1987 – Beverly Hills, Michigan
Karen DiChiera helped found Michigan Opera Theatre in 1971. She is founder and Director of the Michigan Opera Theatre’s Department of Community Programs which have included tours of operas and musical revues throughout Michigan and neighboring states to Ontario, Canada. These include educational curriculum projects and services for the disabled of all ages. An honors graduate of Oakland University with an extensive background in music composition, dance, theater and improvisation, she has, for many years, worked with leading figures in these fields and has written and composed numerous operas, musicals and revues for MOT and other opera companies and clients. She is one of the authors of “Working Ideas”, a basic guideline for opera education and is a contributor to “Words, Music and Opera” published by M.M.B. music publishers for Opera America. She consults for many arts organizations, lectures widely and has received numerous awards including the Variety Club Award and the Michigan Governors’ Award in Arts Education. She also sits on several arts and community boards. In 1985, Karen DiChiera helped create Opera Pacific in Orange County, California and established a touring program called Opera Pacific Overture Company. Ms. DiChiera is the mother of two daughters.