Details Announced for OPERA America’s ONSTAGE AT THE OPERA CENTER 2016–2017 Season; Featured guests include Matthew Aucoin, Jamie Barton, William Bolcom, Renée Fleming, Thomas Hampson and David Henry Hwang

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Details Announced for OPERA America’s
2016–2017 Season

Featured guests include
Matthew Aucoin, Jamie Barton, William Bolcom,
Renée Fleming, Thomas Hampson and David Henry Hwang

Events will also be live streamed at

September 7, 2016 (New York) — OPERA America, the national service organization for opera and the nation’s leading champion for American opera, has announced its 2016–2017 season of Onstage of the Opera Center, which begins on Thursday, September 29, 2016, and runs through April 2017.

Onstage at the Opera Center is a unique series of public performances and discussions with today’s leading singers, composers and librettists, presented at the National Opera Center in Midtown Manhattan. The Opera Center’s intimate Marc A. Scorca Hall provides the perfect setting for audiences to engage with the featured artists, and the events are also live streamed for free around the world.

The 2016‒2017 Onstage at the Opera Center season is composed of three distinct series:

  • Creators in Concert. Performances of excerpts from vocal works by leading American composers, followed by lively discussions with the creators.
  • Conversations. Interviews with luminaries of the opera world, who share stories from their careers and provide insights into the intricacies of the field.
  • Emerging Artist Recital Series. Concerts featuring competition winners and leading young artists from opera companies across the United States.

As part of its multi-decade, multi-million-dollar commitment to the development of new North American operas, OPERA America will also present the New Opera Showcase in January at historic Town Hall in the heart of Times Square. Attendees at this special, one-night-only event will hear the future of opera by being among the first to experience excerpts from five operas in development.

Onstage at the Opera Center: 2016–2017 Season Details
All events (except where noted) last for approximately one hour and take place at OPERA America’s National Opera Center, located at 330 Seventh Avenue at 29th Street in New York City. Situated just blocks from New York Penn Station, the Opera Center is easily accessible by subway, PATH, bus and train.

Tickets for all events are $10 each for OPERA America members and $25 each for non-members. Attendees are invited to attend casual receptions following all Onstage events taking place at the National Opera Center. Tickets are available at

Onstage at the Opera Center events will also be live streamed around the world for free at

Attend live performances of excerpts from new American vocal works by today’s leading composers, and join in lively discussions with the artists.

Matthew Aucoin, Composer
Thursday, September 29, 2016, at 7:00 p.m.

The composer, conductor, pianist and writer Matthew Aucoin — called opera’s “rising wunderkind” by The New York Times — becomes artist-in-residence this season at Los Angeles Opera, a position that will culminate in a world-premiere opera in 2019. Aucoin’s oeuvre as a composer extends from solo piano to opera to chamber and orchestral music. His first opera, Crossing, was premiered by American Repertory Theater in 2015, and Second Nature, a one-act eco-opera for youth commissioned by Lyric Opera of Chicago, followed soon after. Aucoin is currently at work on a new opera for the New Works Program of the Metropolitan Opera and Lincoln Center Theater.

This performance features countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo and bass-baritone Davóne Tines.

William Bolcom, Composer
Thursday, April 6, 2017, at 7:00 p.m.

William Bolcom, winner of the 1988 Pulitzer Prize for Music, has composed in virtually every instrumental and vocal genre, from solo piano and songs to symphony and opera. A voracious eclectic, he has contributed substantially to the musical theater, cabaret and modern ragtime repertoire, and, with his wife, mezzo-soprano Joan Morris, has been a performer-advocate of American popular song. Bolcom is a recipient of the National Medal of Arts, a Grammy and six honorary doctorates, and he has been commissioned by organizations such as Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic.

Vocalists for this performance will be announced at a later date.

Get behind-the-scenes glimpses of the opera world as luminaries share stories from their careers and discuss the field in intimate conversations with OPERA America President/CEO Marc A. Scorca.

David Henry Hwang, Librettist and Playwright
Tuesday, October 18, 2016, at 7:00 p.m.

Described by Time magazine as “the first important dramatist of American public life since Arthur Miller,” David Henry Hwang is the author of such plays as M. Butterfly, Chinglish, Yellow Face, Kung Fu, Golden Child and The Dance and the Railroad. He is also America’s most-produced living opera librettist, working with composers Philip Glass, Osvaldo Golijov, Bright Sheng, Unsuk Chin, Huang Ruo and Howard Shore. Hwang is a Tony Award winner and three-time nominee, a three-time OBIE Award winner, and a two-time finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

Jamie Barton, Mezzo-Soprano
Thursday, December 8, 2016, at 7:00 p.m.

Mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton, winner of the 2015 Richard Tucker Award and 2013 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition, has been described by critic Alex Ross as “a fresh wonder of the opera world, possessing a voice of preternatural beauty and power.” In 2016–2017, Barton returns to the Metropolitan Opera to sing Fenena in Nabucco and make her role debut as Ježibaba in a new production of Rusalka. Barton also makes her debuts at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, singing her first Princess Eboli in Don Carlo, and the New York Philharmonic, singing Fricka in Das Rheingold.
Jamie Barton appears courtesy of the Metropolitan Opera.

Thomas Hampson, Baritone
Thursday, March 16, 2017, at 7:00 p.m.

Thomas Hampson, one of America’s foremost baritones, enjoys a singular international career as an opera singer and recording artist while maintaining an active interest in research, education, musical outreach and technology. Hampson was recently inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and he has won worldwide recognition for thoughtfully researched and creatively constructed programs, as well as for his rich discography of more than 150 albums. Through the Hampsong Foundation, which he founded in 2003, he employs the art of song to promote intercultural dialogue and understanding.

Renée Fleming, Soprano
Tuesday, April 25, 2017, at 7:00 p.m.

One of the most beloved and celebrated musical ambassadors of our time, soprano Renée Fleming captivates audiences with her sumptuous voice, consummate artistry and compelling stage presence. At a White House ceremony in 2013, the president awarded her the National Medal of Arts, America’s highest honor for an individual artist. Known as “the people’s diva” and winner of the 2013 Grammy Award for Best Classical Vocal Solo, Fleming continues to grace the world’s greatest opera stages and concert halls, now extending her reach to include other musical forms and media.

Hear rising stars in recital as companies from around the United States present competition winners and leading singers from their young artist programs.

Florentine Opera Studio Artists
Thursday, November 3, 2016, at 7:00 p.m.

The Florentine Opera Studio, founded in 2008, provides season-long, comprehensive artist-in-residence employment for talented singers beginning their professional careers, while serving the mainstage, education and community engagement goals of the Florentine Opera Company. From each September through May, the Florentine Opera Studio provides four promising singers (a soprano, mezzo-soprano, tenor and baritone/bass) with performance experience and training.

Houston Grand Opera Studio Artists
Thursday, March 2, 2017, at 7:00 p.m.

Each season, the Houston Grand Opera Studio provides 8 to 12 young opera professionals with the opportunity to study and perform under a highly respected professional staff of teachers and performers. Founded in 1977, the Studio allows young opera professionals to become employees of HGO for one to three seasons, during which time they pursue an intense, individualized study program alongside world-renowned artists, directors and conductors.

Opera Index Vocal Competition Winner
Tuesday, March 28, 2017, at 7:00 p.m.

One of America’s major vocal competitions, Opera Index has given awards totaling more than $1 million to 365 singers since 1984. The auditions for the vocal competition are held each October, and awards are given to two categories of singers: those who are on the cusp of a major career and those who are in the early phase of a promising career.

This recital features countertenor Siman Chung, a winner of the 2015 Opera Index Vocal Competition.

Arizona Opera Studio Artists
Thursday, April 20, 2017, at 7:00 p.m.

In residence all season, Arizona Opera Studio Artists can be seen performing on both the company’s main stage and throughout Arizona. Founded in 2006, the Studio provides well-rounded, personalized instruction aimed at bridging the gap between academic studies and professional life and helping artists to reach the next level of their careers.


Friday, January 13, 2017, from 8:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
OPERA America will present a concert featuring four new operas in development and one recent premiere at historic Town Hall in Times Square, accompanied by the SONOS Chamber Orchestra. Hear portions of works by Michelle DiBucci; Randall Eng and Donna Di Novelli; Julian Grant and Mark Campbell; Wang Jie; and Rene Orth and Jason Kim. Erik Ochsner conducts.

The Town Hall
123 W 43rd Street
(Between Sixth Avenue and Broadway)
New York, NY 10036

This event will not be live streamed.

For more information about Onstage at the Opera Center or to purchase tickets, visit

Onstage at the Opera Center is supported in part by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and by grants from the Amphion Foundation and the NYC & Company Foundation.

The New Opera Showcase is made possible by generous and deeply appreciated grants from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation.

For more information about OPERA America, its many programs and the National Opera Center, visit @OPERAAmerica

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 150 Company Members, 250 Associate, Business and Educational Members, 1,200 Individual Members and 16,000 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.

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