Opera Saratoga is getting its opera glasses ready early. Saratoga Springs’ resident opera company recently announced the creation of a new Opera Saratoga Guild, an official membership program that will offer members expanded programming, unique volunteer opportunities and access to exclusive deals and events. The local opera company also elaborated on a few events for guild members in the months leading up to the 2020 Summer Festival, which will run from June 20 through July 5 at the Spa Little Theater in Saratoga Spa State Park.
“We’re very excited to announce the launch of the Opera Saratoga Guild,” Lawrence Edelson, Opera Saratoga’s artistic and general director, tells saratoga living. “The guild will further enhance the community’s enjoyment and appreciation of opera and support the goals and objectives of Opera Saratoga through volunteerism, education and new fundraising programs.”
Guild membership is open to anyone and is $50 for individuals and $90 for couples. Benefits include free admission to exclusive lectures and events throughout the year; an exclusive quarterly e-newsletter; a free sneak peek of the company’s annual Opera-to-Go children’s opera (this year it’ll be a new production of Jack and the Beanstalk); plus, rare chances to host seasonal artists and musicians. Some of those special guild events slated for next year include “A Festival Scenic Design Preview” with acclaimed opera producer and production designer Julia Noulin-Mérat; and lectures on Puccini’s masterpiece Madama Butterfly and the satire of Victorian-era master dramatists Gilbert and Sullivan. A complete schedule of guild events is expected in January.
The idea for the Opera Saratoga Guild grew out of an already existing but separate group known as the Friends of Opera Saratoga. Since 2001, Friends has functioned as a separate nonprofit that’s helped support Opera Saratoga through a mix of fundraising, volunteerism and dedication. After facing some recent operational difficulties, Friends transitioned this year into the Opera Saratoga Guild, an official extension of Opera Saratoga, sharing the same goals as the original organization but with expanded programming and more staff support.
Membership to the Opera Saratoga Guild is currently open. Group tickets are also available for the company’s 2020 Summer Festival, which will include new productions of Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance and Madama Butterfly, along with Sky on Swings, an American opera that details the battles of two women with Alzheimer’s Disease. For more information on next year’s festival, click here.