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NOA Conference Daily Schedule

Fri., Jan. 4, 2019

9:00-11:00 AM

Poster Sessions

Ball Room Reception Area

9:00-9:50 AM

Conversation with Harolyn Blackwell

Arizona Room

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.

10:10-11:00 AM

Breakout Session / Engaging Culture

Wyoming Room

Experiences of Faculty Members w/Disabilities (Tina Holmes-Davis, Bonnie Von Hoff)

Experiences of Faculty Members with Disabilities in Higher Education is a duo ethnographic study that showcases the challenges and triumphs that faculty members with disabilities are experiencing in Higher Education today. The goal of this study is to create a greater awareness of the issues by providing an open discussion of what faculty members with disabilities are facing when working with students with disabilities as well as in the academic community as a whole. Topics to be included in this discussion are:

• Challenges Disabled Faculty Members Face on a Day to Day Basis

• Suggestions for Working with Disabled Students when Staging Operas and Opera Scenes

• Suggestions for Working with Disabled Students in the Classroom

Key outcomes and implications are that there has been a rise in awareness of the needs of faculty members and students with disabilities in Higher Education, and there is more to accomplish. Discussing current issues openly is paramount to promoting greater understanding and insight to ensure continued progress in academia as we continue to learn about the practices of faculty members with disabilities in Higher Education.

10:10-11:00 AM

Breakout Session / Educating for the Future

Idaho Room

Winning the Mental Game (Nicholas Pallesen)

Are nerves getting in the way of you performing and auditioning at the level you know you’re capable of? Imagine how it would feel to shine under the brightest lights, knowing that you’re free to be your best! For over 15 years, Metropolitan Opera Baritone and Mental Performance Consultant Nicholas Pallesen has helped artists from high school to the top levels of the opera, musical theater, and orchestral worlds put performance anxiety behind them. Join him as he reveals the surprisingly simple cause AND solution to stage fright. You will also learn:

• Why all the mental strategies and techniques you’ve been doing up until now often don’t work

• How your fear is actually on your side (Really!)

• Why trying to get in “the zone” is not only unnecessary, but can actually make things worse

• How you can perform at a high level whether you feel amazingly confident or wildly insecure

• Why you are 100% okay no matter how a performance or audition goes

Learn to perform more consistently at your best with much less effort and enjoy doing what you love much more! NOTE: Some attendees may have the chance to receive personal coaching.

10:10-11:00 AM

Breakout Session / Embracing the New

Arizona Room

Beethoven’s Slippers: A New Monodrama (Judith Cloud, Jennifer Trost, Rita Borden, Eric Gibson)

Composer Judith Cloud and soprano Jennifer Trost will introduce “Beethoven’s Slippers,” a monodrama composed to a libretto by Douglas Atwill, noted Santa Fe artist and writer. Cloud and Trost will discuss the collaborative process involved with the commissioning and creation of this new work, a monodrama tailored to the strengths of a specific singer with an eye toward supplementing the standard operatic repertoire. Stage director Eric Gibson will join in the conversation sharing how his concept for the production was born out of the sketches provided by Atwill that outline and complement the libretto. The session will conclude with a staged performance of the 27’ work, including projections of Atwill’s artwork. Q&A will follow.

Synopsis: The setting is the living room of an adobe house in Santa Fe, NM on December 16th—Beethoven’s birthday—in the mid 1980’s. The Woman, a wealthy Southerner who lives alone, is entertaining some friends in the late afternoon with martinis. The Woman is reminiscing about Charles, the great love of her life, and their time together in Paris, then in Santa Fe. As she had given Charles their “two-seater” as a parting gift, the only memento she has are the slippers that once belonged to Beethoven. Librettist Douglas Atwill writes: “There is throughout the story a sense of sadness that she never let go of the memory of an unsatisfactory lover or went on to another. She holds on to a gentle rancor right to the end, deeper than her words would suggest.”

11:10 AM-12:10 PM

NOA Annual Business Meeting

Grand Ballroom A

12:30-1:50 PM

Regional Lunch

Grand America Hotel

(Just across the street from the Little America)

2:00-3:00 PM

Plenary Session / Educating for the Future

Grand Ballroom A

Navigating the World of Young Artist Programs

(Moderator: Mitra Sadeghpour (Chair, Student Involvement Initiative Committee),

Panel: Michael Ballam (Utah Festival Opera & Musical Theatre), Laurie Rogers (Opera Saratoga), Darla Diltz (Red River Lyric Opera), and Paul Houghtaling (Druid City Opera Workshop))

This session will cover several important topics and suggestions regarding young artist programs and allow ample time for students to ask questions of the panel. The discussion will include tips on how to find information on young artist programs (YAPTracker, your network of mentors and teachers) and how to determine what programs are right for you (training or performance based or both? scenes or roles? domestic or international?) In addition, the panel will offer insight on the preparation and audition process, resources for funding, the transition from tuition-based programs to salaried opportunities, and demeanor and professional expectations in the young artist world.

