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NOA Conference Daily Schedule

Thurs., Jan. 3, 2019

9:00-9:50 AM

Conductors and Pianists Collaborative Initiative Gathering

Sawtooth Room (2nd Floor)

9:00-9:50 AM

Breakout Session / Engaging Culture

Wyoming Room

Learning through Service: Opera Outreach and Education (Joshua May)

This session will focus on the creation, implementation, and progression of a collegiate opera workshop outreach program with a service learning model for music education and performance students to connect to our community. This session will provide the steps to build a successful opera outreach program for undergraduate singers, local opera companies and young artist programs. Attendees will learn the principles of best practice for service learning to provide the framework for their programs, which can provide unique partnerships and access to varied levels of grant funding, unique community relationships, service and deep experiential learning. Through the development of our program, the performers and teaching artists were able to share their passion for opera by performing three one-act operas of fables and fairy tales to over 10,000 students in our local community. These operas focused on the themes of literacy, problem solving and anti-bullying, while engaging the elementary students through the musical language of operatic composers. We presented interactive chorus, dance, and/or interactive experience of students/community members at each performance. The university students created unique cross-curricular lessons to bring to the classrooms/venues prior to our performance, which provided an outlet for service learning with our community partners. They focused on the connected elements of music in math, science, reading, story-telling, theatre arts, and foreign languages. Through the design of this project, we connect students and community members of all ages to the fine arts through multiple channels of learning and musical performance.

9:00-9:50 AM

Breakout Session / Educating for the Future

Idaho Room

Pastiche Productions: Making Opera Personal for 21st Century Students (David Ronis, Ann Baltz, Catherine Compton, Daniel Hunter-Holly)

The future of opera depends on creating performance experiences that are personal to performers’ and audiences’ lives. Pastiche opera productions can bring contemporary issues to life by reimagining and recontextualizing familiar repertoire into a new storyline. The benefits of producing this type of performance project are varied and long-lasting, both for student-performers and directors, as well as for the audience. This collaborative session will give examples from two recent pastiche productions.

Production #1) Funded by an internal grant tied to the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley strategic plan, the “Transformations: Sing Your Story” project was a semester-long exploration of opera workshop students’ bilingual, bi-cultural lives on the US-Mexico border. The project culminated in performances of an opera pastiche based on stories from the students’ backgrounds, with oversight from UTRGV’s Counseling Center.

Production #2) No single framing narrative was chosen to organize the material in “A Kurt Weill Cabaret.” Rather, the process involved juxtaposing musical pieces chosen from a variety of Weill shows so as to enable multiple mini-narrative threads to organically emerge, develop, and transform as the evening progressed. This method proved to be quite flexible and yielded compelling results.

9:00-9:50 AM

Breakout Session / Embracing the New

Arizona Room

Scholarly Paper Presentation (Lisa Pollock Mumme)

“Angelica di voce: Angelica Peratta as Nineteenth Century Diva”

10:10-11:00 AM

Breakout Session / Engaging Culture

Wyoming Room

Staging Intimacy in the #MeToo Movement (Lauren Carlton)

With the recent media outpouring of stories surrounding sexual misconduct and harassment, theatrical creators are charged with more responsibility than ever with changing the narrative. As artists, we’re charged with bringing the human experience to the stage, but how do we take care of our own in the process? This session seeks to banish the awkward, empower the uncomfortable, and give both directors and singers tools to take with them into the rehearsal and performance space when staging sexual, violent, or emotional intimacy for production. We’ll discuss laying the groundwork in the rehearsal space, navigating personal and professional boundaries, choreography, and repeatability.

10:10-11:00 AM

Breakout Session / Educating for the Future

Idaho Room

The Art of an Assistant Director (Marc Callahan)

Becoming an assistant director is an excellent way to learn the craft of directing and a solid path to a career in the profession. But how does one become an AD and exactly what are the duties, once you have landed the job? I propose to discuss these topics in a break-out session, beginning with the initial steps, working up the ladder through topics of self-promotion.

There are several ways to become and assistant director: through university and young artist programs or directly through opera companies and directors, themselves. I plan to discuss positive ways to prepare for these introductions and how to build a CV.

Once the job is attained, what are the expectations prior to rehearsals? Here, I plan to discuss topics such as: learning the score, reaching-out to the director, and memorizing the names of all company members.

What is the AD’s job on the first day of rehearsals? This varies from production to production. An AD must be one of the most nuanced members of the creative team in the rehearsal room, supporting the organizational needs of the director and foreseeing logistical problems that might arise. I plan to discuss the ways an AD interacts with the director, liaises with members of the team, and their frequent staging duties. I also plan to discuss the most thrilling part of the job—walking a role—and the most mundane—scheduling.

Once the show running, it is generally the assistant who give notes and make sure that the production remains in good condition. Knowing how to effectively give notes is an extremely important skill. I plan to discuss tactics that I have used in past productions that might serve as useful tidbits for the aspiring assistant.

