Recently declared by Opera News to be a “game changing” company that is redefining American opera, New York City-based Rhymes With Opera started just like most new music ensembles – as a handful of like-minded friends who just wanted to do good work – and have become a well-established, well-respected organization creating a whole new set of operatic repertoire for the 21st century.

I was thrilled to sit down with all five of the founding members to talk about the company’s successes and growing pains, and their advice for new music ensembles that are just starting out.

During the course of the conversation, we talked about:

  • The history and mission of Rhymes With Opera
  • Deciding your path as an organization
  • Not over-extending your ensemble
  • Finding organizational stability
  • Rhyme With Opera‚Äôs beginning steps and missteps
  • The importance of forming a solid Board of Directors
  • Limiting your organizational activities to core competencies
  • Surrounding yourself with talent
  • Outsourcing effectively
  • Taking incremental steps toward your goals
  • Knowing your budget in order to fundraise effectively
  • Crowdfunding
  • Cultivating a donor base
  • The current state of American opera and concert music in general
  • The DIY mentality in concert music today
  • Supporting new music as an organizational goal

Rhymes With Opera
George Lam
Ruby Fulton
Bonnie Lander
Elisabeth Halliday
Robert Maril
Opera News: Indies Ascending