Hind Foundation Networking

Carmen: A City-Wide Arts Collaboration

For Opera San Luis Obispo

In 2013, the Hind Foundation granted $80,000 to Opera San Luis Obispo (OperaSLO) to bring Georges Bizet's beloved operatic masterpiece "Carmen" to Harman Hall at the Performing Arts Center San Luis Obispo. With an internationally acclaimed cast of Karen Mushegain as Carmen and Christopher Campell as Don Jose, the production marked an unprecedented collaboration between many of San Luis Obispo's finest performing arts groups, including the Central Coast Children's Choir, Civic Ballet San Luis Obispo, Cuesta College Concert Choir, Opera San Luis Obispo, and the San Luis Obispo Symphony. The magnitude of this project (150 artists, musicians, and production staff) presented challenges as expected, but each was overcome by way of careful planning led by the OperaSLO Executive Director and Cal Poly Professor Sharon Dobson over a year in advance. Carmen was staged by director Ross Halper and musically directed and conducted by Dr. Brian Asher Alhadeff, who serves as Artistic and General Director of OperaSLO.

Noteworthy Results

  • High Caliber Opera
    San Luis Obispo residents enjoyed the opportunity to attend Carmen without having to travel a great distance. The cultural value of having high-quality opera locally while still enjoying the small town attributes of San Luis Obispo County offers the best of both worlds. 
  • Shares Resources
    The internal sharing of plans and resources among each of the performing arts organizations orovided all of the collaborators the "operatunities" to build audience, to reach a more diverse audience and build capacity through joint marketing, and to explore other ways of allocating resources more effectively and efficiently in the future.
  • Jobs for Artists
    The project provided approximately 150 jobs for artists living in San Luis Obispo County, from chorus members, dancers, costumers, set designers/builders, painters, instrumentalists, and other production personnel.
  • Student Outreach
    OperaSLO offered educational outreach programs to students, including lesson plan development and lectures by cast members and Dr. Brian Asher Alhadeff. Children and their parents were invited to attend the Carmen dress rehearsal to see the drama of opera live.

Area of Funding: Music & Visual Arts
Type of Funding: Standard Grant
Amount Funded: $80,000
Year Funded: 2013
Year Completed: 2013

About the Organization
Opera San Luis Obispo
11549 Los Osos Valley Road, Suite 208
San Luis Obispo, CA 93405
(805) 541-5369

Opera San Luis Obispo is a professional company committed to enhancing cultural life by producing excellent performances that entertain and inspire their audience.