In the late Seventies, an assistant professor of music at Montana State University named Verity Bostick, shared with Anthony Stivanello, a well-known New York opera producer, her aspirations to form the first Montana-based opera company. For the inaugural performance of Verdi’s La Traviata in the Spring of 1979, Mr. Stivanello happily agreed to donate sets and costumes and his services to the production.
During the second year of the productions, the Association produced The Barber of Seville, starring Pablo Elvira, and brought three stars from New York to sing leading roles. Anthony Stivanello again donated sets and costumes and directed the production.
In the early 1980’s, Mrs. Robert W. Martin, Jr. became a member of the Board and subsequently President of the Association. Under her direction, fund raising and ticket organization systems were successfully established. Mrs. Martin donated generously to support this organization and meet the allotted annual budgets from across the country. With her financial contributions and her total commitment to opera in Montana have been invaluable to the basic structure and success of the Association. Mrs. Martin is now Honorary Chairman of the Board.
The Association has continued to flourish and to attract opera goers, not only Montana but also across the country, as well as neighboring states. An increasing number of volunteers and supporters donate their time to this association each year. All committee workers and board members are volunteers. Staff includes an artistic director, production coordinator, office manager and an executive director (all part-time positions).
The staff assists the Board of Directors and has a long list of responsibilities including choosing the operas to be performed, hiring the director and conductor, casting and contracting with the performers, renting sets and costumes and renting the auditorium as well as with fundraising and publicizing productions and the company. They also are in charge of organizing transportation and housing of artists, costume fitting and coordination, makeup and hair-styling, ticket-selling, ushering and most fundraising remain volunteer functions. The orchestra and chorus are chosen from among the region’s most accomplished musicians including some students majoring in music at Montana State University. The venue for Intermountain Opera is the Wilson Auditorium.
If you are interested in this organization and would like more information about you can become involved please click HERE.