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The Association the Development of Vocal Artistry and Neighborhood

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Opera, Performing Arts, Singing & Choral Groups

Mission: The Association for the Development of Vocal Artistry and Neighborhood Cultural Enrichment (ADVANCE) is a minority founded, 501(c) 3 tax exempt not-for-profit professional vocal arts organization whose board and artists are committed to the promotion of understanding, appreciation, and enjoyment of classical music and opera, emphasizing black themes. Under the general direction of its founder, soprano Cheryl Warfield, and with the collective efforts of the participatory artists, educators and advisory board, ADVANCE strives to present the highest quality programming, to attract and sustain diverse audiences, and to promote the growth and integrity of its artists, thereby enriching the community at large. The Manhattan Opera Repertory Ensemble (MORE Opera) produces opera concerts and training programs under the umbrella of ADVANCE. MORE Opera strives to make opera accessible to the general public and to present concerts and educational programs to under-served audiences including disadvantaged youths and elderly persons throughout Manhattan.

Results: ADVANCE/MORE Opera will present Puccini's "TOSCA" in concert with orchestra under the baton of renown conductor Anton Coppola in the spring of 2014. The organization has presented opera-themed outreach concerts throughout Manhattan to under-served audiences in Harlem, Manhattan Valley and Chinatown/Little Italy since 2000. We serve diverse audiences, black, white, professional, working class, families and seniors. Our "AIDA" outreach program was a tremendous success in Little Italy in the summer of 2013. Over 100 applicants expressed interest in participating in the chorus training program, of which 50 participants from age 15 to 50+ and from diverse ethnic backgrounds performed in the opera. Many of the participants had never performed in an opera before, and some did not have previous vocal training and/or could not read music. We successfully prepared each artist for performance, and many of the artists in turn invited their network of friends and family to the performance, resulting in a packed audience, many who were experiencing opera for the very first time. We also target and work with Manhattan Valley residents and seniors specifically, and Harlem area residents who are interested in learning about the history and contributions of African-American opera singers and musicians. Our 2012 concerts provided a context for these communities to better understand their heritage and the accomplishments and important contributions of African American opera singers past and present. Through the years, we have been successful in reaching our superlative artistic goals, in targeting and reaching specific communities with educational and inspirational messages about the music we are passionate about, and promoting audience development via our community outreach projects. We engage accomplished solo artists, many who perform at the Metropolitan Opera and other important venues, distinguished arts educators and coaches for our projects, and choruses from within the targeted communities. We engage audiences who had never heard us perform with new and interesting information through artistry and outstanding musicianship.

Target demographics: make opera accessible to people of all ages and backgrounds including underserved communities

Direct beneficiaries per year: over 500 people in the Harlem and Little Italy communities by presenting uplifting and enlightening vocal concerts at no cost.

Geographic areas served: New York City

Programs: opera concerts, workshops and a community chorus training program introducing people of varying levels of musicianship and vocal ability to opera and providing them the opportunity to rehearse and perform in professional level settings.

Community Stories

11 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Ming K.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Cheryl has the heart, the intelligence and most importantly, the passion and dedication to make contributions to the world of music and education. The racial diversity in the chorus reminds me of Daniel Barenboim's West-Eastern Divan orchestra - where people from different background come together and make music. The artistic quality of the past AIDA was superb. I was so fortunate to be able to work with this group. Please consider supporting Cheryl and MORE Opera!! Thank you

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I attended MORE Opera's 2014's production of "Tosca" in mid-October and was completely spellbound. I am a casual fan of opera, I've gone to summer showings for the public at Lincoln Center and enjoyed them, but I was really unprepared for how the intimate setting would magnify the performances - the singers were clear and true, and as the audience is not far removed from the stage, there was an electricity and engagement that I've never felt before. From a performance standpoint alone, MORE Opera does an incredible job.

However, knowing that many of the chorus members were complete newbies to opera, and especially to participating in a production, it really shows the tremendous amount of work and training that the program can achieve. I teared up myself because, not only is it a great show in itself, but the audience also gets to witness people from disparate walks of life who have willingly expanded their horizons through this the arts. Altogether, it was a thrilling and touching experience for me. Especially in consideration of the many budget cuts to music education programs that provide children and teens with a broader understanding of the possibilities in this world, I believe that MORE Opera is definitely providing a necessary service in NYC. I will definitely support any and all of their future endeavors.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

There are not enough stars here to rate this opera. Cheryl Warfield's beautiful voice and performance as the tragic Tosca brought me to tears. Richard Hobson's rich baritone and presence as the loathsome Scarpia.......OFF THE CHAIN!!!!!!!! Please give us MORE.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I had the pleasure of seeing the MORE Opera's production of Tosca. The rawness and minimalism of the performance really made it something special, wherein the focus was not on stage design, and large sets, but instead into the exceptionally executed and emotionally driven performances. Cheryl Warfield served up some world-class vocals as Tosca, as did the entire cast.

