Betty Ireland and Marc Scorca

Opera America Office Dedicated in Memory of CCM Alumnus Jim Ireland

The National Opera Center recently dedicated its Technical/Production Office in honor of famed University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music alumnus James D. Ireland (BBA Business Administration, 1966; MM 1970), a well-respected opera administrator who helped develop Opera America into a leading organization for arts advancement in the United States.

Jim Ireland

Jim Ireland

Ireland passed away at the age of 69 in September 2012 after a brief battle with lung cancer. The ceremony and dedication took place this past November at the Opera America headquarters in New York City. Numerous friends and family from around the country were there to honor Ireland, including his sister and UC alumna, Betty Scott Ireland (BS Education, 1967).

“To know Jim was to love and admire him,” said Opera America President/CEO Marc Scorca during the dedication. “With cherished memories and enduring affection, let’s be joyful that James D. Ireland has a permanent home at the National Opera Center in good company with other dynamic leaders who forged an American opera industry.”

“Dynamic leader” is an appropriate moniker for Ireland, who had a long and storied career in the arts. A native of Charleston, West Virginia, he made a name for himself locally, often performing with the Charleston Light Opera Guild and playing organ for several area churches.

Ireland began studying voice at CCM under the tutelage of Helen Laird in 1965, shortly before Laird established the conservatory’s Musical Theatre Program in 1968. During his time at CCM, he also studied conducting with Elmer Thomas and piano with John Quincy Bass.

After graduating from CCM in 1970, he worked heavily behind the scenes to promote opera across the country. From 1972–79, he worked with the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and created their opera/musical theatre arm. It was also during this time that he began working with Opera America, which has since developed a glowing international reputation.

From there, Ireland transitioned into one of the leading opera company administrators in America. For 22 years, he served as Managing and Producing Director of the acclaimed Houston Grand Opera and helped the reputation of the company grow through numerous world premieres and other artistic endeavors.

He later served as Director of Hartford Stage in Connecticut (2002–05) and the President and first CEO of the Orlando Opera (2006–09). At the time of his passing, he was working as a consultant for numerous opera organizations across the country.

JoAnne Greiser (BA English, 1968/BS Education, 1969), who was friends with Ireland when they were both students at the University of Cincinnati, attended the dedication with her husband Ron Nyhan.

“In a field that is, by definition, focused on performance and its stars, only a knowledgeable, opera-loving giant on the business side of the house could command the attention of the opera field to make significant changes behind the scenes,” she said. “Jim was that giant.”

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Story by CCM graduate Kevin Norton (DMA Saxophone, 2015)

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CET Arts Channel Broadcasts CCM E-Media’s Performing Arts/Digital Future Panel Discussion

Earlier this year, CCM’s Electronic Media Division hosted Performing Arts/Digital Future, a panel of opera production and marketing experts gathered to examine the impact of the Metropolitan Opera’s live HD broadcasts in movie theatres across the country. Panelists included:

  • Marc Scorca, President and CEO, OPERA America
  • Patricia Beggs, General Director/CEO, Cincinnati Opera
  • Marcus Kuchle, Director of Artistic Operations, Cincinnati Opera
  • Robin Guarino, CCM Opera Department Chair and opera director
  • Marjorie Fox, CCM Electronic Media Division Head, moderator

CET’s Digital Arts channel will be broadcasting this panel discussion at 10 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 29. on channel 48.3 (Time Warner channel 987).

Learn more about the panel discussion here or visit the CET Connect website for more detailed scheduling information.

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Three-Year Grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Supports Groundbreaking Opera Fusion Program

Cincinnati Opera, in collaboration with CCM Opera, has proudly announced the creation of Opera Fusion: New Works, a program designed to support the development of new American operas. Opera Fusion: New Works is made possible by a three-year grant of $300,000 from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

“This wonderful grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation presents extraordinary opportunities to CCM Opera and Cincinnati Opera,” said Frank Weinstock, Interim Dean of CCM. “It will allow us to explore the new frontiers of opera in ways that would not otherwise be possible, and to expand the scope of Opera Fusion. We are so fortunate to have Cincinnati Opera as our partner in this venture. Together we will make history with this program, as we discover a new generation of operatic masterpieces.”

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CCM Electronic Media Hosts a Panel of Opera Insiders For Metropolitan Opera HD Broadcasts Discussion

CCM’s Electronic Media Division presents Performing Arts/Digital Future, a panel of opera production and marketing experts gathered to examine the impact of the Metropolitan Opera’s live HD broadcasts in movie theatres across the country. This event is free and open to the general public and will take place on Wednesday, March 30 at 7 p.m. in Mary Emery Hall, room 3250.

CCM News