Welcome to southern Oregon's newest Opera Company . . .
Brava! Opera Theater and James M. Collier Young Artist Program was founded in 2010 by Artistic Director Willene Gunn, General Director Lorrie Hall with benefactor James M. Collier.
Professional singer, actress, stage director and educator, Ms. Gunn served as Director of the Opera Program at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music from 1975 to 2005. A graduate of the San Francisco Opera Merola Program, Ms. Gunn performed extensively on the West Coast as a dramatic mezzo-soprano with the San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, Oakland and Nevada Opera companies. She has directed more than 200 operatic productions and co-authored a textbook, Teaching Opera, The Role of the Opera Workshop…With Scene Catalogue in 2008.
Since 2010, Brava! Opera Theater has held nine Opera Workshop/Master Classes with Concerts that trained 101 singers; presented the operas The Telephone and Old Maid and the Thief by Menotti, The Turn of the Screw by Britten, The Impresario by Mozart and Breasts of Tirésias by Poulenc, Orpheus and Eurydice by Gluck, Don Pasquale by Donizetti, Abduction from the Seraglio by Mozart and Hansel and Gretel; held nine Vocal Competitions with 751 singers from across the USA with $74,000 in prizes distributed; presented six Vocal Competition Winner’s Concerts and two San Francisco Opera Adler Fellows Grand Opera Concerts.
Brava! Opera Theater and James M. Collier Young Artist Program is a company with an emphasis in four areas of performance:
1. Opera Master Classes are led by world class singers/educators and involves one-on-one singer training to help emerging and professional opera singers develop musical and theatrical tools essential to create and build a character for performance. Previous faculty include Willene Gunn, Deborah Voigt, Ann Baltz and in 2018, 2019 and 2020, Mark Morash.
2. Our Vocal Competition recognizes and encourages promising young operatic talent, and is held each October in San Francisco. Cash prizes for the three winners total $15,500.
3. We will host Portland Opera to Go's production of La bohème in September.
4. San Francisco Opera Adler Fellows Grand Opera Concert in January featuring the resident ensemble from San Francisco Opera's Adler Program, one of the world's premier artist training programs.
5. We give away free tickets via our Free Youth Tickets Program to students of all ages who show an interest in music but are unable to afford a ticket.
The emphasis of Brava! Opera Theater and Young Artist Program is on the choreographed emotional duet created in opera between music and theater.
Our mission is to train the complete singer/actor, recognize and showcase young operatic talent and present high quality concerts and professional operas.