Home Season Tickets Company Support Us Community News Contact Us

Purchase Tickets

Donate Now




Syracuse Opera Receives $13,500 Grant From Opera America
Syracuse Opera’s “New Audiences Initiative” To Increase Current & Ensure Future Opera Audiences

May 20, 2013

$300,000 Awarded to 13 Organizations in the U.S. and Canada

Through the Building Opera Audiences Grant Program

(Syracuse, NY) - Syracuse Opera is pleased to announce that it has been awarded a grant of $13,500 in the first year of OPERA America's Building Opera Audiences grant program generously funded by the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation. This new grant program seeks to support the efforts of North American opera companies to build informed, enthusiastic audiences for opera through innovative marketing projects. Syracuse Opera is one of 13 organizations in the U.S. and Canada to receive funding totaling $300,000. A record-setting 67 applications totaling nearly $2 million in requests were received by OPERA America, demonstrating how vital audience development programs are to opera organizations today.

Syracuse Opera's New Audiences Initiative will broaden its audience by participating in the IDEAS Collaborative, a new community-wide database comprising of ticket buyers from 43 arts, cultural and heritage organizations. With geographic and demographic analysis conducted by a specialized consultant, Syracuse Opera will identify a list of 4,500 household new to the organization who have the highest likelihood of purchasing opera tickets. Four direct mail pieces featuring Buy One Get One Free offers will be sent to these targeted households to encourage them to purchase tickets to Syracuse Opera productions.

As the national nonprofit service organization, OPERA America leads and serves the entire opera community, supporting the creation, presentation and enjoyment of opera. "As 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.

Jim Homa, Syracuse Opera director of sales and annual giving states , "Reaching out to more members of the Central New York community more often and establishing long-term relationships with them is crucial to the growth of Syracuse Opera audiences. This generous funding from Opera America will allow us to do just that. Though our New Audiences Initiative, Syracuse Opera will be able to identify potential new audience members and invite them to attend performances more often at an attractive price."

The complete list of organizations receiving Building Opera Audiences grants is: American Opera Projects (Brooklyn, NY), Arizona Opera (Phoenix, AZ), Florentine Opera Company (Milwaukee, WI), Los Angeles Opera, Madison Opera, Opera on the James (Lynchburg, VA), Opera Memphis, Opera Theater of Pittsburgh, San Francisco Opera, Sarasota Opera, Seattle Opera, Syracuse Opera and Vancouver Opera.

Recipients of Building Opera Audiences grants were selected by a panel of industry leaders, including Jim Atkinson of the ArtPride New Jersey Foundation, Colleen Flanigan of Roosevelt University Auditorium Theatre, Claire Hopkinson of the Toronto Arts Council, Laura Johnson of New York City Ballet and Jenifer Thomas formerly of The Pricing Institute.

The Building Opera Audiences grant program is made possible through the generosity of the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation.

About Syracuse Opera

Now in its 38th year, Syracuse Opera enriches the lives of the people of Upstate New York through locally produced opera, the one all-inclusive art form that celebrates the beauty of the human singing voice energized through the spectacle of live theater.

Offering three mainstage productions each season and year-round community performances and education programs, Syracuse Opera's core values are Artistic Excellence, Integrity, and Community Enrichment.

Syracuse Opera is a professional company reaching over 60,000 people each year.

Syracuse Opera productions are made possible, in part, by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Additional funding provided by the County of Onondaga administered by CNY Arts.

Syracuse Opera is a member of OPERA America, the Arts & Culture Leadership Alliance of CNY,

and the Cathedral Square Neighborhood Association.

For more information about Syracuse Opera, please call (315) 475-5915 (administrative office), (315) 475-7372 (box office), or visit www.SyracuseOpera.com.

About OPERA America

OPERA America (operaamerica.org) 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 16,000 subscribers to the association's electronic news service. In 2005, OPERA America relocated from Washington, D.C. to New York as the first step in creating the first-ever National Opera Center (operaamerica.org/operacenter), which opened in September 2012. With a wide range of artistic and administrative services in a purpose-built facility, the National Opera Center 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 which 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 over $11 million to assist companies with the expenses associated with the creation and development of new works.

Michael A. Connor
Director of Advancement