The Guild

We are excited to provide you information about the Ash Lawn Opera Guild, a volunteer organization whose purpose is to provide support for the Ash Lawn Opera  and to enrich our local community’s quality of life by promoting quality performances, by educating and developing the broadest possible audiences, and by nurturing emerging talent.

Membership Includes:

  • Meeting other people who share the same love for opera, music and the arts as you do – make new friends while working together  to help bring opera and musical theater to Central Virginia!
  • Opportunities to expand understanding of opera through lectures on various musical subjects as well as on the upcoming season
  • Invitations to all Guild social and fundraising events such as the Spring Gala, Taste of Ash Lawn Opera, the Valentine Luncheon, and the Fall Meeting
  • Summer Company Party
  • Advance notice of events
  • Opportunities to serve on Guild Committees


A membership application is available for download below.


For additional information about Guild membership, please contact Sharon Davis at (434)295-0777


  • Artist in Residence - We support funding of and assist with coordination of lively interactive musical programs led by a teaching artist and accompanist for elementary through high school students to introduce opera and musical theater.
  • Internships - We support funding of students, from high school through graduate studies with a serious interest in the performing arts, in internship opportunities involving a range of professional experiences in all aspects of arts administration and the theater.
  • KidsFEST - We coordinate an annual program involving children from the city of Charlottesville and Albemarle County who participate in after school or summer enrichment programs.  They are invited to attend a dress rehearsal of an opera or musical theater at The Paramount.  The children are prepared with an introductory program so they can fully enjoy this professional musical experience.
  • Dress Rehearsal with Student Audience - We coordinate an annual program involving local Boy and Girl Scouts and Charlottesville City and Albemarle County theater, choral, band and orchestra middle and high school students.  They are invited to attend a dress rehearsal of an opera or musical theater at The Paramount.
  • Opera Connects for Teachers - We coordinate summer seminar providing credits, which introduces teachers to the educational possibilities of opera and musical theater.
  • Amahl and the Night Visitors Library Programs - We coordinate an annual program, led by a Teaching Artist, held at libraries in the City of Charlottesville, Albemarle County, and Fluvanna County.  Hands-on and interactive activities are used as a springboard to induce young audiences to the art of opera.

Praise from Teachers for our 2015 Artist-in-Residence Series

[Mary Gresock] touched on music, acting, singing, scenery and costumes. The kids enjoyed the interaction with all the props and costumes [...] Anything classical is good because our kids get very few cultural experiences.
It was nice to see some of the shy children participate fully.
The information provided to help the children learn were on point. I didn’t feel anything went over their heads
Several of the children are still doing the fan dance [from Madama Butterfly]!

Social and Fundraising Events

The Guild produces the company’s two major fundraising events: Ash Lawn Opera Spring Gala and Taste of Ash Lawn Opera.

The Spring Gala is one of the premier social events of the Charlottesville area.  It is hosted at a local country club where attendees are served wine and a gourmet meal.    A special treat not to be missed is a performance by one of our opera singers.   A Silent Auction is available during cocktail and dinner time, enabling attendees to purchase items or trips to enjoy long after the event, while helping to provide funding for our opera company performances.

Taste of Ash Lawn Opera affords you the unique opportunity to hear our fabulous artists who have also performed for the Metropolitan Opera, Washington National Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Seattle Opera, and Atlanta Opera.   This not-to-be missed social event was held at the lovely Trump Vineyard in 2014.  Attendees enjoy a variety of delicious hors d’oeuvres and Trump Vineyard wines, while experiencing an exciting performance of the 2014 season principal artists of the Ash Lawn Opera.

Additional social events include:

  • Valentine Luncheon – hosted in February each year at a local country club – a delicious lunch is served, updates on the upcoming season are provided by the Ash Lawn Opera Executive Director, and a musical presentation is provided.
  • Fall Meeting – Social gathering, business meeting, and program.

Cast Parties

The Guild coordinates and hosts an opening night cast party at the end of the opening night of each production.   Food and beverages are provided through the generosity of local restaurants and businesses, as well as members of the Guild.  A fun chance to be able to get to meet the artists involved in each production!   A Closing Company Party is also hosted by a member of Guild at the conclusion of the Summer Season, allowing all involved - artists, staff and volunteers - to celebrate the successes of the season.