It’s the first time anyone in Georgia has won the Partners in Excellence Lifetime Award, and the honor goes to Donna Angel. Founder of Capitol City Opera Company and longtime opera instructor at the College, Angel will receive the award from Opera Volunteers International at their annual conference next summer in San Francisco.
The Partners in Excellence Lifetime Award honors those who have made outstanding contributions to their opera companies and their communities. Angel, who founded Capitol City Opera Company in 1983, was nominated by its board of directors for her exceptional dedication and singular vision.
It’s a dedication Michelle Girage, assistant dean at the College, said she has seen firsthand.
“Donna is committed not just to her craft but also to her students,” Michelle said. “She teaches Opera Appreciation with a unique approach for our OLLI students, who are 50 or older, and come to this class with all levels of experience. She makes opera less intimidating and more accessible. She makes it fun — and those students leave with a little bit of her passion for the art. We feel lucky to have her with us at KSU.”
Board president Cory Colton couldn’t agree more.
“For those of us involved in Capitol City Opera Company, we have long recognized Donna’s extraordinary achievements,” he said. “She has an unparalleled passion for nurturing opera talent, and has remained focused on that mission through Capitol City Opera Company for more than 30 years. We are very happy to see her honored publicly for her work.”
And as for the awardee herself? She’s excited to receive this special honor.
“I am just thrilled,” Donna said. “Opera education has been my mainstay throughout my life. I can’t envision myself doing anything else. I am grateful to the CCOC Board of Directors for nominating me and to OVI for recognizing the hard work of opera volunteers.”
About Donna Angel
Donna Angel founded Capitol City Opera Company in 1983 to provide Atlanta-area classically trained singers the opportunity to learn and perform complete opera roles and to continue to develop their post-graduate vocal and acting skills on a professional level.
An accomplished singer, Donna has performed with the New Orleans Summer Pops Orchestra, The New Orleans Philharmonic, the Colombian National Orchestra, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Goldovsky Opera, Northwestern Opera Theatre, Kennesaw Opera Theatre, New Orleans Opera, and the Atlanta Chamber Opera Society.
A graduate of Newcomb College in New Orleans, Donna received a master’s degree in voice from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. She also studied at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey, and the Tanglewood Institute and Berkshires Festival in Lenox, Massachusetts. Donna studied under vocal coaches Marjorie Lawrence, Robert Bernauer, Irene Jordan, Janice Harsanyi, Phyllis Curtin, Norman Treigle, Dalton Baldwin, Ryan Edwards, Gerard Souzay, Robert Gay, and Fletcher Wolfe.
Over the course of her career, Donna’s passion for opera education led her to become founder and director of Kennesaw State College Opera Theatre; director of Clark College Atlanta Opera Workshop; leader of Advanced Teen Voice and Adult Master classes at the Galloway Center for the Arts; and Founder and Artistic Director of Friends of Opera. Donna also has taught in private studios in Lexington, Virginia; Greenville, South Carolina; and in metro Atlanta.