National Opera Association Member Newsletter
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NOA Notes Newsletter
Vol. 41, No. 1
February 2018

In This Issue

From the President
From the President-Elect
From the Vice-President of Conventions
From the Vice President for Regions
From the Finance Committee
2018 Convention Wrap-Up


2018 JoElyn Wakefield-Wright Stage Director Fellowship

Applications due:
April 15, 2018

2018 Dominick Argento
Chamber Opera Competition

Receipt of Scores:
May 1, 2018

From the President

Paul Houghtaling

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

Dear NOA Colleagues, 

I’m honored to serve as President of NOA. I love this organization and hope to do all I can to promote its mission, to champion its unique offerings, and to guide the organization onward toward new goals and new ways to serve our growing membership. 

Our conference in New Orleans was exciting and brought a record-setting attendance. I’m ready to capitalize on that energy and partner with VP of Conventions Lisa Dawson, our Local Host Carol Ann Modesitt, and our tireless Board of Directors to make our gathering in Salt Lake City another memorable and important event. 

There are new initiatives under way in the organization to include more students, to seek new avenues toward diversity, and to further expand our regional and local presence.  Get involved.  Join us!  Just watch what 2018 can bring!  



From the President-Elect

Benjamin Brecher

Professor of Music
The University of California Santa Barbara

I am deeply honored to be the President-Elect for NOA. The last few years have brought great energy to our organization, and I am excited to be a part of NOA in the years ahead. 

Working closely on the past two conventions and talking to many of our members, I feel that I can help us become more efficient and welcome many new members and collaborators to our organization. We are in great hands with Paul Houghtaling as President, and I look forward to helping him and serving you well for the next four years. 

Thank you for your support,


From the Vice-President for Conventions
Lisa Dawson

Professor of Voice
Indiana Wesleyan University

Dear Colleagues,

I am privileged to serve the National Opera Association as the new Vice President of Conventions.

It was my delight to be the host chair for the 2016 Convention in Indianapolis and now I look forward to working with local host, Carol Ann Modesitt as we prepare for 2019 in Salt Lake City!  Mark your calendars for January 9-12, 2019 and be watching for more details to come.

See you in Salt Lake!!

From the Vice-President for Regions

Dawn Neely

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

I’m very excited to be the new VP of Regions for NOA. I enjoyed catching up with many of our Regional Governors and members at the convention in New Orleans, and I was thrilled that everyone was busy making plans for regional events and collaborations at our luncheon on Friday.
I plan to do whatever I can to encourage and assist our regions with events throughout the year. These events are so important in order for NOA to become more visible to our colleagues and potential members. In addition, they provide more great opportunities to network, collaborate and share ideas.

In case you need anything from your Regional Governor, we have included the list below. You can find their email addresses (as well as those for all Officers and Board Members) by CLICKING HERE.  Bookmark it!!

Region States Governor
Cal Western AZ, CA, HI, NV, UT Carol Ann Modesitt (email)
Central IA, IL, MO Ann Marie Daehn (email)
Eastern DE, NJ, NY, PA, WV, E. ON Gordon Ostrowski (email)
Great Lakes IN, MI, OH, W. ON Tammie Huntington (email)
Mid-Atlantic MD, NC, SC, VA, DC Kenneth Wood (email)
Mid-South KY, TN Jeffrey Williams (email)
New England      CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT, QC, Maritimes         Caroline Schiller (email)
North Central            MN, ND, SD, WI, MB, SK Copeland Woodruff (email)
Northwestern AK, ID, MT, OR, WA, AB, BC Chris Pfund (email)
Southeastern AL, FL, GA, PR, VI Kristin Kenning (email)
Southern AR, LA, MS Mark Clark (email)
Texoma NM, OK, TX Barbara Hill Moore (email)
West Central CO, KS, NE, WY Alisa Belflower (email)


From the Finance Committee

Carol Ann Modesitt, treasurer

Chair, Finance Committee
Chair 2018 Annual Campaign

Music Department
Southern Utah University

From the Finance Committee:

I hope that you all had a great holiday and that the New Year will bring health and joy to all of my NOA Colleagues. Can you believe that it is 2018?  I think there is truth in the old adage that the older we get the faster time seems to go.

It was only yesterday that we were in Santa Barbara, and a couple of weeks ago we finished a wonderful meeting in New Orleans. Next year we will be in Salt Lake City.  It is time to begin the 2018 Annual Campaign. Last year the board made a pledge to have everyone on the board contribute to the 2017 Annual Campaign, which shows the board’s commitment to our organization. 

NOA is thriving with all of the projects and initiatives that have been implemented over the last few years. We have a number of young people who are wanting to get involved in NOA because they have enjoyed coming to our convention, and they are eager to learn.   I hope that you will want to support our organization with more than your yearly dues.  It doesn’t matter how much you give.  I love the saying, “If everyone lit just one little candle, what a bright world this could be.”  Think about that saying and how the world needs what we have to give.
Carol Ann Modesitt, Treasurer
Chair Annual Campaign 2018

New Orleans 2018 Wrap Up!


