This project's funding goal was not reached on August 8, 2014.
About this project
Please watch this 3 minute (OK, 3:34 minutes ;-) video to find out HOW YOU CAN HELP KICKSTART A WORLD-CLASS SUMMER OPERA FESTIVAL'S EXCITING & UNIQUE SEASON!!!
Hello Dear Friends, Opera Lovers and Supporters!!
I’m Soprano Béatrice Beer
the daughter of the late “Holocaust Composer" Joseph Beer
the Atlantic Coast Opera Festival’s Composer-in-Residence In Memoriam with such celebrities as Roberto Alagna
and Harold Prince
supporting this major revival project!
The Atlantic Coast Opera Festival was founded back in 2004 by opera celeb' Robert McFarland
(www.RobertMcFarlandBaritone.com) after he had spoken with people like Beverly Sills
his old "boss" at New York City Opera and colleagues such as Plácido Domingo
and Maestro James Levine
in the late 1990s.
And so... a World-Class Opera Festival was born!!
Our mission is to provide the region with a much needed WORLD-CLASS SUMMER OPERA FESTIVAL IN THE PHILADELPHIA REGION -- of the caliber of the Salzburg Festival in Austria and the Glyndebourne Festival in the UK -- and by the same token to provide outstanding, YET UNKNOWN artists of international caliber the opportunities they deserve!On our Board of Advisors:
and Plácido Domingo
We also have the Honorary Consul of France Michael Scullin
on our Honorary Board, along with Jill Pasternak
The Metropolitan Opera National Council in New York City
the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia
the Opera Company of Philadelphia
and Opera America
the well recognized National Service Organization for Opera, have all come to lend their artistic support and validation to The Atlantic Coast Opera Festival.
The Atlantic Coast Opera Festival’s staunch commitment to artistic excellence is evidenced by the number of artists from past seasons who were awarded contracts with The Metropolitan Opera and other major companies nation and worldwide – as well as by the enthusiastic response The Festival has received across the board, with comments such as “This is like the Met!!” not at all unusual!!
The Festival also operates a Young Artist Program and an Internship Program designed to educate and groom outstanding inexperienced singers for the international stage [PHOTO YOUNG ARTISTS], as well as an Educational Outreach Program aimed at spreading Opera in the community at large [PHOTO].
Our 2014 Season, coming up this August, is to consist of a bold, exciting, and UNUSUAL (to say the least) double bill!!
Paired with the all time favorite opera Pagliacci
we have the North American Premiere of excerpts of my father’s pre-war “blockbuster” opera Polnische Hochzeit!
......And that’s where YOU come in!! :-)
We need your help KICKSTART our 2014 Summer Season in
such a way that we’ll be able to afford the many EXPENSIVE items NEEDED
-- among others:
*** A PROFESSIONAL ORCHESTRA
(opera performances in nowadays constricted budget climate often forego an orchestra and only feature piano accompaniment!!)
*** A THEATRE (vs. performing in a hall or a church etc.!)
*** A good REHEARSAL VENUE (vs. rehearsing in a non-air conditioned hall by 90o weather or in someone's crowded living-room!!! ;-)
*** SEVERAL PERFORMANCES (vs. just 1 or 2 as is the standard for opera nowadays!!)
*** BEAUTIFUL COSTUMES
*** SETS (those are EXPENSIVE!! Think 6 figures!!)
*** A wider pool of ARTISTS. So far, we’ve been able to find EXCELLENT singers for next to nothing but sometimes, a higher fee is needed for specific, tricky roles!!
And of course it would be not only fair to pay ALL our artists the regular, standard fees of major opera companies to match their outstanding talents AND hard, committed work -- it would also boost our own standing and reputation!!
*** ACCOMMODATIONS for out-of-town artists (vs. artists having to struggle finding their own sublets etc.)
*** A great PRODUCTION TEAM to ensure the Season runs smoothly and not 1 or 2 staff members shouldering all the work and responsibility and work long shifts for below minimum wage fees!!
*** And as I mentioned in the video...MARKETING!! a CRUCIAL element!! “Spreading the word” is another COSTLY commodity!! After weeks and month of hard work and rehearsing etc., all the artists and musicians deserve performing in front of a FULL HOUSE!!
*** CRITICS !! Those wonderful people who help build our reputation and inform the general public that we exist won’t come unless they feel it’s worth their while and the production is up to their high standards!!
All in all, these last 2 items sort of “snowball” and after a while, the Festival is no longer “Philadelphia’s Best Kept Operatic Secret” but rather is part of the artistic scene not only at the regional level, but nationally as well, and soon internationally as per our mission!! :-)
So here is our basic "no frills" Budget:
1. Administrative Staff
2. Artistic Staff Fees (9):$7,250
3. Artists Fees (17):$11,000
5. Crew Fees (7):$5,200
6. Marketing / Advertising:$3,300
7. Office Expense:$540
8.Orchestra Musicians Fees (43):$14,900
11. Transportation Fees:$1,860
Total Projected Expense: $77,000
And just so you know, the reason we’re only setting a goal of $18,000 is that we've already raised our usual $25,000 roughly out of the $77,000 -- which only covers the SUPER basics (more on that below!!)
And this being our very first Kickstarter Campaign, we want to sort of play it safe and make sure we reach our goal!! :-)
So YOUR SUPPORT will go a LONG WAY in helping us have a TRULY GRAND OPERA Season!! Just so you know, and this is a little known fact, a typical opera production runs along the 6-figure line, like $100,000+!!
