Tuesday, May 14, 2013

From the Desk of Rae Weimer

My name is Rae Weimer and I am the associate director of development at The Atlanta Opera.  In my role I work alongside a group of fundraising professionals who share the common goal of establishing meaningful relationships with friends who support The Atlanta Opera. Thanks to the support of our loyal patrons and donors – in other words – you, the 2012-2013 Atlanta Opera season was a great success!  

You experienced the magic of live opera, the spine-tingling music, and the magnificent voices.  We met intriguing characters who exposed us to a wide range of emotional experiences, and interesting and exciting visual delights! Do you remember the seduction, passion, tragedy and beloved music of Carmen? What about the romantic tragedy of La traviata or the whimsical comedic themes of The Italian Girl in Algiers? All three operas gave us a moment of suspense and held our attention.  The music conveyed raw emotion that made us feel empathy for the foibles of humanity. And, of course, each production at one point or another had us tapping our feet and moving our heads in time to the tempo. And who doesn’t remember laughing out loud?  Escaping the ordinary is a wonderful adventure!

You may be surprised to know that the work doesn’t end around here after the last production of the season.  In development we’re still climbing steadily to reach our goals by the end of our fiscal year on June 30.   Why are we doing that you may ask?  We want more people’s lives to be enriched through the power of opera! 

By this time you may be asking yourself, what is the point of this message? Well, the point is …you are a member of our Opera “family” and you are important to the success of The Atlanta Opera.  We invite and welcome your assistance to ensure the Opera’s continued growth and future.

Did you know…?
The Atlanta Opera presents programs throughout the entire year, in addition to the mainstage productions? Our community engagement programs serve more than 30,000 students from elementary, middle and high schools throughout the metro region – annually.  And, that’s just the students. 
Our production of Carmen last fall employed 225 people, including dressers, stagehands, technical staff, musicians, dancers, singers, and so many more it would make your head spin!  Talk about an “extended family” – whew! 

As I said before, the 2012-2013 opera season may be over, but we work year-round. We plan and prepare for the next season, research and create new community engagement programs, meet with patrons like you, and take care of the thousands of emails, letters, phone calls, and administrative tasks to keep The Atlanta Opera running smoothly. 

Back to my point, we are quickly approaching June 30, and we need your help in raising an additional $395,000 to meet our Annual Fund goal of $730,000. This goal can be reached, but we can’t do it without your help. 

So, here is my request…and the point of this message-- Please help us reach our goal of raising $395,000 by June 30, 2013 because it takes the entire community of opera lovers to help us raise the necessary money to support this glorious art form. Tickets sales alone won’t do it.  But, working together, the goal is attainable.   Plus, making a gift to The Atlanta Opera enhances your experience by way of our exclusive benefits program, MyOpera. Your gift can open the door to add-ons such as events, drink tickets, valet parking, and much more!

You may be asking… how can I participate?  It’s easy!  Just mail a check, call Rebecca Bowden at 404-881-1035, or click on this link. You can be sure we will be good stewards of your donation…and trust.

I know you care about The Atlanta Opera because you are passionate about opera. Me, too!  I am a donor; not because I work for the Opera, but because I LOVE opera!  I love those collective moments when everyone in the audience is listening intently and waiting for the tenor to hit his high note, or Carmen’s throaty rolling of the “r”s in her sultry arias. I love the thunderous sound of applause!    I love laughing…really, really laughing out loud with other members of “the opera family.”  And, then, there are the sets – visually interesting and unique – like the storybook set of The Italian Girl in Algiers; simple, effective, and perfect for the opera.

So, the curtain is about to go down on this “production.”  Thanks for listening.  Thanks for helping us reach our goal. Most of all, thanks for loving The Atlanta Opera!

Warmest regards,
Rae Weimer

Some of the 225 professionals who were employed by the Atlanta Opera's production of Carmen.

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