Cincinnati Opera Announces New Initiatives

By Francisco Salazar

The Cincinnati Opera has announced a number of new appointments and projects in support of its renewed dedication to the areas of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Patricia K. Beggs, the Harry Fath General Director & CEO of Cincinnati Opera, said in a press release, “Cincinnati Opera has been committed to increasing the diversity of our board, staff, Guild, and artists since the early 1990s.  We are thrilled to announce these developments as a continuation and outgrowth of those early efforts. These initiatives will spark positive growth both within the company organization and on the mainstage.”

The newly formed Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Staff and Board Committee was among the announcements as it will be a joint committee of the Opera’s Board of Trustees, Guild Board, and Center Stage Board Associates (CSBA). The committee will be chaired by board member Alva Jean Crawford, with Guild member Bo-Kyung Kirby and CSBA member Priya Sonty acting as co-chair.

Meanwhile, Morris Robinson has been Appointed as Artistic Advisor. The bass, who performed with Cincinnati Opera numerous times, will reprise the role of Porgy in the company’s 2019 production of “Porgy and Bess” at Music Hall. Robinson will also contribute to both the company’s public offerings and internal planning and will also be involved with such activities as performing, master classes, community engagement activities, and speaking engagements, as well as working with Opera staff and board members to develop programming. The initial three-year appointment will continue through the 2020 season, which will mark the company’s 100th anniversary.

The company also announced a Five-Year Plan for “CO Next: Diverse Voices,” which will showcase new or existing works by diverse composers or librettists, or works that prominently feature diverse characters in the storyline. “CO Next: Diverse Voices” will add a fifth production to the company’s usual summer festival lineup of four operas. The productions will be presented in smaller venues and are envisioned to include a collaborative element with a community partner.

The Cincinnati Opera opens its 2018 season with “La Traviata” and will feature “The Coronation of Poppea,” “as One,” “The Flying Dutchman” and Another Brick in the Wall.”