Describe your nonprofit’s mission.
Victory Hall Opera is a pioneering new opera company in Charlottesville, VA. Our original productions (including repertoire from the entire continuum of opera) will be crafted by our core Ensemble of master singers. Performed in a variety of evocative spaces, we seek to develop a new aesthetic of opera theater that is vital, personal and relevant, offering an experience of the human instrument that draws our audience into closer contact with life. VHO presents a new model, unique in the world, for what an opera company can be: not an institution, but a troupe: of exceptional, high-caliber singers, advancing the art form together.

What need in our community brought about the creation of your nonprofit?
Opera often suffers from perceptions of elitism-audience demographics for our art form have become older, and companies across America have folded due to financial constraints. We provide a leaner, more contemporary company model, and an experience and atmosphere that welcomes not only avid opera fans, but those who have never found opera appealing before. We empower singers to hold the creative reins, and unleash that power to move audiences through the acoustic experience of truly great singing and acting.

How has your nonprofit made a difference in our community?
After only one year of operations, VHO has reached new audiences and folded other crafts into our own. On average, 20% of our audience has never attended an opera before. We have commissioned new work to be written, and painted in our collaborations with artists, writers and designers. We are moving this ancient art form into new territory, and giving our audiences true insights into our singers as people, and our process for creation.

How can community members help you achieve your mission?
Whether you are a regular opera-goer, or don’t consider yourself “an opera person”, we ask you to give Victory Hall Opera one chance to change your mind. Attend one of our events, volunteer behind the scenes, house one of our visiting performers, make a financial contribution or sponsor a production through your company and join the growing number of opera converts here in Charlottesville!

Tell us a story that has come out of your work.
Our first opera production “Someone Younger (Der Rosenkavalier)”, was a heartbreaking story of a woman having to give up a great love to allow him to be happy with another woman. One of our audience members wrote to us after seeing the production several times, saying that she had been struggling through a difficult relationship break up, and experiencing the beauty of the music, and the up-close power of our singing had helped her process her own heartache. Another audience member cited Someone Younger as the saving grace that gave him strength and inspiration during a battle with cancer. We never know who will be affected the most by our art, or why. But there’s something about the human voice that is capable of mending broken hearts, soothing troubled souls and easing physical and spiritual pain. When something is too hard or too wonderful to put into words, that’s where song comes in- to help us all feel connected to something larger than ourselves, and to each other.

Learn more about Victory Hall Opera

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