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2021 Virtual Conference, January 4-6

2021 Virtual Conference

Strengthening the Foundation: National Opera Association's 2021 Virtual Conference

NOA's 66th Annual National Conference

Virtual Conference
2021 Virtual Conference

Conference Schedule and Information

Registration is now open for the conference! Take a look at the full conference schedule and see the variety of sessions, competitions, and opportunities for engagement being offered!

We have kept registration fees low this year in recognition of limited budgets and funding for professional development.  Fees are:

  Member Non-member Student
Regular, through 12/31/20 $80 $180 $30
Late, after 1/1/21 $100 $200 $40

Conference Schedule   Register Now!

We hope you'll take advantage of the special opportunities to interact with presenters and attendees.  Special Zoom rooms will be available each day for Q&A with the breakout session presenters whose sessions are broadcast that day.  We'll also have themed social rooms at the end of each day for you to meet and interact with other attendees in a relaxed setting.

Note: all times in the published schedule are Eastern Standard Time.  All breakout sessions, being pre-recorded, will become available at the time indicated on the schedule and will remain available to watch on demand for the duration of the conference.

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2021 Conference Highlights

Keynote Address

Yuval Sharon, newly-appointed artistic director of Michigan Opera Theatre and Artistic Director of The Industry in Los Angeles will give the conference Keynote Address on January 4.

Yuval Sharon

Described by The New York Times as "opera's disrupter in residence," director Yuval Sharon has been creating an unconventional body of work that seeks to expand the operatic form. Yuval founded and serves as Artistic Director of The Industry in Los Angeles, a company devoted to new and experimental opera that has brought opera into moving vehicles, operating train stations, Hollywood sound stages, and various “non-spaces” such as warehouses, parking lots, and escalator corridors. Sharon conceived, directed, and produced the company’s acclaimed world premieres of Sweet Land, Hopscotch, Invisible Cities, and Crescent City. He also devised and directed the company’s two “performance installations”: In C at the Hammer Museum and Nimbus at Walt Disney Concert Hall.

Sharon is the recipient of the 2014 Götz Friedrich Prize in Germany for his production of John Adams’ Doctor Atomic, originally produced at the Staatstheater Karlsruhe and later presented in Seville's Teatro de la Maestranza. He also directed a landmark production of John Cage’s Song Books at the San Francisco Symphony and Carnegie Hall with Joan La Barbara, Meredith Monk, and Jessye Norman. His 2016 production of Peter Eötvös's Three Sisters at the Wiener Staatsoper led Opernwelt to call him "one of the most interesting arrivals on the musical landscape." His production of Cunning Little Vixen, originally produced at the Cleveland Orchestra, was the first fully-staged opera ever presented in Vienna’s Musikverein in October 2017. In 2018 Sharon became the first American director at the Bayreuther Festspiele with his production of Lohengrin.

From 2016-2019, Sharon was the first Artist-in-Residence at the Los Angeles Philharmonic, creating nine projects that included newly commissioned works, site-specific installations, and performances outside the hall. The culmination of his residency was a major revival of Meredith Monk’s opera ATLAS, which made him the first director Monk entrusted with a new production of her work. Other projects included an original setting of War of the Worlds; a staging of Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde with Gustavo Dudamel; and rare stagings of Lou Harrison’s Young Caesar and John Cage’s Europeras 1 & 2.

Sharon was honored with a 2017 MacArthur Fellowship and a Foundation for Contemporary Art grant for theater.

NOA Lifetime Achievement Award

Dorothy Danner, stage director, will be honored with NOA's highest award, a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Dorothy DannerNoted for her inventive staging, Dorothy Danner has directed over 200 productions of operas, operettas, musicals and plays throughout the United States, Canada and Belgium; including operas for the companies of Glimmerglass, Houston, Philadelphia, Miami, Cleveland, Minnesota, Cincinnati, Portland, Kansas City, Virginia and for San Francisco Merola.

Her production of A MIDSUMMER NIGHTS DREAM in New York for the Juilliard, garnered wide critical acclaim, as did her PBS-TV, TRIBUTE TO GILBERT AND SULLIVAN for the Boston Pops and her television staging of Richard Wargo's opera, BALLYMORE- the first and only musical setting of a Brian Friel play.

Ms. Danner has had the honor of staging the premieres of contemporary composers Barab, Botti, Garwood. Hamlisch, Harnick, Lloyd, Mechem. Musgrave, Sirotta and Wargo. And she has served on the awards panel for the National Institute of Music Theatre and on Opera America's Panel for New Works.

As a performer, Dorothy Danner, aka Dorothy Frank, appeared in 9 Broadway shows, from the original ONCE UPON A MATTRESS to Michael Bennett's BALLROOM. She performed on numerous TV Variety shows - Perry Como, Ed Sullivan among others- as well as in several films including Mel Brook's THE PRODUCERS.

A dedicated and inspiring teacher, she was co-founder of the Glimmerglass Young Artist Program, has served on the faculties of the Juilliard School, the Curtis Institute of Music, and the Chautauqua Institution and has been a frequent guest director at the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia, New York University, Virginia Commonwealth, Grand Valley, Boston University and at Carnegie-Mellon.

