MassOpera cultivates experiences for artists and audiences that challenge the status quo and reflect our diverse community.
- To produce the highest quality artistic product possible
- To ensure singers and all artists are compensated for their work and technical skills
- To produce at least one fully staged opera OR musical with orchestra per season
- To ensure gender parity both on-stage and off
- To educate singers to be great artists and great business people
- To engage the public both as audience members and life-long learners
- To support new work and tell new stories
- To ensure representation of all kinds of races, religions, genders and gender identities, sexual orientations, cultures, and body types on stage both with the characters we present and the artists who portray them
MassOpera is a proud member of
MassOpera was founded in 2007, as MetroWest Opera, by Artistic Director Dana Varga, to provide young classical singers performance opportunity to fill the gap between conservatory and a flourishing professional career. When MetroWest Opera was founded, there were only a few small opera companies in the Boston area, and the time was ripe to create more opportunity for these emerging singers.
The main tenets of MetroWest Opera’s mission were to:
- Provide paid performance opportunity emerging classical singers
- Produce fully staged opera with orchestra
- Produce standard repertoire so that singers could tackle roles they would need to know to flourish in this very competitive industry
- Choose repertoire that ensures gender parity in casting
In 2010 MetroWest Opera introduced its first Annual Vocal Competition for Emerging Artists, in which singers compete for cash prizes, and has held this program annually (and now bi-annually) ever since. In addition to our Annual Production and Vocal Competition, MetroWest Opera created several programs to help with professional development of singers (Artist Development), including Audition Preparation Evenings, The Business of Singing Workshop, and other educational programs.
The future IS MassOpera. During our 10th Anniversary Season in 2017 and 2018, both the board and staff of MetroWest Opera felt that we had successfully fulfilled our mission for ten years, but that the landscape of opera in Boston had shifted, and so too should our mission and values.
We were now one of several small opera companies, each with a slightly different mission and approach to opera. Through a series of group exercises, countless conversations, and much soul-searching we decided we wanted to:
- Have the opportunity to produce musical theatre and other performance mediums, alongside that of opera
- Support and encourage all the various and talented artists and designers who make opera so powerful and entertaining
- Produce original works that have never been told, alongside venerable standard repertoire
- Commit to serving and inspiring our audience. An opera company is nothing without its audience!
Therefore, looking to our audience, we—MassOpera—will:
- Be forward thinking and ever-responsive
- Strive to push the operatic art-form forward to tell diverse and compelling stories
- Advocate for artists and the art we produce
- Contribute to the quality of life and cultural landscape of Greater Boston
- Act as an engine of economic activity that has ripple effects throughout the region
- Look to you, our audience, for stories that need to be told and heard, that reflect your accomplishments and struggles and the immense diversity of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
MassOpera will create a place for everyone at the table.
Carlos Aznarez - Board Member
Composer, Film Scorer, and Singer
Jeff Candiello - Chair & Treasurer
Engineering Leader, Cisco
Amanda Goodrum - Vice Chair
Law Student, Loyola University
Sharon Jusczak - Board Member
District Design Manager, Ethan Allen
Wayne Malloy - Clerk
Senior Project Manager for the Office of the President at Berklee
Andrea Olmstead - Board Member
Author, Professor, & Librettist
Her Who was F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Daisy? (2012) is available as an eBook. Olmstead’s most recent book, Vincent Persichetti; Grazioso, Grit, and Gold (Rowman & Littlefield, 2018), won the 2019 ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award for Outstanding Musical Biography.
The recipient of three national Endowment for the Humanities Awards, she has also been a Visiting Scholar at the American Academy in Rome ten times and a Fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts on six occasions. She taught Music History at The Juilliard School, the Boston Conservatory, the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, and at the New England Conservatory of Music. Olmstead was the Christopher Hogwood Research Fellow for the Handel & Haydn Society Orchestra and Chorus. She wrote the libretto and produced the opera HolyGhosts, music by Larry Bell based on the play by Romulus Linney. She is also a CD producer.
Ulysses Thomas - Board Member
Professional Jeweler, Van Cleef & Arpels
Director of Content Marketing
Program Director of New Opera Workshop
Director of Community Engagement
Director of Digital and Social Media
Director of Operations and Administration
Dana Lynne Varga
Founder & Artistic Director