step to making that a reality by becoming more involved in charting the future of Festival Opera. Will you consider becoming an Ambassador, or serving on a committee in 2013? We are also looking for some visionary leaders to join the team. Do you have "the right stuff" and, most of all, the heart to help to trailblaze the next decade for Festival Opera?
You've never been needed more.
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