Eugene Opera Ambassadors

Join the Eugene Opera Ambassadors!

The Ambassadors are people who care about opera and enjoy working together to support Eugene Opera and related efforts in our community. Activities include educational, cultural, and social programs and participation in volunteer work and fundraising. Non-members are always welcome to come to a meeting to learn more about our activities.

For more information or to join, download the membership form here, email or call the Eugene Opera office at 541-485-3985. Annual dues are $10 for students, $25 per person for all others. Membership is for the fiscal year, July 1 through June 30.

Upcoming Events

Here is our calendar of upcoming events for the Ambassadors. Click the Subscribe button below the calendar to add these automatically to your own electronic calendar.


Some Recent Events

June 18, 2016: Potluck for Ambassadors members and friends.

May 27, 2016: Dr. Grace Ho provided a musical program on “Operatic Drama and Buffoonery in Mozart’s Piano Sonata K. 332.” Mozart is celebrated for bringing opera characters to life through his music, from comic characters like Despina and Don Alfonso to noble characters like Fiordiligi and Ferrando. These musical characterizations are evident in his instrumental music as well as in his operatic writing. In this lecture-recital, Dr. Grace Ho identifies and demonstrates the musical correlations between Cosí fan tutte and the Piano Sonata K. 332, which will bring fresh interpretive insight for how to perform this popular sonata.

In 2015-16, the Ambassadors sponsored Eugene Opera’s LISTEN NOW! series of presentations about the operas in this season. These informative and entertaining talks featured live musical illustrations. LISTEN NOW! was an opportunity for aficionados and novices alike to enjoy enlightening musical presentations and deepen their appreciation of these operas.

April 28, 2016: LISTEN NOW! Talk and Performance: American Composer Mark Adamo Scores the American Classic. The Ambassadors hosted Dr. Terry McQuilkin, composer and contemporary music specialist, who explored the musical themes of Little Women.

February 22, 2016: LISTEN NOW! Talk and Performance: Tchaikovsky’s Portrayal of Onegin. The Ambassadors hosted Ann Schaffer, Music Librarian at the University of Oregon Knight Library, who explored the musical themes of Eugene Onegin.

December 19 & 20, 2015: The Ambassadors shared news about Eugene Opera’s 2015-16 Season at the Holiday Market at Lane County Fairgrounds and held drawings for free tickets to Lucia di Lammermoor.

December 3, 2015: LISTEN NOW! Talk and Performance: “The Sopranos Who Made their Fame on Lucia.” The Ambassadors hosted Bereniece Jones-Centeno for an exploration of the role of Lucia and the great sopranos who launched their careers with Donizetti’s opera.

October 19, 2015: LISTEN NOW! Talk and Performance: “The Music of Benjamin Britten.” The Ambassadors hosted Dr. Vincent Centeno’s exploration of the musical themes of Britten’s The Turn of the Screw, including an excellent introduction to relevant concepts of twelve-tone musical composition.

August 13, 2015: Potluck for Ambassadors members and friends.

May 19, 2015: The annual General Meeting of the Ambassadors was held at the Eugene Hotel. Officers were elected for the 2015-16 year. Congratulations to incoming president John Cummens, vice-president Sandy Whitaker, treasurer Tom Kulick, and secretary Silkie Melloul. Congratulations are also due to Silkie for winning the trivia quiz about the 2015-16 operas! Thank you to Programs/Education Chair Katie Curtis for creating the quiz, and to Eugene Opera Board Members John Tilson and Tony Meyer for providing updates on various aspects of the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons.

March 25, 2015: Mezzo soprano Katie Curtis and pianist Andrew Pham provided a musical program of four songs inspired by composers from the upcoming season. Works by Britten, Rossini, Tchaikovsky and Barber were presented, with short educational descriptions about how each relates to next season’s operas.

February 25, 2015: Eugene Opera Board Member Barbara Myrick, LCC faculty member, presented insights on our spring opera, Sweeney Todd, at the Ambassadors meeting.