3:00-3:20 PM



3:20-4:10 PM

Breakout Session / Engaging Culture

Arizona Room

Dance, Dress and Decorum 1500-1910 (Nicola Bowie)

Dance, Dress & Decorum 1500-1910 is a period etiquette master class intended to inform the singer about the historical and social aspects of the opera in which they may be performing. The session will cover seven periods: Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo, Empire/Directoire, Romantic, Crinoline & Bustle/90’s/Edwardian. The aims of the session are:

· To show the origin of costume, how it is worn in a period production and how it affects their physicality.

· To explain the costume evolved and was influenced by historical and political events of the day

· To illustrate through paintings, photographs, illustrations and You Tube clips linking to existing Opera productions.

· To source actual Costume pieces/undergarments to be worn by the singers to give them a sense of (in most cases) the restriction that governs their movement.

· Instruction in the correct etiquette/manners of the period (i.e how to sit down in a hooped skirt, how to manage a train, the use of the gentlemen’s hat, the do’s and don’t s of the correct behavior in the salon, promenade & ballroom)

· To learn a Dance of the Day (i.e. Minuet, Pavanne, Sarabande, Polonaise, Mazurka, Waltz, Polka)

3:20-4:10 PM

Breakout Session / Educating for the Future

Idaho Room

Musical Give and Take: How to Sing with a Conductor (Kristin Roach, Darryl Cooper)

Singers who are most used to collaborating one-on-one with a pianist quickly discover that a successful collaboration with a conductor requires a different kind of working relationship. While the conductor is ultimately responsible for musically coordinating everything on stage and in the pit, the best conductors seek to cultivate a give-and-take musical relationship with singers to empower them to their most expressive artistry. How and when should singers feel empowered to take musical leadership, and how can they prepare themselves for this as they learn their roles? How can singers best prepare to adapt to a wide variety of conductors and styles? This session will explore the nature of musical leadership between singer and conductor, in its ideal form, as a shared, give-and-take relationship, and how voice teachers and coaches can best prepare singers for these collaborations.

3:20-4:10 PM

Breakout Session / Embracing the New

Wyoming Room

Massage for Singers (Christopher Meerdink)

In a wellness model, the purpose of massage is to increase comfort, flexibility, and overall functioning, while decreasing stress, lowering blood pressure, and encouraging a sense of health and well-being. Massage for Singers, much like sport massage for athletes, is a series of massage and stretching techniques that addresses nodules (knots), adhesions, and taut bands in the torso, neck, and head, with the goal of increasing level of comfort and self-awareness of the singer in their instrument. Similarly, massage for musicians is a general descriptive phrase (including Massage for Singers) for massage techniques tailored for the unique areas of concern for musicians. In this session, I will demonstrate some of the techniques I have developed for use with a singer and with a pianist.

4:30-5:30 PM

Plenary Session / Engaging Culture

Grand Ballroom A

IDEA- Inclusivity, Diversity, Equity, Access… The Start of a Discussion (Moderator: Justin John Moniz, Panel: Gayla Blaisdell, Minnita Daniel-Cox, Ryan Landis, Jess Muñoz and Kumiko Shimizu)

The future of our art form and its relevance in our society is critically dependent upon our ability to recognize the challenges of Inclusivity, Diversity, Equity, and Access (IDEA). Join NOA’s newly formed IDEA Committee in an open dialogue surrounding some impactful issues which are included under the term “diversity” and which need to be addressed in an honest spirit of awareness. While this panel will not portend to be a finite presentation of all that needs to be shared, it is our hope that we might bring certain issues to the table for the start of conversation and comment. Topics such as authenticity and sensitivity in casting (from colorblind to color conscious), recognizing privilege (creating an equitable environment for all), fostering accessibility (engaging and serving underrepresented populations), and Diversity Officers as important members opera administration staffs will be discussed.

5:30-7:00 PM

Dinner on Your Own


7:00 PM

Meet for Shuttle Bus


7:30-9:30 PM

Sacred In Opera (SIO) Production

Cathedral of the Madeleine

Naamah’s Ark

THE SACRED IN OPERA INITIATIVE of NOA presents this staged dramatic oratorio by composer Marisa Michelson and Pulitzer Prize winning librettist Royce Vavrek. It tells the story of Noah’s Ark from the perspective of Noah’s wife, Naamah-- a strong woman who must guide all the diverse species of animals in coming together as the Ark reaches dry land. From the birds to the hippos, each group has its own concerns. Can they learn to live together after the crisis has passed? Presented in collaboration with Southern Utah University, a company of over 300 artists perform this inspirational work in Salt Lake City’s Gothic Romanesque Cathedral of the Madeleine.( Isai Jess Muñoz (SIO Chair), Carol Ann Modesitt (NOA Conference Host), and Krystal McCoy (Southern Utah University) coordinate the event. In line with the mission of the Sacred in Opera Initiative, this interfaith production is shared with a positive awareness of religious diversity and the intentional practice of engaging people of different faiths for the betterment of our organization and society as a whole.


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