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Golden Gate Opera

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Arts Education, Opera, Performing Arts

Mission: Golden gate opera's mission is to enrich the community's experience by providing access to a myriad of fine arts found in live, professional opera. Ggo inspires people of all ages, cultural, and economic backgrounds to appreciate the arts. Life and learning through high quality performances and educational programs. We help the artform of opera live on for the future, by developing emerging artists in their careers--singers, designers, and directors--and by producing new works as part of our programming.

Programs: Golden gate opera 2016 program activities: operas: one world premiere opera produced in 2016 about the civil war and emancipation proclamation: audience development and addition to the art form of opera. "lincoln: the african american connection" by mill valley's composer john cepelak and librettist christina rose was premiered on july 3, 2016 in mill valley's golden gate theological seminary chapel. A script reading of the new work was held prior to rehearsals starting. Cast: professional opera singers (5)performed roles of president lincoln, mary todd lincoln, elizabeth keckley, frederick douglass and sam everyman (lincoln's white house aide), joined by gospel choir of select gospel singers from marin and the bay area. This one-act depicts the true story of lincoln and his relationships with three african americans who became his friends, influencing him to sign the emancipation proclamation. The opera shows lincoln's love for african american gospel music, as the final piece moving him that pushed him over the edge to sign that document. The cast is comprised of opera singers and gospel choir. With this project we honored the 100th centennial anniversary of the national parks service. Audience development: broadening of our audience included more african american adults and children, fans of abraham lincoln, civil war history buffs. Bay view opera house in san francisco's hunters point district expressed interest as a partial sponsor to present this and arrange for local school children and high school students to be in the audience. Funds are needed for the costs of artists and production. Theatre and outreach to schools will be donated. Anti-bullying opera libretto adapted: throughout 2016 work took place adapting the 1982 libretto of gian carlo menotti's "the boy who grew too fast", a one act opera for young people. The result was that libretto/script adaptation and ggo teachers' guide were completed. Novato united school district's blue ribbon coalition's bullying prevention committee and its co-chairs partnered with ggo on this work. The adapted libretto then received official approval menotti's publisher, g. Schirmer, inc. , & associates in new york, for use with schools. School superintendents and parents also approved it. School program: in november 2016 ggo launched "the boy who grew too fast" as an educational bullying prevention opera program that engages children in their classrooms. The mini program was tested by ggo engaging with third graders in their classrooms at two novato elementary schools. Beautiful news article appeared in the marin independent journal. Aria party in private home. Diwali festival of lights aria party october 30, 2016 people enriched in 2016: a total of 1457 people were enriched: audiences, performers, children, school administrators, parents, volunteers. 9 performances took place including 7 at local schools, 1 aria party in private home, 1 full opera performed for the public, 1 script reading, and children chorus rehearsals. Awards: nea, cac among others. Won the national endowment for the arts nea artworks award, california arts council local impact award, the bernard osher foundation, the fenwick foundation, hilda namm philanthropic fund, maurice kanbar philanthropic trust, county of marin

Community Stories

18 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Music With A Message:
Roberta, I loved the music last night and some of it is still twirling through my head. How nice that Chaney’s boys were able to share the experience. I think they were both amazed at the powerful music that these talented performers put out.
And I love your idea of using an opera format to teach the lesson of anti bullying. Music with a “message” always appeals to children. I can still sing a little ditty that my father taught about cooperating with each other because everybody wins. I think your opera can cement a wonderful message in the minds of our children. I wish you so much success with your endeavor. -- Deanna Statler

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 4

Thank you for including me in the June 1st, afternoon of "Arias on Top of the World". Beautiful voices; gracious volunteers; fun watching people who closed their eyes while listening and one lol who finally wormed herself into the best seat in the house! Delightful talking with a group of young Russians; Ana's husband would not reveal Ana's age! AND I really appreciated the fellow who parked my car and later went to bring the car back up the hill after the event.

Heinrich S.