Opera should not be something that is exclusive to the elite, and what I really loved about this show was how it felt accessible to a more diverse audience. I hope that they continue to keep producing shows regularly in the same manner and grow their reach to further include youth, and people from a wide range of socio-economic backgrounds.

I highly encourage people to ATTEND, DONATE, and VOLUNTEER!



General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I recently had the opportunity to attend MORE Opera's Tosca and was blown away by the on-stage talent I witnessed. I have not attend a lot of opera shows and never attended an opera concert but was amazing by the raw talent, passion and obvious dedication the cast, chorus and director had put into this performance. I truly hope to see MORE Opera soon!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It is a Pleasure and Honor for me to write A REVIEW of Cheryl Warfield and MORE Opera, NYC. This is a RARE, Small Opera Company. In fact, it is a GEM! It all starts with who is at the Top which is Cheryl Warfield, MORE Opera FOUNDER, General Director and Artistic Producing Director. Ms. Warfield KNOWS Business as this was her College Major and works thru exhaustion day in and day out for MORE Opera. Ms. Warfield KNOWS Opera. She Teaches Opera, Coaches Opera, Sings Opera with an Absolutely Thrilling, High, High, G-D Given Soprano Voice AND is Nice to People, Cares about People, wants to bring Opera to People- Members of the Chorus who literally come from All Walks of Life, Younger Folks, You the Audience. This was my 2nd Opportunity to work with Cheryl and MORE Opera as a 2nd Soprano Chorister. I sang "Il Trovatore, November 2011 and "Aida," August 2013. 2011-2013, MORE was NOT ABLE TO PRODUCE as ALL MONEY was coming from Cheryl's Pocket. I RAN back with the Announcement of MORE Opera "Aida" Rehearsals. Why is MORE Opera Chorus a RARITY? Every MORE Chorister will tell you the same as to what I tell you here. Cheryl CARES about The Chorus vs. my experiences with other Small Opera Company Choruses. Ms. Warfield had a METROPOLITAN OPERA Colleague of hers as Our Chorus Master and had him give a Master Class at our 1st "Aida" Rehearsal. This Highly Accomplished MET Baritone, Richard Hobson AND Cheryl COACHED Our Chorus Rehearsals- ALL of Us Together; then Women Only, Men Only, known as Sectionals. With "Aida," Cheryl worked TIRELESSLY with Less Experienced Singers. I am speaking of Folks who had NEVER sung Opera before and because of her Knowledge, Gratitude, Nurturing, Patience, Encouragement, Joy, Repetition AND Supreme Professionalism, these Folks LEARNED THEIR PARTS and GLOWED with PRIDE, JOY, AMAZEMENT, ACHIEVEMENT at what they ACCOMPLISHED at the Performance. What a THRILLING LIFE EXPERIENCE it was for them! They pass this Experience on to their Families, Friends, Co-Workers. MORE Opera Makes People BETTER. World-Class Opera Singers are singing for Ms. Warfield for FREE. If you are looking for a Nonprofit to Contribute to, please be GENEROUS with MORE Opera for More People, it's Motto. Thank You for Your Time! Sarah Polen, MORE Opera Chorus Manager

Pascally

Volunteer

Rating: 4

The MORE Opera production of Aida was a Fantastic experience, I worked with a group of wonderful people. Everyone should have this experience and opportunity. I was very lucky to be chosen to work with the MORE opera.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

After singing in the chorus of several opera companies. MORE Opera gave me the exciting opportunity to cover the role of Ines in Il Trovatore and to perform the aria of The Sandman Sleep Fairy from Hansel and Gretel in a holiday concert. This experience gave me the confidence to grow as a singer. I learned so much performing with such amazing solo artists and working with such fantastic conductors.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I loved doing AIDA with More Opera. I learned so much.
I am very grateful for the opportunity!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was a part of MORE Opera's Aida production and it was a fantastic experience. It gave me the opportunity to work with and learn from renowned singers and musicians which allowed me to grow as a singer and individual. It is a great program for making Opera accessible to the general public.

Alice30

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've sung with MORE Opera several times now and it's always a great experience! A wonderful way for musical artistry to grow and touch the souls of the performers and the audience alike.