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Arizona Opera Concludes its Season with a $2 Million Gift

Monday, April 16, 2018

Arizona Opera Concludes its Season with a $2 Million Gift

Kay and Ron McDougall Pledge Supports the Opera’s RED Series

Phoenix, AZ (April 16, 2018) – Arizona Opera is pleased to announce a $2 million gift from Kay and Ron McDougall in support of Arizona Opera’s new RED Series, which will now bear their name. The McDougall gift will be used to support the annual presentation of two intimate, innovative, and brand-defining artistic offerings that comprise the company’s new fall season.

The McDougall Arizona Opera RED Series launches in Fall 2018 with Maria de Buenos Aires, by Astor Piazzolla and Horacio Ferrer, and Charlie Parker’s Yardbird, by Daniel Schnyder and Bridgette A. Wimberly. The creation of the RED Series was announced this past fall as part of a comprehensive shift in Arizona Opera’s season model, which will deepen the company’s investment in adventurous, theatrical, and curiosity-inspiring new works, alongside stunning productions of classic operas, all supported by international-caliber casts. The McDougall RED Series will be presented each fall in Phoenix at the Herberger Theater and in Tucson at the Temple of Music and Art. (Arizona Opera’s Main Stage Season will be presented each winter and spring in the company’s traditional venues: Symphony Hall in Phoenix and the Tucson Music Hall.)

“We are excited by Arizona Opera’s expansive vision and leadership, and believe in the potential of the RED Series to help build stronger, more connected communities through the art form of opera,” said Ron McDougall. Ron, former Chairman and CEO of Brinker International Inc. (NYSE:EAT), previously served on the Dallas Opera board. Kay McDougall, a graduate of Southern Methodist University with a degree in mathematics, who currently sits on the Arizona Opera Board, added: “What I have learned as a first-year board member is that Arizona Opera is on a mission to bring something thrilling to the state, and to become one of the most exciting opera companies in the country. We are honored to help bring the RED Series to life.”

“We are profoundly grateful to Ron and Kay for their support of the RED Series, and for sharing our vision of creating the most artistically vibrant opera company possible for Arizona,” said Joseph Specter, President and General Director of Arizona Opera. “The gift from Ron and Kay is an extraordinary vote of confidence in our strategic direction as we strive toward making our greatest contribution to Arizona’s arts and culture sector, which is such a crucial factor for any state’s quality of life and prospects for economic development.”

John Johnson, Arizona Opera Board Chair agreed. “We are incredibly thankful for and humbled by this commitment, and by Kay’s enthusiastic participation – especially as a member who has just this past year joined the board.” Johnson continued, “Ron and Kay’s gift is powerful confirmation that we live in a state where remarkable philanthropy for the arts can be inspired when an organization places serving the community with artistic vibrancy at the center of its vision.”

About Arizona Opera

Arizona Opera, originally the Tucson Opera Company, was founded in 1971 by a dedicated group of opera enthusiasts. Its inaugural season featured two performances of Rossini’s The Barber of Seville in Tucson. By the 1976–1977 season, Arizona Opera was performing complete seasons in both Tucson and Phoenix. Since its inaugural year, Arizona Opera has produced more than 175 fully-staged operas and concerts. The company’s artistic history is rich with a blend of opera’s traditional repertoire featuring baroque, bel canto, and verismo works, turn-of-the-century masterpieces, operettas, and American operas. Arizona Opera has also presented Wagner’s complete Ring Cycle twice, a feat that has only been accomplished in North America by four other companies.

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