PLATINUM2023

The Minnesota Opera

Igniting passion with passion.

Minneapolis, MN   |  http://www.mnopera.org/

Mission

MN Opera’s vision and mission is to sing every story and to change lives by bringing together artists, audiences, and community, advancing the art of opera for today and future generations. We aim to empower all voices, strengthen bonds between people of all backgrounds and identities, and create spaces of healing, refuge and hope that inspire a sense of authentic belonging in everyone who enters. To this end, all of us at MN Opera are committing ourselves to the continuous work of becoming an antiracist and anti-oppressive organization and incorporating the principles of equity, diversity, and inclusion into all that we do. We invite you to learn more about our EDI initiatives and come along with us on our journey to create a new and inclusive future for opera.

Ruling year info

1969

President & General Director

Ryan Taylor

Main address

620 N. First St.

Minneapolis, MN 55401 USA

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EIN

41-0946789

NTEE code info

Opera (A6A)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

YOUTH OPERA CIRCLE

Youth Opera Circle is Minnesota Opera’s youth after-school program for young singers in grades 6-8. Minnesota Opera invites middle school students to the recently renovated Luminary Arts Center for a year-long training and performance program. Transportation can be arranged if needed.

Youth opera programs are provided at no cost to students or families.

Population(s) Served
Preteens
Adolescents

This program invites students in grades 9-12 to explore opera in a pre-professional training program where they will sing, study, rehearse, and connect with their peers, strengthening their musical and personal voices all while learning about opera.

Youth opera programs are provided at no cost to students or families.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Total number of awarded residencies

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

The MNOpera Resident Artist Program offers a full season of employment for artists beginning their professional careers. From Sept-May, Residents gain experience while refining their skills off stage.

Total number of paid admissions

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Note: - FY20 was impacted by COVID-19. The last two opera productions were canceled. - FY21 was mostly streamed performances. Opera in the Outfield had both a live audience and streaming service.

Total number of performances

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

2021 return to Ordway: 1 Opera, 8 Performances 1 Outdoor Concert, 1 Performance | 2020 Covid shutdown after 3rd Opera: 3 Operas, 15 Performances | 2019: 5 Operas, 29 Performances

Total number of free admissions

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Total number of open rehearsals

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Note: - FY20 and FY21 were impacted by COVID-19.

Average dollar price for performance tickets

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Note: -FY20 was impacted by COVID-19. -FY21 was mostly streamed performances.

Total number of audience members

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Note: - FY20 was impacted by COVID-19. - FY21 was mostly streamed performances.

Number of professional artists employed

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

The term professional artist here refers to Principal artists. In FY2020, even though two operas were canceled due to Covid-19, the artists were paid (14 for Edward Tulane and 8 for Don Giovanni).

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

MN Opera’s vision and mission is to sing every story and to change lives by bringing together artists, audiences and community, advancing the art of opera for today and future generations. We aim to inspire hope, empower all voices, and strengthen bonds between people of all backgrounds and identities. To this end, MN Opera commits itself to continuously work to become an antiracist and anti-oppressive organization. We acknowledge that along our journey, our culture and the world around us is constantly evolving. We will inevitably make mistakes. We choose to accept that reality and will humbly begin again in order to lean into this practice.

As MN Opera works to become an anti-racist and anti-oppressive organization, we will create authentic belonging by:
Actively acknowledging and examining racism, anti-Blackness, and other discriminatory practices;
Promoting anti-racist and anti-oppressive ideas, values and policies that counter the oppression of any people during the education, production, promotion and experience of opera;
Working towards eliminating all forms of oppression;
Developing effective tools for social justice;

MN Opera recognizes that in the United States of America, race is the biggest difference that makes a difference. We, therefore, make an explicit rejection of racism. In addition, the company also rejects all forms of oppression including, but not limited to, cissexism, heterosexism, ableism, ageism, and misogyny. We acknowledge that race, gender and other aspects of identity are socially constructed, tied to complex histories, and play significant roles in how resources and power are distributed. Race and attributes such as, but not limited to, age, ability, socio-economic status, gender, and sexual orientation intersect and often compound to cause more harm. These systems of oppression have been realized in the opera industry, including our own organization, by restricting access and ownership over the art form.

Through this work we aim to no longer be a venue of exclusion, but a space of refuge, healing, and justice in all that we do.

When MN Opera first formalized its commitment to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, the organization’s Board of Directors passed a Charter establishing a standing Diversity Council to define, implement, review, measure, and improve diversity initiatives at the company. The Council, comprised of both leadership and staff, met annually and work was guided by a Steering Committee. In order to improve efficiency and amplify impact, the structure was updated in the 2019-20 season and the group unified under one Diversity Council. The group meets monthly and continues to include both leadership and staff.

MN Opera began its EDI work with a specific focus on increasing racial, socio-economic, gender and age diversity of its staff, artists and patrons. Through substantial efforts, EDI and cultural competency have been integrated throughout the organization. As we’ve progressed on our journey, we’ve come to a clearer understanding that oppression is amplified by race and that racial oppression is a structural occurrence that requires internal action to dismantle. In the 2019-20 season, the decision was made to more explicitly identify the company’s commitment as anti-racist and anti-oppressive.

The Council’s aim is to support MN Opera in its work as an anti-racist and anti-oppressive organization. As staff representatives, the group is committed to a collaborative approach, as opposed to one that is competitive or punitive. It aims to provide resources and a structure of accountability in order to help move MN Opera forward. This includes encouraging each department to create an outline of goals, developed in partnership with colleagues, that serves as a roadmap of activity. Goals are set with the full understanding that this work is process oriented and will need to be reviewed and amended as progress is made.

MN Opera’s Board of Directors is pursuing its own concurrent plan of activity, led by the Governance and Nominating Committee. The board will adopt recruitment policies, processes and annual benchmarks that enhance the diversity of the board. It will incorporate diversity measures in its annual self-survey and generally monitor the effectiveness of the Diversity Council and its work.

Financials

The Minnesota Opera
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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The Minnesota Opera

Board of directors
as of 01/30/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Nadege Souvenir

Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 12/21/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, or other sexual orientations in the LGBTQIA+ community
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

Equity strategies

Last updated: 12/21/2022

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.