Brava! Opera Theater and James M. Collier Young Artist Program is proud to honor our Season Sponsor James M. Collier. His extraordinary generosity has enabled the creation of Brava! Opera Theater and James M. Collier Young Artist Program, the newest opera company in southern Oregon. His incredible gift will help develop young singers, recognize and reward the opera stars of tomorrow and entertain everyone who shares his profound love of experiencing live opera.

Jim has a long history as an opera patron and supports both Brava! Opera Theater and the Rogue Opera.  “It is exciting to have opera so well represented in the Rogue Valley,” says Mr. Collier, longtime opera lover and patron of the arts.  “I am passionate about developing young singers, and have been a long time supporter of the Des Moines Metro Opera Apprentice Artist Program. With Ms. Gunn’s expertise and program direction by Ms. Hall, we are anticipating a year of wonderful workshops, concerts and performances featuring professional singers and opera stars of tomorrow.”

Jim retired to Medford after teaching high school English in Delano, California for 30 years. Early on, a group of friends introduced him to operas being performed just over the hill in Los Angeles, which deepened his interest in classical music and the performing arts. Jim had written his Master’s thesis on Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, and about the same time, he began frequent trips to the Rogue Valley to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival to see plays and “bring Shakespeare home” to his students.


Since the day an inheritance changed his life, he has become an active patron of the performing arts, supporting arts organizations in Des Moines, Iowa, his home town; in Bakersfield (near Delano); and in the Rogue Valley. He was nominated as Outstanding Philanthropist of Central Iowa in 2006. Also known as “The Piano Man,” he has donated seven pianos over the past few years – three concert grand pianos and four uprights – including one to his new home, the Rogue Valley Manor. A supportive person by nature, he takes great joy in his role as a patron of the arts. Jim loves that he can give the gift of live music to people. He is a philanthropist with the mission of bringing the arts to young and old, and we are proud to pay tribute to him as the founding benefactor and Season Sponsor of Brava! Opera Theater and James M. Collier Young Artist Program!