National Opera Association Member Newsletter
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NOA Notes Newsletter
Vol. 42, No. 4
October 2019

In This Issue

From the President
From the President-Elect
From the Vice-President for Conferences
From the Vice-President for Regions
From the Finance Committee
Bailey / Argento Vocal Competition
Conference Sponsorship and Advertising



2020 Cleveland Conference:
Jan. 8-11, 2020

View the Schedule

Register Now

2020 Collegiate Opera Scenes Competition

Apply by
October 15


2020 Carolyn Bailey and Dominick Argento Vocal Competition

Apply by
October 15

From the President

Paul Houghtaling

Professor of Voice
Director of Opera Theatre Director
The Druid City Opera Workshop
University of Alabama School of Music

I hope you are all enjoying the start of a new school year and the beginning of a new season of opera.  Here in Alabama, it hasn’t dipped below 90 degrees in over a month, and as much as I enjoy warm weather, I’m looking forward to Cleveland.  The temperatures will be cooler in January, but the energy and presence will be sizzling hot!  I hope you’ll make plans to join us for what promises to be another terrific gathering.

Here are some highlights:  Maestro Howard Watkins will give a master class and accept the Lift Every Voice Award; David Bamberger will join us and accept the Lifetime Achievement Award; Libby Larsen will give a presentation on American Opera and the Dominick Argento connection; a diverse array of scholarly sessions and presentations; our annual Vocal Competition with an esteemed panel of judges; the Collegiate Opera Scenes competition, which will take place at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; and a production of Evan Mack’s The Ghosts of Gatsby presented by Baldwin-Wallace Conservatory of Music, directed by Scott Skiba, just to name a few! 

Remember the October 15 deadline for the Vocal Competition and the Collegiate Opera Scenes Competition, each great opportunities for you and your students. Watch the website for updates to the Cleveland schedule through the fall, and be on the lookout for an email very soon announcing the presenter of the Keynote Address at our opening luncheon.

I invite you to write to me with questions or ideas.  I am happy to talk about NOA any time.  In next month's NOTES edition, President-Elect Ben Brecher and I look forward to telling you all about our experience at the recent Texoma Regional Conference.

And finally, our nationwide search for NOA’s next Executive Director continues. Help us spread the word about this unique opportunity in arts management.

See you in Cleveland!! 


From the President-Elect

Benjamin Brecher

Professor of Music
The University of California Santa Barbara

Dear Membership,

I hope you are all well and are all enjoying the energy of a new school year.  NOA board members have been busy this summer setting up what will an exciting fall and winter of events and of course our January Conference in Cleveland!  Be sure to look into your regional offerings from NOA!  I know that there are several events planned for late summer and fall. 

Please remember the upcoming deadlines in October of the Scenes Competition and the Voice Competition.  It would be great to see even more student involvement than last year, and we have many special sessions that are student oriented thanks to our vibrant student involvement committee. NOA made a big impression on me when I was a student at Bowling Green and New England Conservatory, and it's great to start planting the seeds for future artists and leaders in our exciting field.

I look forward to seeing you all soon,


From the Vice-President for Conferences
Lisa Dawson

Professor of Voice
Indiana Wesleyan University


Top Ten Reasons to Attend the
2020 NOA Conference in Cleveland, Ohio :


10. Regional Networking Lunch

It is always great to meet the folks Rockin’ opera in our own backyard!

9. Beautiful Hotel

The Downtown Hilton Cleveland offers wall to wall windows which offer stunning views of Lake Erie!


8. A Brand New Opera

On Friday evening of the conference, we will travel by shuttle to the Music Box Dinner Club to share a fabulous dinner and see the NOA premier of The Ghosts of Gatsby - winner of the 2019 Chamber Opera Competition. Feel free to dress in your 1920’s best!



7. Breakout and Poster Sessions

Exciting and informative sessions! Here is the schedule:


6. Plenary Sessions

Opera Rocks—Past, Present and Future

Libby Larsen and the Dominick Argento Connection


5. Rock and Roll!

NOA will have our own private experience at the famed Rock and Roll Hall of Fame including a Plenary Session, touring, dinner, the Opera Scenes Competition and Reception.