So of course, we're hoping your generosity and liberality will help us reach our goal and go BEYOND -- in which case we will then REALLY be able to really do things GRANDLY!!!
... From the no nonsense “Wig Master” to a beautiful, state-of-the arts, centrally located theater (our goal is the Perelman Theater at the Kimmel Center!!...) and including things like being able to remunerate all our highly talented/hard working musicians, singers, staff & crew members what they’re REALLY WORTH!! :-)
So there you have it, dear Friends, Opera Lovers and Supporters!!!
And also, just so you know, we’re an Equal Opportunity Employer! And not only do we NOT discriminate according to race, creed, religion
and other "basics" -- but we go further!!
Unlike nowadays standard opera casting practices, when it comes to new talent, among others, we do not discriminate according to age, looks, weight and/or EXPERIENCE!!
In case you weren't aware, in this business in general, ONLY if an artist has performed a role a certain number of times is he/she given a chance in a professional setting... Well, under these circumstances, how can unexperienced artists ever reach the professional stage, right?!
On the other hand, The Atlantic Coast Opera Festival basically believes in Rossini’s three requirements when it comes to an opera singer. And they are....
“Voce, voce, voce” -- “VOICE, VOICE, VOICE”!!
I've heard our Founder Robert McFarland quote Rossini, which was funny actually, as I had learned this from my own father the opera composer
So Robert McFarland our Founder and one of today’s top opera singers -- and one of the very best voice teachers alive today as well as an amazing impresario!! -- recounts how, when he started
out, he was given important lead roles, such as Figaro and Rigoletto at Chautauqua among others (it was customary in those days to entrust young singers with new parts) and of course, he performed brilliantly!
He himself trusted me with my first Mimì (La Bohème)
right here with the Festival, and the feedback was awesome -- among others: “wow, how many times have you performed this, it seems so second nature to you!!” We rest our case!! ;-)
And last but not least... The Atlantic Coast Opera Festival is an IRS 501(c)3 NON-PROFIT Organization, so ALL your DONATIONS ARE FULLY TAX-DEDUCTIBLE!! :-)
So we’re ready with a SUPER EXCITING, WORLD-CLASS 2014 Season -- the fantastic, totally UNIQUE Pagliacci/Polnische Double Bill
running August 22-30, 2014!! Please stay tuned for updates in terms of dates and locations, we’re waiting to see what we raise, and so what we can afford!!
We will be updating you with all details in that regard right here -- as well as on the The Atlantic Coast Opera Festival’s site online at www.AtlanticCoastOperaFestival.org
Please make sure to “LIKE” us on FB!! Thanks!! :-)
So... THE POWER IS IN YOUR HANDS!! YOU can make this a GRAND, STUNNING, UNFORGETTABLE SEASON and set the stage (as it were!! ;-) for more such GLORIOUS Seasons to happen in years to come!!
So that soon, our DREAM, our VISION becomes a reality: to enrich and bless the Philadelphia region with a Summer Festival of international stature à la Salzburg Festival or Glyndebourne Festival, and to become a focal point for all opera lovers to travel to from all over the world!!
IN SHORT!! YOUR support will help make POSSIBLE a crucial missing element: summer world-class opera, music, beauty and love -- for EVERYONE to enjoy!!!
And for each dollar you PLEDGE, we have planned a bunch of exciting rewards
for you as a token of our DEEP GRATITUDE!!! :-) ... from just $1 to $9,999 -- the whole gamut!! We'll reward you with many fun, exciting rewards, such as CDs, VIP tickets, ads in our Program -- all the way to VIP PRIVATE PARTIES and VIP PRIVATE PERFORMANCES for YOU and your select family & friends ONLY!!
So empower yourself!! JUST DO IT!!! CLICK on the "BACK THIS PROJECT" BUTTON now!!!
Your RIGHT ACTION has the POWER to help the Festival MOVE FORWARD and be a great source of enrichment and blessings to all!!
And then... watch the Rewards pour in -- on ALL LEVELS!! :-) (You know the saying... “it all comes back to you!!”!! :-)
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!! BLESS YOU!! WE LOVE YOU!!! :-)
Risks and challenges
The risks and challenges associated with producing and organizing the multi-faceted, complex event an Opera Production is -- involving close to 100 people who come together to work intensely on their life passion for a short period of time are, needless to say, manifold.
From artists' illness to the rehearsal venue being booked for a wedding at the time of the ever important Orchestra "Sitzprobe" (first rehearsal) -- or what about an act of God and there go the theater's lights!! The ushers will have to accompany you to your seat by candlelight for a while!! ;-)
These things happen!!... But thank God VERY rarely!!
The MAIN issue we've encountered basically is that due to lack of funding, underpaid/overworked artists along with staff and crew will tend to get stressed out during the course of the Festival's 5-week period --patterned by Robert McFarland along the lines of all professional opera companies, viz., a 3 week rehearsal period followed by performances spanning across 1-2 weeks.
So despite the love, passion and commitment to their art our artists and staff/crew feel, which makes them willing to work and perform for meager flat fees in summer's heat, it catches up with some of them after a while... creating issues for the rest of the participants and for the Festival.
But rest assured, dear Friend... This is NOTHING money CANNOT mend!! ;-)
Being able to abide by best opera industry remuneration practices (which so far have been beyond our reach, "grass-roots" budget-wise!!) will go a long way in keeping the Festival's "troupe" -- the cast/staff happy, motivated and healthy -- physically as well as emotionally!!
HEARTFELT THANKS, ALL!! XOLearn about accountability on Kickstarter
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- (26 days)