Complementary Assets

David Johnston

From our Director, Eugenie C. Cowan, today’s guest-blogger.

“New York City now boasts two spectacular new facilities for our musicians plus those from around the country and around the world – The DiMenna Center for Classical Music and, as of Friday, September 28, The National Opera Center.  Both are on Manhattan’s West Midtown.

The National Opera Center, owned and operated by arts service organization OPERA America, now has a professional home for auditions, rehearsals, performing and teaching.  New York has always been the center of major opera auditions, but opera companies and singers always had to make do with whatever spaces they could find.   Now they can come to a welcoming center that provides the large Audition Recital Hall, seating up to 75, as well as a Rehearsal Hall and many small individual coaching and warm-up rooms.


Artists relaxing at the new National Opera Center. Photo credit: Patricia K. Johnson

In March 2011 the Orchestra of St. Luke’s opened the DiMenna Center for Classical Music.  Its glorious Mary Flagler Cary Hall for orchestra rehearsals and its smaller Norman S. Benzaquen Hall for chamber ensembles is already THE place to rehearse and for instrumentalists and vocalists to gather.


Fight rehearsal with the singers at the National Opera Center. Photo credit: Patricia K. Johnson


What’s wonderful is that these two new music centers complement each other:   DiMenna has larger spaces, the Opera Center has more smaller ones.  And one of our 2011 Composers-in-Residence, Danielle Eva Schwob, has booked her performing ensemble group Syzygy New Music into the Opera Center for smaller sections.

We at Exploring the Metropolis are particularly pleased and proud of these new facilities and the infrastructure support they bring to the music field. The DiMenna Center resulted from our 2004 feasibility study of an orchestra-based rehearsal center.  And Marc Scorca, President/CEO of the Opera Center, credits us with godmothering the second of these two workspace gems.”




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