Donor

Rating: 4

It was exactly as advertised; a picture perfect afternoon in sunny warm, beautiful Tiburon. The food was delicious, the refreshments were cold and refreshing, the the conversation was congenial, the setting was lovely and the hosts were great. And the Music... the music was lovely. The performance was was sparkling. Maestro Robert took us on a tour of the opera world and The singers made the arias come alive with their beautiful voices and their evocative performance. I score it an unqualified success!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I loved working with Golden Gate Opera. It helped me tremendously professionally to get such great experience at an arts non-profit in beautiful Marin County. Executive Director, Roberta, is extremely passionate and talented at producing world class opera as well as providing great programs for kids to enjoy and expand their understanding of opera and the arts. Golden Gate Opera is a wonderful part of our community, for young and old arts enthusiasts alike, and we are so lucky to have it.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I loved it. Honestly it was one of the best operas I’ve ever been to.

My mother and my sister are both opera singers. It was an awesome opera.

I thought the singer that played “Lincoln” – (Gabriel Manro) everyone else was really well cast also - but he was just amazing. –Peter Jablonski.

(About GGO’s new opera "Lincoln and Booth" by Cepelak and Rose) Attendee - March 11, 2012

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Having attended several Golden Gate Opera events I can say I have been impressed with the quality and variety of the performances presented. From Hansel and Gretal to Madama Butterfly I have enjoyed all of the performances but my favorites have been the afernoon arias held in beautiful Marin County homes. It is a wonderful way to spend a Sunday afternoon as music,goumet food and fashion combine to create an ambience.
I look forward to more of these well done sophisticated events.
Phyllis J Bragdon

Jamie35

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

I loved seeing the Pharmacist at the Mill Valley Community Center. I'd rather go to one of your productions any day than the SF Opera because of that up-close and personal feel. The performance was beautiful- and Mia, the soprano was fantastic. It was so sweet to hear the singers talk a bit and to somehow feel like I was a part of their cultural experience and homestay here in the U.S. It made my weekend.

Christina Rose M.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Golden Gate Opera performed our new opera Lincoln & Booth in March 2012. New operas go through a process of creation and GGO has continued to write grants for it's revision and next performances. After the premiere we went to Davidson Middle School to perform excerpts from L & B for the music classes. I was very moved by the response of the children during the question and answer period after the singers performed for them. GGO's outreach to kids and support of the creative arts is outstanding and much appreciated by artists and families in Marin. They do a fantastic job with mostly volunteers! The professional expertise and enthusiasm of volunteers and board members is very impressive. They are definitely worthy of support.

Previous Stories

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Dear Roberta:

We enjoyed the production Friday night immensely. The whole cast is fantastic, the costumes, makeup, stage direction is very good, and it works so smoothly in the theatre for all ages of audience, for such a complicated piece. Bravo! It really is a great opera for outreach and education for children that I hope it continues for decades as GGO's fall tradition.

Client Served

Rating: 4

This group not only creates real access for all in the community to enjoy and learn about opera, it offers access to artists , and aspiring artists in the community to partiscipate in Opera. My son is 8 yrs old and sings with the SF Boys Chorus. He and another young man, 10, were given the opportunity to traing and be a part of their lastest production Lincoln and Booth. This opportunity for those in the community, offereing access to these youg kids can be life changing. I encourage all to support this great org. Brian

Cari P.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

Many hearing the word "opera" wince at stuffy, boring, interminable singing in a foreign language, with costly tickets. Golden Gate Opera proves "it ain't necessarily so!" GGO breaks off opera's crusty veneer to bring fresh and lively mini-productions to schools, and the children love it. GGO also hosts intimate receptions at private homes where rising stars sing their favorites and make our ears vibrate. GGO presents timeless classics, plus new operas themed to entertain in English. If and when enough funds are available, GGO presents full-length operas on the smaller Marin Center stage, at affordable prices for families. Where else could my children and I have shared music like this?