Finally, what does the job of an assistant director look like in the long run? Many of these questions will be discussed on a basis of personal experience and from colleagues that I have known in the career.

10:10-11:00 AM

Breakout Session / Embracing the New

Arizona Room

Thematic Transformations in Jake Heggie’s Three Decembers (Danielle Herrington)

Though recognized as a significant opera produced in the last decade, no scholarly research exists regarding the music of Jake Heggie’s chamber opera Three Decembers (2008). Famous for his larger works like Dead Man Walking (2000) and Moby Dick (2010), Jake Heggie shows his true mastery of musical motives in Three Decembers as well as his stylistic influences. What’s brilliant about Heggie’s writing is that it is impossible to examine the music without discussing the characters. So in this session, we will explore the many musical thematic transformations inspired by the opera’s characters and their relevant, and often relatable, realities. By understanding the composer’s intentions, the singing actor or director can make enhanced decisions. Heggie’s musical choices are intrinsically tied to the emotional shifts experienced by each character, which creates pacing much like a movie with themes frequently changing in each scene. You will see how this compositional technique cultivates a connection with today’s modern audience through the session’s detailed breakdown of musical themes. Heggie’s own story, though not directly autobiographical, greatly informs the drama and complex characters of Three Decembers, and therefore, I will demonstrate how this theoretical analysis will lead to stronger dramatic choices by singers, directors, and music directors alike.

11:20 AM -1:00 PM

Opening Ceremonies, Keynote Address and Luncheon

Grand Ballroom B

Keynote Speaker: Michael Ballam, Founder and General Director, Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theatre

1:20-3:20 PM

Master Class / Plenary Session

Grand Ballroom A

Stephen Lord, Award-Winning Conductor (principal conductor of the Michigan Opera Theater and music director for Opera Theatre of Saint Louis)

3:20-3:40 PM

Break

 

3:40-4:30 PM

Breakout Session / Embracing the New

Wyoming Room

Models for New Work Development (Brian DeMaris, Julie Gunn, Kristin Kenning, Leigh Holman, Craig Kier)

Engaging with new work and living composers and librettists develops and requires an extended set of skills for young performers, yet it remains a challenge for many university programs to incorporate exposure to and development of new works into their programming and curriculum. Inspired by a panel discussion at Opera America’s New Works Forum in 2018, this session will feature a panel discussion with producers from multiple universities that have collaborated with nationally recognized composers, librettists and producers in the development of new work within the university setting, providing not only an opportunity for composers and librettists, but also a successful and essential pedagogical experience for student performers. These projects have proven to have a remarkable track record for community engagement, audience building and attracting outside funding.

3:40-4:30 PM

Breakout Session / Educating for the Future

Idaho Room

Cliff Notes: A Guide to Abbreviating Opera for Small Departments (Richard Masters, Ariana Wyatt)

In this session, Masters & Wyatt will describe their process in re-thinking Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro in order to make it work within the strictures provided by a limited budget and a small pool of student singers. Collegiate instructors in smaller music departments who wish to give their students the experience of opera are often challenged by constraints placed upon them by the realities of their financial and personnel situations. The usual solution is to stick to the format of opera workshop, but what if you want to do more? Masters and Wyatt have new perspectives on this old problem, and will detail their solution to the full opera dilemma.

3:40-4:30 PM

Breakout Session / Engaging Culture

Arizona Room

Utah Opera Education (Paula Fowler, Carol Anderson, Utah Opera Resident Artists)

Professional opera companies and university opera programs share the opportunity of introducing young people to the art form of opera, as both audience members and possible pursuers of the arts involved. Utah Opera has a 40-year history of education outreach in its statewide community. Learn in this session how Utah Opera Education & Community Outreach has responded to the opportunities in this state for cultivating present success and future of opera in our corner of the world. Utah Opera’s Education Director will share programming, highlighting current collaborations with university programs. The second half of the session will feature Utah Opera’s quintet of Resident Artists in Freeze Frame: The Elixir of Love, our introduction to opera for junior high school audiences, as a sample of one of our four age-appropriate, in-school programs.

4:30-7:30 PM

Dinner on Your Own

 

7:30-9:30 PM

Collegiate Opera Scenes Competition

Grand Ballroom A

(Paul Houghtaling, Master of Ceremonies, and Dawn Neely, Chair, Collegiate Opera Scenes Competition Committee)

This annual celebration of opera scenes is an entertaining energetic evening featuring young artists from all across the United States in undergraduate and graduate opera divisions and a musical theatre division. National finalists are selected from a competitive preliminary round and the NOA national conference offers a unique experience for the student performers.

Panel of Judges: Ann Baltz, James Bobick, Carla Rae Cooke, Darla Diltz, Shelby Van Nostrand

9:30-10:30 PM

Opening Reception

Ball Room Reception Area

 

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