December 13 & 14, 2014: The Ambassadors shared news about Eugene Opera’s 2014-15 Season at the Holiday Market at Lane County Fairgrounds and held drawings for free tickets to The Elixir of Love.

November 2014: Jeanette de Jong, Eugene Opera’s Costume Designer and Director, gave us a behind-the-scenes look at the challenges of costume preparation for The Elixir of Love — including hands-on examination of actual costumes (do you know how much they weigh?) and huge hats to match (do you know what they’re made of?).

August 2014: Potluck for Ambassadors members and friends.

May 2014: Complimentary admission to University of Oregon Opera Ensemble’s dress rehearsal of “Love the Bitter and the Sweet,” comprising scenes from Die Zauberflote, Les contes d’Hoffman, Rake’s Progress, The Ballad of Baby Doe, and other favorites.

January 2014: Bereniece Jones-Centeno, Eugene Opera Board President, presented an entertaining and insightful introduction to “The Musicology of The Girl of the Golden West,” using musical excerpts to illustrate Puccini’s genius in creating the first opera that was set in the American West.

Support to Opera Activities


Ongoing: Home stay coordination for visiting artists, donation processing, audience outreach at opera performances and community events, airport greeters for visiting artists, and whatever else comes up!

August-October 2016: Office support for Eugene Opera’s Online Benefit Sale and 40th Anniversary Celebration Dinner.

May-September 2015: Planning, preparation, and logistics for Eugene Opera’s Annual Dinner and Auction.

June 2015: Support for Eugene Opera’s Day of Giving, a successful one-day fundraising drive.

September 2015: Sponsor of Eugene Opera’s Annual Dinner and Auction.

November 2014: Ticketing and ushering for the Artist Mentor Program’s Three One-Act Operas at the Very Little Theater.

March 2014: Financial support for the University of Oregon Opera Ensemble’s performance of Puss and Boots as part of an educational outreach pilot program to nurture an appreciation for opera and classical music in children at five area elementary schools. The Ambassadors’ support helped make it possible for all the performers to be in costume – very popular with the elementary school audience!

May-September 2014: Planning, preparation, and logistics for Eugene Opera’s Annual Heitman Dinner and Auction.

September 2014: Sponsor of Eugene Opera’s Annual Dinner and Auction.

October 2014: Ushering for Cascadia Concert Opera’s Fidelio at the First Methodist Church.

Volunteer to Host an Opera Artist

Several times a year the Eugene Opera brings extraordinary talent to Eugene. Each visiting opera artist needs a place to stay from the time rehearsals begin until the last curtain of the last performance comes down, usually about three weeks.

Would you like to know more about these people who devote their lives to music and their craft? Can you spare a guest room with access to a private bath for a few weeks? Can you offer modest kitchen and laundry privileges to someone who spends much time on the road? Would you like to witness the transformation from ordinary person to extraordinary performer?

If the answer is YES, then you might be just the person the Eugene Opera is looking for.

To explore this marvelous opportunity further to help Eugene Opera and our Eugene arts community, contact us at or 541-485-3985.

Volunteering Opportunities

There are many different ways to help!

Home stay host (see above) Membership outreach
Airport greeter/driver Poster distribution
Ambassadors events planner/helper Meeting set up/clean up
School program volunteer Ushering at affiliate events
Senior outreach program volunteer Contacting donors
Videographer for programs Helping out at the EO office
Seamstress/tailor Mailings (stuffing, addressing, etc)
Opera study group leader/organizer Phoning (reminders/business help)

… and more! If any of these areas especially appeal to you, or if you’d like to help in another way, let us know when you contact us.

2016-17 Officers

John Cummens, President
Tom Kulick, Treasurer
Silkie Melloul, Secretary
Beverly Barr, Volunteer Coordinator

For more information or to join, download the membership form here, email or call the Eugene Opera office at 541-485-3985. Annual dues are $10 for students, $25 per person for all others. Membership is for the fiscal year, July 1 through June 30.