February 2020

Dear Friend of Opera Connecticut:

I wanted to take a moment of your time to thank you once again for your generous support for Opera Connecticut in 2019. We had an exciting year, with some significant developments that I want to tell you about, and to show you what 2020 has in store for Opera Connecticut. 

October brought our company premiere performances of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, featuring a wonderful cast, in a gorgeous production.  I am sure those of you who were there will agree!

If you were at the Sunday Butterfly performance, you were witness to a momentous event for opera here in Connecticut. Larry Alan Smith, Dean of The Hartt School, and I signed our names to a formal partnership agreement between our two organizations. Opera Connecticut has provided over the years invaluable operatic training to a large number of Hartt School students, and this will continue. But now, Hartt students will be able to earn academic credit for their work with Opera Connecticut. It is safe to say that we wouldn’t be able to do what we do without having access to the resources of The Hartt School, and we are thrilled to cement this relationship.

The recent Christmas season saw the start of what we hope will become an annual Opera Connecticut tradition. We performed Gian Carlo Menotti’s beloved Amahl and the Night Visitors at South Congregational Church in Hartford, in cooperation with Grace Academy (which is located at South Congregational). Once again, talented young singers from The Hartt School made up the cast. You may have your own memories of Amahl from when you were growing up – you may have even seen it on TV! We plan to perform Amahl every holiday season, in several venues. You may have a suggestion for where we should consider – please let us know! 

Of course, I would be remiss if I did not mention our American Opera Idol event this past July. Many of our “Idol” winners and finalists have gone on to sing in our productions. I know we say it every year, but the 2019 edition brought the greatest group of young operatic talent yet. Those of you who were there will agree. 

Very well, you say, what about 2020? I’m glad you asked!

Mark your calendars for October 16 and 18 – our main stage opera production will be I Pagliacci, by Ruggiero Leoncavallo. However, this will not be simply “Pag” – we are planning an enhanced production we are calling “Prelude, Prologue, Pagliacci.” We are very excited about this – plan to come see what it’s all about! As always, this will be a fully staged opera, with expert playing from members of the Hartford Symphony, directed by our brilliant Maestro, Doris Lang Kosloff.

I have already mentioned Amahl – more details to come on dates and locations. And once again we will be putting on American Opera Idol, July 14 at The Pond House Café in Hartford’s Elizabeth Park. Please join us for a wonderful midsummer operatic concert, in a beautiful setting.

Last, but first on the calendar: Save Sunday, May 31 for “Autos and Arias” – a gala event at Mitchell Auto Group’s new Range Rover dealership in Hartford. Come enjoy a fine spring afternoon with singing, food and prizes. (Would you like your own Range Rover?) You will be hearing more from us!

All of what Opera Connecticut does – and I hope I’ve given you a good idea of that – is thanks to your ongoing support – your attendance at our events and your contributions to our Annual Appeal. We are most appreciative of your support – we know we have no entitlement to your generosity, so you do us great honor by your gifts. Without this kind of regular support, we could not put on our season. It’s as simple as that.

Can we count on your support of Opera Connecticut’s Annual Appeal again this year? You can use the form attached below, and the enclosed envelope. 

On behalf of Opera Connecticut, thank you so much!


Nick Merritt

Robert N. Merritt


Keep live opera here!


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