4. Competitions

Including: Vocal Competition, Chamber Opera Competition, Opera Production Competition, Collegiate Opera Scenes Competition, Stage Director's Fellowship, Scholarly Paper Competition, Dissertation Competition


3. Masterclasses and Special Guests

We are extremely honored to have renowned pianist/coach Howard Watkins with us this year in Cleveland! (Howard Watkins) We are accepting submissions from students interested in working with Mr. Watkins for a very special masterclass experience on Thursday afternoon, January 9, 2020. To be considered for this exciting opportunity, please send a video recording of one aria to Dr. Lisa Dawson by November 1, 2019.  Lisa Fauntleroy Dawson

We are very excited to announce that renowned America composer Libby Larsen will join us as a headliner. Ms. Larsen will present a plenary session entitled "Libby Larsen and the Dominick Argento Connection" which will include a discussion, video recordings, and live performances of scenes and arias from Argento and Larsen works.

Director, educator, librettist, author and administrator David Bamberger will be honored with NOA's highest award, a Lifetime Achievement Award, at the banquet on Saturday, Jan. 11.


2. The people!


1. The Love of Opera

The National Opera Association seeks to promote a greater appreciation of opera and music theatre, to enhance pedagogy and performing activities, and to increase performance opportunities by supporting projects that improve the scope and quality of opera.


Anxious to see you there!


From the Vice-President for Regions

Dawn Neely

Assistant Professor of Voice and Director of Opera Workshop
West Georgia University


I'm extremely excited about all the work our Regions have underway.  By the time you see this edition of NOTES, the TEXOMA region will have had their Conference, September 20-21.  Southeastern will have a one-day conference and Opera scenes workshop on February 15th, 2020, and several more regions are planning events in the near future.

Event planning, whether on the national, regional, or even state level, takes a lot of work. Please do not hesitate to let me and our other executive members know if you want to plan an event and just don't know where to start, or if you want our help with details and promotion. We are here to help you and to continue to make NOA a stronger organization with excellent resources and leadership. 


From the Finance Committee

Carol Ann Modesitt, treasurer

Chair, Finance Committee and 2019 Annual Campaign
Cal-Western regional Governor

Music Department
Southern Utah University

Greetings from the Finance Committee!

We trust your summer has been productive and hope you found time to re-charge.

With all of the changes in tax laws it seems about the only thing we are allowed to deduct is charitable donations.  This reinforces the fact that NOA is a 501c3 organization, which means your donations to NOA are charitable deductions.  

Please remember that your dues cannot begin to fund all of the great programs and competitions that NOA sponsors.  It is the hope of the officers and board that our members will find it within their hearts and budgets to help support the organization as it tries to fund the needs of the directors, teachers, students, and singers who count on our organization and its special programs. 

For those of you who have made a donation to NOA this year, you have my heartfelt thanks.

Carol Ann

October 15 deadline!!



Calling all Opera Programs!

Directors, Conductors, Composers, Librettists,
Production Designers and Managers!

Check out these wonderful opportunities to advertise through NOA!

Our new conference bag has room for up to 4 logos!
Talk about prominent placement for everyone to see! Orders will be taken on a first come first serve basis.
Deadline: November 15th
Or, is sponsoring a coffee break, reception or luncheon more your speed? How about breakfast for our wonderful Board of Directors? For all sponsorships, your company name with be listed in the conference program and your name and logo/graphic with be displayed on placards to highlight your support of the sponsored event.
Deadline: December 15th
How about a highly visible advertisement in our Conference Program?  Choose your placement! Choose a size! Black and white or color! Surely one of these options fits your needs! Deadline: December 1st.
Be sure to ask about our Exhibition Table and Program Advertisement Bundle! Rachel Harris has a super-secret code for extra savings!
Sign up is easy on at
I am happy to answer any questions:
Rachel Harris


National Opera Association

2020 Conference, Cleveland

January 8-11, 2020


NOA's Vision Statement:


NOA members are the Foundation Builders
for the future of opera.
Copyright © 2019 National Opera Association, All rights reserved.

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