A cornerstone of Opera Volunteers International’s mission is to encourage volunteers in all aspects of opera support. The purpose of Opera Volunteer International’s Matching Grants program is to encourage the expansion and development of programs that recruit, develop, and train volunteers for service in their communities and for participation in all phases of opera company support.

Applicants can choose between two application formats: a Printable Microsoft Word document to fill out, save, and email in, or an Online Form featuring auto-save, so you can complete your form at your own pace. Your application is automatically forwarded to OVI, with a copy sent to you for your records.

Have a Question for our Matching Grant Chair? Reach out via email:

Julie Anne Benson: memberservices@operavolunteers.org 

Click here to download a Microsoft Word document of the application materials.


The Guild of the Glimmerglass Festival

Volunteers Support: A Day at the Festival for Students The Guild will use their matching grant to support volunteer efforts for A Day at the Festival for Students at the August 1st performance of La Boheme. Area high school students will be treated to lunch and a performance. The Guild’s Hospitality Committee will provide the meal, serve as ushers and greeters, and ensure educational materials and teacher resources pertaining to the opera are posted on the Glimmerglass Festival website. Approximately 20 volunteers will participate.

Lyric Opera of Chicago Chapters’ Executive Board

Revealing the Lost Music of the Holocaust was a concert held at the Illinois Holocaust Museum. Pianist and educator Paul Dykstra, who has dedicated his career to uncovering and promoting the music of the Holocaust, was joined by Cantor Susan Friedman. Volunteers were recruited to greet the attendees and assist the Museum staff in attendee tours of the facility. Among the goals for this program project are: introducing the Lyric family of volunteers and patrons to those of the Holocaust Museum, and putting into practice Lyric’s commitment to the IDEA values of Inclusion, Diversity, Equality and Access while growing a more active and engaged volunteer membership. A full report will be given at the opera conference and in a future OVI Newsletter.

Opera Maine Opera for All film

Opera for All film screenings The 2023 Film Series, conceived, researched and planned by the Volunteer Programming Committee, will present a series of filmed operas from some of the world’s most acclaimed opera companies, orchestras, directors and soloists, including Die Fledermaus by Johann Strauss II, La Fille du Regiment by Gaetano Donizetti, and Il Barbiere di Siviglia, by Giochino Rossini. Admission is open to all, and free to selected senior communities and, through Opera Maine’s Opera for All initiative, free to audience members aged 25 and under. New volunteers from the University of Maine graduate program will offer pre-show talks and set up and operate audio visual equipment and provide tech support. As always, the volunteers will provide friendly greetings and serve as ambassadors for Opera Maine.

Minnesota Opera Light Walkers Project

“Light Walkers” are volunteers who stand-in for the principals during the often-tedious, yet much-needed technical rehearsals to set light cues in a given production. Approximately 28 Light Walkers will be recruited for the staging of Don Giovanni. The volunteers will be recruited and managed by Minnesota Opera using Galaxy (a volunteer recruitment, management and communication tool). Volunteers will be given an orientation and directed by MN Opera Staff. These volunteers will get an “up close and personal” behind the scenes experience in the creation of an opera. MN Opera tracks the cost of staff hours dedicated solely to volunteer support and training, and this project will come to roughly 148 hours, which is roughly $3700 on average. Ancillary supplies such as printed training materials and light refreshments are also provided.

Opera Theater Oregon Nu Nah-Hup: Sacajawea’s Story

Opera Theatre Oregon’s project centers on Nu Nah-Hup: Sacajawea’s Story, an intercultural collaboration with Agai-Dika/Lemhi-Shoshone culture bearer and descendent of Sacajawea, Rose Ann Abrahamson. Nu Nah-Hup: Sacajawea’s Story will reimagine the extraordinary Shoshone woman who was a crucial member of the the Lewis and Clark Expedition in a new opera-theater work. OTO will premier a 35- minute scene of this new work alongside excerpts of music, soundscapes, and presentations of traditional Agai-Dika/Lemhi-Shoshone language and culture. As many as fifty volunteers will be recruited throughout the production period to assist with everything from fundraising, marketing, organizing the benefit soiree, to set design, accounting and more.



Central City Opera Guild: Volunteers Maintain a Denver Tradition with Virtual Holiday Home Tour

For the past 45 years, Central City Opera Guild’s L‘Esprit de Noel Holiday Home Tour has served as a major fundraiser and Denver holiday tradition. Utilizing scores of volunteers, this walking tour of lavishly decorated historic Denver homes is a major volunteer effort. The 2021 Virtual Walking Tour will feature the home of Peter Court, brother to Baby Doe Tabor. In 1956, the CCO commissioned the Ballad of Baby Doe, and it is traditionally programmed every ten years. This year will again be a virtual tour of three historic homes, and the live feed will include holiday music from CCO’s touring artists. The grant will help support volunteer efforts for the virtual tour, including training on the historic significance of the homes featured as well as recognizing an opera company and Guild with roots deep into the 1930’s—the fifth oldest company in the nation. The virtual tour is scheduled to go live Friday, November 19 – midnight December 25, 2021.

Opera Maine: Training Opera Maine Volunteer Ambassadors

Opera Maine (OM) plans to use the OVI Matching Grant to help fund training and educational materials for five Opera Maine Volunteer Ambassadors, chosen from the current volunteer cadre and the Opera Maine Teen Program. Ambassadors will be trained to engage in conversation with audiences attending productions of L’elisir d’amore – The Elixir of Love—by Gaetano Donizetti and As One, by Laura Kaminsky. Opera Maine has not presented a bel canto opera in ten years, and the Opera Ambassadors will help introduce the opera -goers to Donizetti, a great master of that style.

OM believes the Opera Ambassadors will play a particularly important role for the production of As One, a contemporary chamber opera centered on the coming-of-age of a transgender woman. The As One production will present Mainers with a unique opportunity to explore the inclusion and engagement of people of diverse identities and backgrounds. Ambassadors will be prepared to guide audience members to available resources that are specific to both productions, and will be trained to converse about Opera Maine. The use of Teen Ambassadors will help grow future audience members and volunteers.

Nashville Opera Guild: Launching a Diversity and Inclusion Initiative

The Nashville Opera Guild plans to use the OVI Matching Grant to launch its Diversity and Inclusion Initiative. Nashville Opera Association and Nashville Opera Guild will celebrate the company’s 45th anniversary in Season 2025-26. As they move toward that date, they have embarked on an eight-month strategic planning process. A major focus is diversity and inclusion to grow audience and volunteer base as well as provide programming to lift up the stories and experiences of a diverse audience. The Nashville Opera Guild’s Diversity and Inclusion Initiative has four key focus areas: growing volunteer members; diversity education for the NOG Board; producing a “series for awareness and learning”; and, partnering with the Opera Board on its Advisory Committee for Artistic and Social Impact. The grant will help support funding for training, speakers for “Lunch and Learn”, and overall education and materials to train the full Guild Board in Diversity Education. The Guild’s current membership of about 180 members must be expanded and diversified to fulfill the goals set by the Guild Board.

—Matching Grant Recipient Archive—














2008 & Earlier