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2020 Cleveland

Save the date for NOA's 65th Annual National Conference, "Opera Rocks!" held at The Hilton Cleveland: January 8-11, 2020.

Session Proposals

Session proposals are now being accepted on a wide variety of topics including opera education, practice, performance, production, history, outreach, and composition.

Submit a completed Session Proposal form by June 1, 2019 for your presentation to be considered. Proposal forms must be emailed to , VP for Conferences.

Proposal Form

2020 Cleveland Conference Highlights

David Bamberger
NOA Lifetime Achievement Award

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

DAVID BAMBERGER – director, educator, librettist, author, administrator – has staged over 250 productions with stars including Roberta Peters, Sherrill Milnes, and Jerome Hines. After co-founding Cleveland Opera, he was its General Director for over 28 years, growing it into one of America’s major regional companies. For its 25th Anniversary he secured José Carreras, Placido Domingo, and Luciano Pavarotti to perform in concert at Cleveland Browns Stadium. The opera he created for the 75th Anniversary of Anne Frank’s birth was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.  

From 2004 to 2018, he was Artistic Director of the Opera Program for the Cleveland Institute of Music. His students have appeared in major roles with companies around the world.  Mr. Bamberger’s staging has been enjoyed throughout America, from the New York City Opera to the Los Angeles Music Center. His international credits include the National Opera, Santiago, Chile, and the Israel Vocal Arts Institute, Tel Aviv.

In 1990, OPERA America selected him to represent the opera industry before Congress in the year’s successful effort to garner support for the National Endowment for the Arts. Bamberger’s many awards include honorary doctorates from Swarthmore College (his alma mater), Cleveland State University, and the Cleveland Institute of Music.

2019 Annual Conference: Pioneering the Future of Opera Salt Lake City (concluded)

The conference was held January 2-5, 2019, in majestic Salt Lake City at the serene Four-Diamond hotel Little America Hotel Salt Lake City.

Conference Photos

Thank you to Richard Poppino, who again graciously served as photographer for the convention.  All his photos are available for viewing and access at:  No password is needed, but follow the download instructions as needed.

Session Recordings

Thanks to Egami A/V, audio and/or video recordings of the conference sessions are available for purchase.  Please see the order form for information and to purchase CDs or DVDs!

Conference Schedule

Have a look at the conference schedule to see all of the events offered at this conference:

Conference Schedule  Mobile-friendly Schedule

2019 Salt Lake City Conference Highlights

Stephen Lord
NOA Lifetime Achievement Award

Noted conductor Stephen Lord was honored with NOA's highest award, a Lifetime Achievement Award, at the banquet on Saturday, Jan. 5.

Stephen Lord has been chosen by Opera News as one of the “25 Most Powerful Names in U.S. Opera” (one of four conductors), and is continually praised for conducting both traditional and contemporary operatic works. For his debut with San Francisco Opera, conducting Rigoletto, one critic observed, “He partnered his singers perfectly and gave everything its proper weight – he was master of the score’s details and the orchestra played superbly for him.” He is currently principal conductor of the Michigan Opera Theater, music director for Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, and formerly was music director of Boston Lyric Opera. He has also served as artistic director of opera studies at the New England Conservatory, overseeing all aspects of the opera training program and conducting one main stage production a year.

Greer Grimsley
"Lift Every Voice" Award

Soprano Harolyn Blackwell joined the esteemed ranks of recipients of NOA's Legacy Project's "Lift Every Voice" award at the banquet on Saturday, Jan. 5.

One of the brightest stars on stages in the US and abroad, charismatic soprano Harolyn Blackwell has been hailed by audiences and critics alike as a “model of agility, spunk, charm and silvery tone.” Recognized for her expressive and exuberant performances, as well as for her radiant voice, she is making a wide and varied career on opera, concert and recital stages of the world.

Michael Ballam
Keynote Speaker at Opening Lunch

Michael Ballam, Founder and General Director of the Utah Festival Opera Company

Michael Ballam has received critical acclaim with the major opera companies of the USA and a recital career in the most important Concert Halls of four continents. His operatic repertoire includes more than 600 performances of over 70 major roles sharing the stage with the world's greatest singers. At the age of 24, Dr. Ballam became the youngest recipient of the degree of Doctor of Music with Distinction in the history of Indiana University. An accomplished pianist and oboist, he is the Founder and General Director of the Utah Festival Opera Company, which is fast becoming one of the nation's major Opera Festivals. He is the author of over 30 publications and recordings in international distribution and serves on the Board of Directors of four professional Arts organizations.

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