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Opera Company of Brooklyn's Founder Brings Opera to 21st Century Audiences

by Julie S. Halpern


“Was opera a 500-year fad?”

When this question was posed to Jay Meetze, Opera Company of Brooklyn’s founder and artistic director, he gave it a great deal of thought. With salaries for increasingly inaccessible opera stars soaring to rock-star levels and prohibitive ticket costs pricing potential opera patrons out of most large opera houses, Meetze realized that this may be true. How can opera companies reach out to the thousands of “non-traditional” patrons who enjoy opera but may not feel comfortable in a large opera house?

If audiences are not going to the opera, why not bring opera to them? Meetze and the members of OCB are doing exactly that.

On any given Saturday night, OCB may be found presenting full operas—minus sets, costumes, or scenery—in houses and apartments throughout the New York City area. OCB has created the BYOB series, performed at homes for invited audiences. Lucky audience members enjoy performances by top-flight singers, many of whom are enjoying nationa...

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