Livermore Valley Opera Virtual Fundraiser Exceeds Goals

Livermore Valley Opera, the Tri-Valley’s own professional opera company, is celebrating the recent success of its virtual “20 in 20” campaign to raise $20,000 in the last 20 days of LVO’s fiscal year which ended June 30, 2020. Thanks to a generous “angel donor”, the original goal was doubled, raising just over $40,000.

Due to COVID-19 and the closure of the Bankhead Theater in March, just one week after the opening weekend of LVO’s highly acclaimed double-bill production of Zemlinsky’s A Florentine Tragedy & Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, the LVO board voted unanimously to pay the cast and orchestra in full. This was a gesture applauded by the operatic community, and certainly appreciated by those involved, but, with no performance income from the second weekend, LVO did not have the funds to offset its generosity.

Immediately after the closure, LVO began streaming LVO’s past opera productions on the LVOpera Channel on YouTube as a way to continue bringing opera to the community. Due to the videos popularity, creative minds saw an opportunity to use the video channel in a virtual campaign to raise the funds lost due to the closure of the Bankhead Theater.  

Artistic Director Erie Mills and Music Director Alexander Katsman worked together to collect personal videos made by the professional solo artists, LVO orchestra and chorus members, production and music staff, then worked with other LVO team members to package and promote the video campaign.

“Each video featured personal testimonies about the artists and staff members’ involvement with LVO, what it has meant to them, and why LVO is worth supporting,” explains Erie Mills. “We collected 26 videos and premiered one or two different videos each day of the campaign. Every day was a new video, offering the greater community an insight to the artists and staff that come together for LVO opera productions.”

Packaging and preparing the videos for the LVOpera Channel was the work of Ofer dal Lal, LVO board member and director of donor development and Shari Tardiveau, LVO’s social media coordinator, who added music, text, photos, and the 20 in 20 campaign banners to create engaging videos. Promoting the campaign and links to videos were posted on LVO’s social media platforms each day, in addition to twice-a-week “e-blasts” to LVO’s email lists, coordinated by LVO Publicist Heidi Massie. 

On June, 11, 2020, LVO launched the fundraising campaign, and by Day 16, LVO had obtained the $20,000 goal.  It was at that point when an angel-donor agreed to donate $10K with a challenge to the community. 

“For every dollar LVO received in donations after the initial $20,000, the angel donor would match one-for-one up to an additional $10,000, eventually doubling the donations to $40,000,” adds Mills. 

“Even in the face of a pandemic and financial hardship in our community, we found out that many believe LVO is worth supporting! We are very grateful to all of the LVO supporters, donors and staff members who made this campaign such a huge success. We will return to the Bankhead Theater stronger and better. Let’s say a little prayer that that time comes sooner rather than later.”