RoundTable Cultural Seminars

First Fridays


Every Month, A new topic to explore

Join RoundTable for First Fridays!

Inspired by the pursuit of lifelong learning, new complimentary seminars will be presented on the first Friday of every month! Each session will be livestreamed and then available to watch for an additional 24 hours. 

There is a limited number of participants, so click “RESERVE HERE” at the bottom of the page to save your space now!   

The Future of Opera

Moderated by Neal Goren

Neal Goren, noted conductor, pianist, lecturer, and author will speak on “The Future of Opera” on January 8 beginning at 2:00 pm EST. Depending on whom you are listening to, opera is either thriving like never before, or it is in its final stages of life support. Goren’s lecture will deal with the changes opera has undergone since 2000, how it needs to continue evolving in the coming decades if it is to thrive, how COVID has affected the opera industry, and how some of the resultant changes are likely to carry into the future.

Neal Goren was the founder and Artistic Director of Gotham Chamber Opera, which popularized and legitimized the formerly ignored genre of chamber opera, which has now attained respect equal to the pillars of the of the operatic repertoire. In its fifteen years of existence, Goren conducted all of Gotham’s 27 productions, which included the world premieres by Nico Muhly’s Dark Sisters and Lembit Beecher’s I have no stories to tell you; and the U.S. stage premieres of works by Kaija Saariaho, Toshio Hosokowa, Bohuslav Martinu, and Xavier Montsalvatge. 

Goren’s other conducting credits include Die Zauberflöte for New York City Opera and the Trentino Festival (Italy), Dark Sisters by Nico Muhly (European premiere) for Trentino Festival and for Opera Philadelphia; Transformations by Conrad Susa, for San Francisco Opera Center; Mila by Eli Marshall (world premiere) for Asia Society of Hong Kong and additional performances in New York and San Francisco; and Anaïs Nin and Odysseus’ Women by Louis Andriessen (U.S. premiere) for Center for Contemporary Opera. 

Goren is the founder and Artistic Director of Catapult Opera, which began its activities in September 2020. 

A much sought-after recital accompanist, Goren was a protétgé of Geoffrey Parsons and has concertized extensively with Leontyne Price, Kathleen Battle, Hei-Kyung Hong, Harolyn Blackwell, Hakan Hagegard, Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, Aprile Millo, Hermann Prey, among others. He is an Associate Professor at Mannes College, The New School for Music, where has served on the faculty since 1991. 

A celebrated writer and lecturer on opera topics, his book, Beyond the Aria, was published by Rowman & Littlefield (formerly Amadeus Press) in December 2020. He has written about music and architecture for Yale Constructs Magazine and about music and art for Air Mail online newsletter.