Opera Theatre of Montclair was launched in January 2013 and acquired 501(c)(3) status in 2014. The company enriches the cultural life of Montclair, New Jersey, and the surrounding area by offering fully-staged performances of opera featuring local singers, instrumentalists, dancers and visual artists.
OTM brings professionally-produced opera to a local audience, seeking to serve both those with a long-standing appreciation of the art form, as well as to inspire a newfound love of opera in people of all generations. To achieve this goal, OTM propagates the dramatic-musical art form by producing accessible performances on an intimate scale. Repertoire covers a full and diverse range including standard opera in the original language, as well as English translation.
The Opera Orchestra of Montclair is a vital part of OTM. Our multigenerational orchestra comprises highly-experienced musicians as well as advanced students. The older artists serve as mentors to those less experienced. In the future, the organization hopes to commission new works from exciting contemporary composers.
OTM opened to great critical acclaim in January 2015 with its inaugural production of Verdi’s Nabucco. Beginning in March 2015, OTM presented 12 touring performances of an abridged version of Mozart's The Magic Flute as part of its education initiative. This production was presented in schools, libraries, churches and senior centers. In February 2016, OTM presented its second full-scale production, Mozart's The Abduction from the Seraglio. Handel's Acis and Galatea done as theatre in-the-round followed in September 2016. In September 2017, OTM will present its fourth fully-staged production, Rossini's La Cenerentola (Cinderella).
A FAQ regarding some of Opera Theatre of Montclair's unique policies:
Q: Does OTM charge its singers audition fees?
A: No, OTM considers audition expenses a part of the cost of doing business and never charges its singers fees. Further, OTM considers the practice of accepting audition fees without providing an audition to be unethical and fraudulent.
Q: Does OTM charge singers a fee to sing?
A: No. OTM is not a pay-to-sing company but a very small young professional opera company which is constantly seeking new ways to raise funds for its artists.
Q: Does OTM pay its artists?
A: Yes, OTM pays a small stipend to offset travel expenses for mainstage productions. It will also reimburse local travel expenses for concert and outreach performances if requested by the artist. Fundraisers are usually not paid but exceptions are sometimes made.
Q: Are the General Directors paid for their work?
A: No, at this time the General Director and Assistant General Director donate all their services in the interest of building the company.
Q: Are singers required to sell tickets in order to participate in productions?
A: No, there is no sales requirement in order to perform, although, of course, one hopes that the members of the cast will as a matter of course WANT to sell tickets.
Q: Are artists provided with any complimentary tickets?
A: Yes, each singer, staff and orchestra member will receive a minimum of two complimentary tickets for each mainstage production.
Are artists required to provide any other kind of physical labor such
as moving sets/costumes to/from warehouses, provide tech support,
build/strike costumes/sets, etc.?
A: No. Any technical assistance by artists is provided on a completely voluntary basis and is deeply appreciated but never expected.
Q: Does OTM provide free coachings for singers?
A: Yes. In addition to providing coaching for mainstage productions and concerts, OTM is dedicated to supporting and building its artists' careers and will provide coachings and career guidance upon request.
Q: Does OTM provide free master classes?
A: At this time, OTM provides a free monthly master class due to the generosity of its teachers and devotion to furthering our artists' education. Additionally, from time to time, a fee-based performance class will be taught by guest master teachers.
Q: What are you looking for when casting?
A: OTM practices diverse casting without regard to race, sexual orientation or age. We seek artists who are collegial, with excellent vocal technique, dramatic ability, musicianship and diction.
Q: Do you produce educational outreach performances?
A: Yes, educational outreach is a major mission of OTM, and we take every opportunity to expose new audiences to the art form of opera.
Q: Under what circumstances may an artist be dismissed?
A: OTM strives for a warm, friendly, kind and supportive environment in the interest of creating better art. However, certain acts are cause for dismissal without warning. Artists must treat each other with respect at all times. No inappropriate displays of ego ("Diva/Divo" behavior) will be tolerated. Artists must be fully off-book at the designated time.
Q: How can I learn more or volunteer my time?
A: You may contact Mia Riker-Norrie, Founding Director, [email protected] .
Q: How can I make a donation?
A: OTM is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit arts organization of The State of New Jersey. All donations are tax deductible. Visit operamontclair.org/donate to pay by credit card or send your check to 32 Cloverhill Place, Montclair, NJ 07042.
Alan Smulen, baritone, is an Assistant Music Director (Chorusmaster) for Opera Theatre of Montclair. Alan is from Bayonne, NJ and has been seen performing in the New York Metro area for many years. Locally, he has performed with New Jersey State Repertory Opera, Amato Opera
Theater, Hudson Opera Theater, The Little Opera Company of New Jersey, Verismo Opera of New Jersey and Utopia Opera. Recent roles include Schaunard in La Bohème, Baron Zeta in The Merry Widow, Papageno in The Magic Flute, Doctor Bartolo in both The Marriage of Figaro and The Barber of Seville the title role in Don
Pasquale and Valère in Le Médecin malgré lui. Alan is an accomplished pianist and received conducting training under Amy Kaiser and Yakov Kreizberg at Mannes College where he received his Masters of Music.
Donna Dixon-Olson, clarinet, serves as the orchestra manager for The Opera Orchestra of Montclair. Donna resides in Ramsey, NJ, and began studying clarinet at the age of 12 with the late Jerome Stowell of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. She has since attended master classes with Leon Russianoff, Ben Armato and Karl Herman. In addition to being Principal Clarinet with the Ridgewood Symphony Orchestra, SOMA Orchestra and the Ramsey Wind Symphony, she is a member of Hudson Valley Wind Ensemble. She has been a featured soloist with the New Jersey Metropolitan Orchestra and the Saddle River Wind Ensemble (Mozart Clarinet Concerto and the Mendelssohn Concertpiece #2 for Two Clarinets). Donna was also featured in Opera Theatre of Montclair's performance of Schubert's Der Hirt auf dem Felsen at the Presby Memorial Iris Gardens.