Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Center for Contemporary Opera lost a dear friend, composer John Eaton on December 2nd. In 2010, we had the great honor of producing his last major opera, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. This was received to great acclaim and we later released a DVD of this production on Albany Records. In 1985, John told the New York Times American opera does not need to be saved, it only needs to be done.

For thirty-four years, the Center for Contemporary Opera has been doing exactly that.

Since our founding, w e have produced forty-three fully staged operas with orchestra, fourteen world premieres, fifty-four operas in development, and seven commercial recordings. We are the only American opera company to perform in Europe on a regular basis: Latvia, Austria, Hungary (twice) and France (twice). We have brought American opera to many thousands of Europeans as two of our productions have been broadcast live across the continent.

We pay our artists a fair wage and have a strong track record of engaging underserved sectors such as women composers, conductors, and stage directors. We are the sole remaining union opera company in NYC other than the Met. We have no debt. Our overhead is minimal. For example, we rent an office in Manhattan for $150 a month! It’s not elegant but gets the job done.

We are also privileged to work with some of the most talented names in the business. Two time Grammy nominated Jennifer Rivera has joined us as our Director of Artistic Development. You’ll see conductors Sara Jobin , Lidiya Yankovskaya, Mark Shapiro and David Krane. Stage Directors include Crystal Manich, Sam Helfrich , Jorinde Keesmaat from Amsterdam and Eugenia Arsenis from Athens. If you have never seen Driscoll Otto s scenic designs, you are in for a treat. The CCO Orchestra has been called “A-List” by the NY Times.

CCO enjoys the support of some of the largest and most prestigious foundations in America; the Andrew W. Mellon, Geoffrey C. Hughes, Virginia B. Toulmin, NYSCA and others, but the bulk of our support comes from individuals. Will you please help?

Jim Schaeffer

PS. For your convenience, you may donate safely on-line through Just Give. Please do so today. Thank you!

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Center for Contemporary Opera programs are supported, in part, by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and with generous contributions from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Geoffrey C. Hughes Foundation, The Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation, The Price Charitable Trust, the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation, and the Ramon Llull Institute.  We are most appreciative of all our supporters.