Today marks the last day of October, or what we in Opera on Tap circles like to call OOTober. Month-long campaigns like this always leave me emotionally spent and ready for a rest afterwards. I feel compelled to write today, because I feel the exact opposite at the end of this particular campaign. I have had the privilege and the pleasure of working very directly with our Chapter organizers across the country this past month on creating strategies to raise awareness of and support for Opera on Tap’s local and national projects. The people who make Opera on Tap happen around the country, I’ve learned, are a very particular type: entrepreneurial, creative, passionate, talented, courageous and extremely generous. Despite the fact that ALL of them are working various other jobs to keep themselves afloat in addition to developing or maintaining their singing careers, they take an enormous amount of time out of their busy lives to make Opera on Tap happen. We are now in the final hours of our campaign across the country, and I saw a post by one of our organizers that quite literally brought tears to my eyes.
When I founded this company along with Carla Fisk and Jessica Miller-Rauch, we really didn’t know what we were starting. We were all feeling weary and just wanted to have some fun singing and had an opportunity to do it at a bar we all loved. 1 year later we had national attention, volunteers jumping on board entreating us to create a company giving us ideas on how to expand on our concept, and packed audiences every night. Not to mention a long list of great performers who loved taking part. A year after that, we had our first chapter in New Orleans, sponsored by The New Orleans Opera. And things have continued to snowball from there.
Since Opera on Tap’s inception, I have been involved on every level of its development. It has been and continues to be an incredible journey of self-discovery. I have had many great teachers in my life. With the exception of my daughter, none compare to Opera on Tap. Funny to think of OOT in context of babies. It is my baby, and I am moved to discover this month, that it has become other people’s baby as well. When it is your baby, you want to see it grow. Every chapter of OOT has something very special and very unique going on. Our structure allows for each to have its own flavor. Organizers can pursue their own production ideas and concert themes and showcase their performers and provide scholarship funds for them in the ways they see most fit.
This particular October marks some major developments for OOT. We are pleased to announce 3 new Chapters that launch next month: OOT DC Metro, OOT Milwaukee, and OOT Potsdam. It also marks my official transition into a new role with Opera on Tap. With the help of a few awesome NYC OOTers, I am now able to focus almost all of my OOT time on development and capacity building for the national organization. Over time we have built an incredible network of passionate artist entrepreneurs and our intent now is to maximize our impact on our culture through collaborative cross-country productions, commissions and scholarship fundraising for the singer participants that make the opera happen, in addition to continued expansion into new venues and new cities. Opera lives, and across the country, we are in your faces at your bar reminding you of that!
Our official OOTober campaign may be winding down, but the good news is, the season of giving is year-round. I encourage you to check out our website to learn more about ALL the things we are doing across the country to make opera live in your life. And if you like what you see, consider showing your support by clicking on the button below. I can guarantee that your contribution today will support the artists that make Opera on Tap grow.