Opera Volunteers International is a nonprofit volunteer group that strives to connect and bring together volunteers who support opera companies in cities and local communities everywhere.
OVI works to connect individuals and local opera support organizations so that successful ideas and projects are championed, publicized and shared among our members.
Through our membership’s skills and expertise, OVI members have access to help with almost any problem an opera support group might encounter.
A Short History
Opera Volunteers International began as Opera Guilds International in the early 1970’s, when a farsighted president of the Seattle Opera Guild found her guild struggling with growing pains. Her conversations and communications with other groups serving other opera companies made her realize the need for a gathering of volunteers to share information and ideas.
As a result, the first International Conference for Opera Guilds was held in Seattle in 1972 attended by 30 delegates representing 18 opera companies. The second convened in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1973, and at the third, in Toronto 1974, the group formally adopted a charter, chose a name and elected its first officers. Since that time, the organization has grown and prospered.
Its many and varied programs and events have furthered its mission to stimulate interest and support of opera through volunteerism, and to connect support groups, individual volunteers, donors, company staff and everyone interested in supporting the present and expanding the future of opera.
In 2000, OGI began a collaborative relationship with OPERA America. In 2004, recognizing that this association did not focus enough attention on volunteerism, it re-established itself as an independent volunteer organization, Opera Volunteers International, in order to better fulfill its mission to serve all opera volunteers: individuals and support groups.
OVI continues to expand as it serves diverse volunteers and opera companies from the United States and Canada, down to Mexico and reaching across to Australia.