For centuries now, opera has been telling the stories of the human experience. The good, the bad, the funny and the sad, all told through the music of some of the best composers the world has ever known. We’ve come together in theatres around the world to revel in works of art that explore the topics of our time, and we continue to experience those human stories every time we return to the opera house. We’ve got an opportunity to this again with the opera Dead Man Walking.
When we announced the 2015/16 season at Fresno Grand Opera and Townsend Opera last spring, we were very open about our two primary goals for the coming season. Our production of Sweeney Todd last month gave us the first opportunity to measure the results of our strategy, and the results were overwhelming!
Yesterday morning, I started receiving emails from contacts on LinkedIn (a platform I rarely use) congratulating me on my anniversary. Being right in the middle of the busiest part of our season, for a minute I couldn't figure out what was going on. Then I remembered that it's the beginning of February, and I just passed my eighth year at Townsend Opera in Modesto. That caught me completely off guard, not only because I forgot the beginning of February is when I started this journey, but also because I CAN'T BELIEVE IT'S BEEN EIGHT YEARS! It has gone by in...
If you pay attention to the classic music world at all, you saw that the New York Philharmonic named their next music director, who will replace departing music director Alan Gilbert in 2017. It was an important decision for the NY Phil, as the new music director has to lead them through two years outside their concert hall, which is undergoing major renovation in a couple years. And many are concerned that the new music director won't continue the more progressive and adventurous programming of his predecessor, which has been quite successful. Anthony Tommasini, in his coverage of the announcement,...
In a previous blog post, I promised details on our mission to reestablish opera as a popular art form that has a place in 21st century American cultural. This is the first in a three-part series about our mission.
Townsend Opera and Fresno Grand Opera are on a mission. We’re on a mission to reestablish opera as a popular art form that has a place in 21st century American cultural.
As you may have heard back in May or June, I was recently appointed to the Board of Directors of Opera America. Over Halloween weekend, I attended my first board meeting in Los Angeles, and I thought I would take a moment to tell you about it.
If you’ve followed the storyline of opera in Fresno and Modesto for the last 15 months, you likely know that Fresno Grand Opera and Townsend Opera in Modesto began something called a “full creative and management partnership.” But what does that mean? And what does that look like?
I read some disappointing news last week, and it made me realize how dangerously close even the best arts organizations always are to closing down. Gotham Chamber Opera, a wonderful company in New York led until recently by David Bennett, the new General Director of San Diego Opera, is closing its doors. It remains unclear what exactly happened, but either way it demonstrates the peril in which arts organizations live in the 21st century. The new Executive Director discovered a previously undisclosed/unknown budget deficit, and it was more than they could handle. And they're gone. Which highlights a disturbing fact...
I am very happy to announce that Fresno Grand Opera and Townsend Opera in Modesto, CA were awarded a significant grant from The James Irvine Foundation to support our efforts in engaging a new audience for opera in our community. (Read the announcements here for both Fresno and Modesto). I thought it would be interesting to give a little insight into the process by which a significant grant like this is developed and received.