Winners of the The Carolyn Bailey and Dominick Argento Vocal Competition

Artist Division

                                 FIRST PLACE                      SECOND PLACE                  THIRD PLACE                    LEGACY AWARD
                        Courtney Brook Jameson             Felicia Moore                Brian Ross Yeakley            Byron James Mayes


Scholarship Division


                                                      FIRST PLACE                   SECOND PLACE                    THIRD PLACE                       
                                                    Emily Pogorelc                  Lisa Marie Rogali               Katherine DeYoung          

Session Reviews: 

Thank you to all who submitted 2018 New Orleans Convention session reviews -
they will be used throughout the year in this and subsequent issues of NOA Notes.

Funding the Future: Supporting Opera through Grant Writing 
Dr. Melinda Brou and Dr. Naomi Seidman presented an informative session which made grant writing seem less intimidating. Their firsthand experience with the grant process was illuminating. They provided helpful tools including a list of potential funding resources as well as hints on grant writing style and essential terminology of acronyms and abbreviations. 
Submitted by Linda Lister


Unblocking the Performers’ Potential: Collaborative Improvisation and Community Engagement
in Education, Rehearsal and Performance

A triumvirate from Lawrence University: Copeland Woodruff, Margeret Paek and Matt Turner explicated their collaborative path which evolved into a teaching method geared to unlock a performer’s creative essence. Each presenter gave a clear description of how their discipline folded into the endeavor. Compelling video clips were very effective in showing the results of their efforts.  Participants in the session then faced their fears and participated in brief improvisational exercises. Responses and observations were quite profound.
Submitted by Amy Johnson


Freedom Ride:  A New Opera About New Orleans and the Civil Rights Movement
Music and Libretto by Dan Shore
The Freedom Ride is based on a very sensitive and emotional true story.  Dan Shore started the session sharing his research and the story.  His passion for the events during that “Freedom Ride” was obvious.  He was on faculty at Xavier University when he began to write the score and libretto.  All the singers in these highlights from the opera are from Xavier and very supportive of Dan’s work.  The characters were well defined by the words and music.  It was clear Dan understood his subject. In the panel discussion after, it was revealed there is an outstanding chorus part as well as the individual characters. The session was very well done; the music beautiful and intense; and the audience very appreciative of this fine work.  
Submitted by Carol Notestine


Tradition and Mission:
New Orleans Opera Education and Community Outreach
On Wednesday, January 3rd, the Young People's Opera Committee presented Carol Rausch of Loyola University, and William Mouat of New Orleans Opera Association in a session called Tradition and Mission: New Orleans Opera Education and Community Outreach.
Carol Rausch gave a detailed historical overview of the performance of opera in Louisiana, some of the first opera performances in the developing United States, to the present day.  She then invited two young artists to perform a mini-version of their Opera on Tap series for adults--a part of their Community Outreach program. 
William Mouat then spoke of the educational outreach program of the New Orleans Opera.  He concluded with scenes from Seymour Barab's opera Little Red Riding Hood, complete with set and costumes, and three young artists performing the roles of Little Red, Mother/Grandmother, and the Wolf.  
Submitted by Gordon Ostrowski


Charpentiers’ Médée: No Fear Baroque Opera
The National Opera Association was honored to present Karen Esquivel from University of Oregon, and her partner,
freelance coach and collaborative artist Gustavo Castro, in a session discussing their work on Baroque composer
Marc Antoine Charpentier’s seminal opera, Médée.
The session began with a lovely review of Charpentier’s history, including his study with Carissimi, work as a church musician and theater work for Moliére and Cornielle. Most important in this section was specific distinction made concerning the dominant French opera composer of the day, Jean-Baptiste Lully. In addition to a discussion on the clear favor Lully had with Louis IV and the difficulty of Charpentier (and just about any other French composer) to get any opportunities at all, musical difference between the French style of Lully and the more Italianate style of Charpentier was made clear.
The session then moved into a discussion of the piece itself, and, given the subtitle of the session, “Is Adultery, Passion and Murder Still Relevant”, focus was on allaying any fears about producing such a classic French Baroque piece. The French recitative style, stories of royalty, and worries about audience interest were deftly handled by Esquivel and Castro. Of particular interest was the relation of story specifics- royalty, magic, monsters- to so many popular tropes in modern media. Escapism being a trendy topic in movies and TV,
Médée fits that bill perfectly. Offerings such as Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter all speak to these same ideas
of royalty, magic and monsters.
The session’s strong finish included information concerning the recent production that Esquivel and Castro did with students at Opera Nova Costa Rica in 2011, as well as information about production for interested audience. It ended with Ms. Esquivel singing some of Médée’s beautiful melodies, accompanied by Mr. Castro.
In all, a most successful session easing doubts about singing, producing and studying a beautifully written, classically French Baroque opera.
Report by Samuel Mungo

From the NOA Strategic Plan Committee and Board:


NOA's NEW Vision Statement:


NOA members are the Foundation Builders for the future of opera.
Copyright © 2018 National Opera Association, All rights reserved.

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