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Opera receives major audience building grant; generous corporate leaders help raise the curtain for Opera Carolina's 65th season

September 10, 2013

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    September 10, 2013
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    Opera Carolina News

Opera receives major audience building grant; generous corporate leaders help raise the curtain for Opera Carolina's 65th season

Charlotte, N.C., (Sept. 10, 2013) - Opera Carolina opens its 65th season, dubbed the "Season of Love" with tremendous support from leading corporations that consistently demonstrate their strong commitment to arts programming in the greater Charlotte area.

The Hearst Foundations have extended a multi-year Audience Building grant of $300,000, allowing Opera Carolina to continue the successful initiative with new audiences begun through the philanthropy of the James S. and John L. Knight Foundation in 2011. The grant will provide for free and subsidized tickets to key demographics beginning with the season-opening production of Verdi'sAIDA.

For the 65th season, generous contributions from Wells Fargo Private Bank, the Hearst Corporation, the Levine Cancer Institute, Bank of America, Time Warner Cable, Duke Energy and USAirways, totaling $325,000 will help Opera Carolina present a trilogy of classic opera masterpieces by eminent composers Verdi, Puccini and Wagner. In addition to these major sponsors, more than 60 regional companies contributed $160,000 to support the main stage and education programs for the 2013/14 season.

"We are most fortunate to have built strong relationships with corporate leaders who understand the value of excellent arts programming in our community," said James Meena, general director & principal conductor of Opera Carolina. "Their long-term commitment allows us to serve our schools equitably, and create grand opera performances that meet and exceed international performing standards."

Major sponsors for Opera Carolina's 2013/14 season include: Wells Fargo Private Bank, season sponsor; the Hearst Corporation and the Levine Cancer Institute, performance presenting sponsors for AIDA; and Time Warner Cable, performance presenting sponsor of Il Trittico.

The 2013/14 Season of Opera Carolina opens Opera Carolina's new Benefit Concert, Art to Poetry to Music on September 12 at the Knight Theater, followed by a new production of Verdi's grand tale of love and war, AIDA, on October 19, 24 and 27, featuring Canadian-American Opéra de Montréal soprano Othalie Graham, Russian born Metropolitan Opera mezzo-soprano Irina Mishura, La Scala tenor Antonello Palombi, and Metropolitan Opera baritone Mark Rucker in leading roles.

Puccini's Il Trittico, three one-act operas created for the Metropolitan Opera, follows on January 18, 23 and 26. Passion and intrigue swirl as a seamless evening unfolds with Il Tabarro, Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi starring Washington National Opera soprano Jill Gardner, Chinese born Welsh National Opera baritone Chen-Ye Yuan, and Korean born Royal Opera Covent Garden tenor Dongwon Shin.

The season concludes with Wagner's haunting tale of love on the high seas, The Flying Dutchman, on March 22, 27 and 30. The cast features Metropolitan Opera tenor and N.C. native Anthony Dean Griffey, Metropolitan bass-baritone Greer Grimsley and Seattle Opera soprano Elizabeth Kataria.

Mainstage performances are at the Belk Theater, North Carolina Blumenthal Performing Arts Center. Art to Poetry to Music will be held at the Knight Theater at the Levine Center for the Arts. Subscriptions are on sale at 704.332.7177, ext. 1.

Single tickets may be purchased through the Performing Arts Center Box Office at 704.372.1000, or visit operacarolina.org. Opera Carolina provides significant discounts for subscribers, as well as the new Youth Discount to encourage adults to bring young people to the Opera, plus Student Rush tickets, and Group Discounts.

About Opera Carolina
Founded in 1948 as the Charlotte Opera Association by a small group of volunteers, Opera Carolina today is the largest professional opera company in the Carolinas with an operating budget of over $2.9 million. The mission of Opera Carolina is to inspire the region's diverse community through the presentation of excellent Opera, Operetta, and Education & Outreach programs that elevate the quality of life in the Carolinas. Opera Carolina is a community resource with a commitment to artistic excellence and community service.

Opera Carolina is supported, in part, with funding from the Arts & Science Council and the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources. Opera Carolina is a member of OPERA America.

About The Hearst Foundations
The goals of The Hearst Foundation, Inc. and of The William Randolph Hearst Foundation reflect the philanthropic interests of their founder, William Randolph Hearst, in the fields of Education, Health, Culture, and Social Service. Established in 1945 and 1948, respectively, the Foundations are endowed, national private philanthropies dedicated to ensuring that people of all backgrounds have the opportunity to build healthy, productive and inspiring lives. With headquarters in New York City and an office in San Francisco, the two Foundations operate independently from the Hearst Corporation and are managed as one entity, sharing the same funding guidelines, leadership, and staff. In addition to their grantmaking activities, the Foundations administer two operating initiatives, the United States Senate Youth Program and the Hearst Journalism Awards program. THE HEARST FOUNDATIONS www.hearstfdn.org

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