Opera Volunteers International Resources


Welcome to the Resource Manual of Opera Volunteers International, the international service organization for opera volunteer groups.

This Resource Manual, originally published in a hard copy notebook format in 1980, was an outgrowth of one of the earliest activities undertaken by Opera Volunteers International, which was to collect information about opera guild projects undertaken in various cities. Early on, opera volunteers from various areas of the continent realized that they could profit by utilizing the expertise already developed by other opera volunteer organizations elsewhere.

The Resource Manual has gone through many updates and additions over the years. The present edition of the Manual is the second to be published on computer diskette. Many Opera Volunteers International members have requested the manual in this format, and we hope that it will be readily accessible to officers of all our member opera guilds.

The following is a brief guide to the use of this manual:

File Format

The file in this manual are in Rich Text Format, which is a standard text editing format that can be read by virtually any available word processing program used by most IBM-type personal computers at this time. If you are going to be using them regularly, you may want to convert the files to your own word processing format.

At the bottom of each file, in small type, is printed the name of the file. In case you print out the file and later want to find it again on the disk, having this file name will make your job much easier.

Each file contains a description of a guild project. The information varies somewhat from file to file. Generally, it consists of the guild's name; the opera company supported; a description of the project; organizational details; budgetary and financial information; a summary of media coverage; the results of the project; and the name and address of the contact person who can provide further information.


We hope that you enjoy our Resource Manual, and that you find it to be a source of good ideas for your own guild or other opera support organization. Please contact us with any comments. If your guild has a good project that should be included in our Resources Manual, please get in touch with us. We would love to hear from you!

Sandi Bruns
714 N. 58th Street
Omaha, NE 68132

Opera Volunteers International
1156 15th St. N.W., Suite 810
Washington, D.C. 20005-1704
Telephone (202 / 293-3797)
Facsimile (202 / 293-5958)


July 2003


Year Round Advocacy
OPERA America Governmental Affairs Network
Advocacy Handbook for Opera Supporters

Audience Development

Spotlight on Opera - Panel discussions/seminars prior to the operas
At Ease With Opera - Adult education programs
Audio Preview Tapes
Evening of Fine Wines - Wine tasting & opera music
Opera in the Park Live - Opera concert in public park
Divas, Dinners and Diversions - Series of dinners and social gatherings
Working Together to Strengthen Arts - Open house at opera house
Hispanics for Opera
A Capella (Singles Group)


Volunteer Lecture Corps
Inventing Musical Theatre - Opera course for music teachers
My House is too Small- Opera for performances at shopping malls, etc.
Educating Tomorrow's Opera-Goer
The Green Children - Involving youngsters in opera
Opera through the Looking Glass
Youth Patch Program - Scout and Camp Fire activities
Operatunity - Opera program for High School students
Opera for Kids
Opera House at the Children's Museum
Opera Study Group
Puppet Opera
Swing and Sing - Golf and opera summer camp
Peanut Butter and Puccini - Opera house tours and lunch
Up On OperaTalk!

Fund Raising

Italian Opera Dinner
Raree Goes International - Street fair
Lyric Operathon - Radio benefit auction
Opera Now! - Student organized fund raising party
Organizing a Benefit Auction
Mask Sale
Met Audition Winners Concert and Reception
Bravo! Fashion Show
Cinderella Ball
Wine Tasting and Silent Auction
Green Thumb Sale - Begonia plant sale
French Maids Party
ARIAS Magazine
Aida Dinner Spectacular - Opera themed dinner party
Dine Around - Themed dinners in private homes
Luxury Drawing
Threads and Trills - Party with costumed singers entertaining
Annual Homes Tour
Opera Themes B la B la Table - Theatrical exhibit on the art of table setting
A Swiss Fantasy (Ball Theme)
An Evening Chez Rossini - Re-creation of Rossini musical evening
Outrageous Opera Outings (OOO) - Themed party with dessert contest
Dinner Opera - Themed dinner with musical entertainment
Port to Port - Wine and travel auction
Fantastic Fun Night - Raffle ticket sale/bingo night
Opera Goes to Bed - Exhibit of opera themed bedroom designs
Secrets Behind Planned Giving and Endowment Campaigns
Special Occasions
Festival of Fine Dining

Guild Organization

Volunteer Recruiting Information and Form
Guild Attitude Survey
Example of Guild Bylaws
Guild Handbook
Mission Statement and Bylaws
OVI Matching Grants Program
Organizing an Opera Guild
How's the Weather in Your Organization? - An organizational attitude test
Volunteer Job Description Questions
Points to Consider in Drafting Your Bylaws
Conflicts in Your Guild and How to Deal With Them
Marketing Your Guild: Setting a Game Plan
Enjoy Good Publicity


Become an Unsung Hero - Membership recruitment campaign
Membership as a Fund Raiser - Annual membership campaign
High Tea - Membership recruitment function
Celebration of Baby Doe - Membership event
Solo Voce Singles Group
Fall Fair and Follies - Membership event to encourage volunteer activities


Through the Opera Glass - Opera history and record book
Opera Funtime - ChildrensChildren's' activity booklets
YPO Notes Guild newsletter
Opera Libretti
Opera Study Guide
Your Passport to the Opera - Introduction book for opera novices
Opera's Future Is Our Business: A History of Opera Volunteers International
Publishing a History of Your Guild
Composer Graphics Available From OVI (Computer Format)
Making Your Newsletter Work

Volunteer Service

Volunteer Office
Artists Transportation
Apprentice and Studio Artist Support Project
Shadow Interpreting and Gingerbread Party
Information Services - Information booths at opera performances
Tips for Guilds in Tough Times
Lessons From the Geese
The Magic of Motivation: Recruiting and Motivating Volunteers
Volunteer Burnout