Golden Gate Opera

Client Served

Rating: 5

Dear Ms. Becker, The students in my class adored the Hansel and Gretel opera performance in October! Most of the students had never attended an opera before. Prior to the event, we spent time learning about opera as an art form. We read a version of the fairy tale in class and predicted how the book version of this famous story might differ from the stage performance. We discussed how many opera performances are presented in foreign languages They were thrilled to learn that Hansel and Gretel would be performed in English! We also prepared ourselves to carefluly observe the movements and actions of the characters as well as the set designs. In the days following the experience, students wrote a paper comparing and contrasting the book with the opera version. They also created some beautiful artwork in the form of a Persian miniature (this type of art features a border depicting story details surrounding the main picture). I have enclosed a few samples of their work as a small token of thanks for this wonderful gift. We would have sent this sooner, but these pictures have been proudly displayed in our classroom window for the past months! Thank you so much, again, for offering this special opportunity to our class. I wish you could have attended with us to see how beautifully the children behaved and the fine manner in which they represented the Rancho (School) community. With warmest regards, Deb Parnell, 5th Grade teacher, Rancho Elementary

Previous Stories
9

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I want to thank Roberta for the Aria party. Not only opera, but playful Neapolitan songs as well! What a marvelous wan to spend a Sunday Afternoon in Marin. To sit, sipping wine, an arm's length from such beautiful and powerful voices is a magical experience that no Opera House can give us. This would be a wonderful way to introduce Opera-Shy Spouses to the energy and joy of operatic voices! Bravo!! Best, Gayle Delaney

Board Member

Rating: 5

Just posted on Facebook, Penelope Post page:Golden Gate Opera- Groundbreaking world premiere of Lincoln and Boot. on March 10-11 at Dominican University, San Rafael, CA (just north of San Francisco)
Profoundly moving revelation of the real story and relationships behind the Lincoln assassination 150 years ago. that changed the face of our nation and vaulted us into the modern era.
Excerpt aria on YouTube! Lincoln's speech, "My fellow countrymen" will make you cry:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3TpFr_NaebE

Goldengateopera.org for tickets . . . now.

11

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Golden Gate Opera performs professional opera in intimate local setting at prices you can afford. At the fund raising events you meet the performers and their families and they sing for you so close that you might feel their breath or hear the rustle in their clothes. These performers love their work and strive for excellence even at a small dinner party. Roberta runs the opera in such a way that people feel important and included - even the audience comes away with the feeling they have played a special role in being there. You know the money from the show tickets doesn't come close to covering all of the opera and administration costs. I donate and volunteer because I want more local opera like that in my life.

13

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

This was my first experience performing in Professional Opera. Learning to work together with other performers as well as all the professional people who were involved in order to make this happen was a tremendous honor. I had a wonderful time performing in this Opera. Learning and singing music by Puccini was a joy. My parents brought me to see Rigoletto in San Francisco, my first Opera, when I was a child. I guess I have loved it ever since. This is a great Opera Company and I am pleased to be a part of it. Roberta Becker puts her whole heart and soul into it and keeps it alive and thriving. Thanks to her, and her hard work, Marin County can enjoy some beautiful Productions! Looking forward to more of them.

10

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Golden Gate Opera is a great company to perform with. I'm very happy to be part of the Emerging Artist program and am thankful for the opportunities that GGO has presented me and for (fingers crossed) future opportunities with them. I really felt like I was a part of the team and like I was needed and it felt very rewarding to perform with GGO. I found it to be a great experience, both supportive and educational, and I'll be really happy to perform with them again! :)

13

Volunteer

Rating: 3

I think Golden Gate Opera (GGO) has a great mission. Arts and culture is an important part of people's lives and helps them experience the excitement of the arts. GGO helps interested participants experience these vibrant arts by providing people of various ages, economic backgrounds, and cultures the opportunity to be immersed by giving quality performances as well as programming. I also think it's great that GGO wants children to experience opera as well through their Hansel & Gretel opera