Dorothy Danner is a member of a theatrical family that includes actors Blythe, Harry and Hillary Danner, Gwyneth Paltrow, writer-film maker, Jake Paltrow, actress Katherine Moennig and departed brother-in-laws, violin maker William Moennig 3rd and writer-producer Bruce Paltrow.  dorothydanner.com

"Lift Every Voice" Legacy Award

Paul Tazewell, costume designer, will receive the prestigious "Lift Every Voice" Legacy Award.

Paul Tazewell

PAUL TAZEWELL has been designing costumes for Broadway and regional theater, film and television, dance, and opera productions for over twenty-five years. Starting his Broadway career with the groundbreaking musical, ‘Bring in Da Noise, Bring in ‘Da Funk directed by George C. Wolfe, Paul would go on to design costumes for such shows as the original Broadway productions of the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award®-winning Hamilton, In the Heights, The Color Purple, Dr Zhivago, Memphis, Caroline, or Change, Elaine Stritch at Liberty, Russel Simmons’ Def Poetry Jam, Lombardi, and Magic/Bird. Revival work includes Side Show, A Streetcar Named Desire, Jesus Christ Superstar, Guys and Dolls, A Raisin in the Sun, and On the Town. In the United States and across the world, Paul has designed for such renown companies as The Metropolitan Opera, The Bolshoi Ballet, The English National Opera, Theatre du Chatelet, The Public Theater, The National Theater, The Kennedy Center, The Guthrie Theater, Arena Stage, Houston Grand Opera, San Francisco Opera, and many more. In the film space, Paul designed the costumes for the film Harriet and he is currently designing the costumes for Steven Spielberg’s remake of West Side Story.  He has received many recognitions for his work.  In the same year, 2016, he received both a Tony Award®, for Hamilton, and the Emmy Award® for The Wiz! Live on NBC.  Other notable honors include numerous Tony Award nominations (most recently for Ain’t Too Proud) two Lucille Lortel Awards, four Helen Hayes Awards, a Princess Grace Foundation Fellowship, and The Princess Grace Statue Award®. Paul holds a MFA from New York University and a BFA from North Carolina School of the Arts.  He has been privileged to instruct students as a guest artist at New York University and North Carolina School of the Arts.  From 2003-2006, he held a faculty position at Carnegie Mellon University. He currently lives in New York City and works across the globe. Paultazewelldesign.com

Sacred in Opera Achievement Award

Alice Parker, composer, conductor and teacher is recipient of the 2021 Sacred in Opera Achievement Award

Alice Parker

Alice Parker says that she sang before she spoke. What an appropriate beginning for a career that has spanned over seven decades and has been devoted to the creation of works for the human voice. She began composing at the age of five, and wrote her first orchestral score while still in high school. At Smith College and the Julliard School, she studied composition and conducting, beginning her long association with Robert Shaw. Their many settings of American folk songs, hymns, and spirituals form an enduring repertoire for choruses all around the world. Through the years she has continued composing in all the choral forms, and has been commissioned by such well-known groups as Chanticleer, the Vancouver Chamber Singers, and the Atlanta Symphony, as well as hundreds of community, school, and church choruses. She has been recognized by Chorus America, the American Guild of Organists, the American Choral Directors Association, The Hymn Society and Choral Arts New England for her lifetime contributions to choral music. She is the recipient of six honorary doctorates, the Smith College Medal, and now, Alice Parker has been selected as the National Opera Association’s 2021 Sacred in Opera Achievement Award honoree.

“Wait—what?” you may be thinking, “Alice Parker has written operas?” Indeed, she has four of them, along with eleven song cycles, thirty-three cantatas, and at least eleven works for chorus and orchestra, many of which are also suitable for forms of staging and dramatic presentation. NOA’s Sacred in Opera Initiative, recognizing Alice Parker’s lifelong engagement with spiritual exploration and expression through music, unanimously chose her for the 2021 SIO Award and is especially happy to be able to shine the spotlight on her operas.

In 1985, she founded Melodious Accord, Inc., a non-profit group which presents concerts and staged performances, sponsors workshops, symposia, and her many professional appearances. The Fellows programs have provided unique training for composers, conductors and song leaders. Her techniques have encouraged a generation of music teachers and choral conductors to think about music and the act of conducting in new ways.

Ms. Parker states, “I believe that melody is the foundation of human music-making, and that song issuing from one human throat is the essential first-step to a musical life. I am fascinated with the combination of words and music, thus have concentrated on choral and vocal works, using the very best texts that I can find. Chamber music involving small groups of voices and instruments is a favorite medium. I am a devotee of folk songs from many cultures, as well as the rediscovery of Christian hymns from many centuries. Melodies which last teach me about the nature of melody itself, and I never tire of composing, arranging, conducting and teaching from these ever-flowing sources.”


Raves from Past Conferences

I found this year's NOA conference the most inspiring of any I have attended. Here I was amongst colleagues who are curious, open to new ideas, and genuinely committed to educating performers. I left feeling excited, motivated, and thrilled to explore new possibilities.
Ann Baltz, educator, director, and pianist

My only regret about attending this amazing conference was the fact I spent much of my time kicking myself in the head for not joining NOA 30 years ago. I missed so much, but; I’m so happy to be part of this wonderful group now. Never too late!!
Bob Breault, University of Utah

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