Holland Community Opera Fellowship
The Holland Community Opera Fellowship works collaboratively with community partners to co-create programming that helps individuals, organizations, and communities reach their goals, serving as a creative and artistic resource to the community.
HCOF is transformational, and as a result supports the creation of an inventive, creative, empathetic and inclusive community that inspires joy, self-discovery, kinder discourse, and opportunity for all.
In today's world, the arts play a pivotal role in shaping our communities and the quality of life of our citizens. In service to the community, we are bringing opera into new environments illustrating and promoting the value of creativity in both the arts and non-arts sectors. The Holland Community Opera Fellowship is the centerpiece of Opera Omaha’s strategic vision for the future.
Pride in Service
The Holland Community Opera Fellowship brings community-minded, entrepreneurial artists to live and work in Omaha. Fellows serve as ambassadors of the company by developing relationships with community leaders and to design and implement unique projects combining artistry and musicianship, leadership, advocacy, and citizenship.
Community Partners & Programming
We bring our artistic talents and resources to the table to partner with experts in the field who are actively working to solve the most pressing issues in our communities, like homelessness, income disparity, immigration, and segregation.
We create responsive programming that acknowledges the specific strengths of each participating individual or community partner.
Some of our projects include Masterclasses with individuals from the Ollie Webb Center, supporting the Meerkat Melodies Choir at Nelson Mandela Elementary, Creativity Workshops at the St. Joseph Tower and MICAH House, Healing Arts Concerts at the Buffet Cancer Center, supporting Gotta Be Me Heartlight Choir original productions, just to name a few.
Collaborating with HCOF creates the opportunity for the safe expressions for a full range of emotions from joy to sadness.
"Opera is just like everything we do at Gotta Be Me – you experience it, feel it, be there in all the moments to get it – to let it touch you and become part of who you are. And then to make it your own. Throughout our time together the technical skills we have learned were evident and important. However, the most meaningful things to come from our partnership have been the changes in our crew as people, humans who are becoming who they want to be."
—Tiffiny Clifton, Founder and Executive Director Be Me
Since 2018, HCOF has collaborated with Gotta Be Me on a variety of classes, workshops, and productions.
"…When you take the stories of women staying with us and combine them with an artistic medium like opera, magic can happen."
—Jaymes Sime, former Executive Director MICAH House
Since 2019 the Fellows have collaborated with MICAH House and conducted a creativity workshop for women staying in the Women’s Shelter.
21/22 Programming Partners
All our community partners are listed on our Community Partnership Page
Baritone Jared Hiscock returns to Opera Omaha for a third year as a Holland Community Opera Fellow after a successful 2021 summer season performing the title role in Mozart’s Don Giovanni with the Vocal Academy of Opera in Bodrum, Turkey. In December of 2020, he received his DMA from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Glenn Korff School of Music. During the 2019 summer season, Jared performed Guglielmo in Così fan tutte with Vocal Academy of Orvieto in Città della Pieve, Italy, and Marquis de la Force in Dialogues of the Carmelites with Saltworks Opera in Cape Charles, VA. Jared spent two seasons doing educational outreach with the professional opera touring company Opera for the Young, performing Power House in the world premiere of Super Storm! by Scott Gendel and the Sea-King in Rusalka. Recent credits include Dr. Malatesta in Don Pasquale, Don Alfonso in Così fan tutte, Friedrich Bhaer in Little Women, Figaro in Le nozze di Figaro, Leporello in Don Giovanni, and Melchior in Amahl and the Night Visitors; and as the baritone soloist in works such as Orff’s Carmina Burana with the Mankato Symphony Orchestra, Vaughan Williams’s Five Mystical Songs with conductor Ernest Richardson, and the Nebraska premiere of Adams’s The Wound-Dresser.
Fernando Antonio Montejano
Fernando Antonio Montejano is a second-year Holland Community Opera Fellow. As a local Omaha writer, Fernando has used his poetry and stories to highlight the way mental illness is communicated and addressed in Hispanic and Latinx communities. Fernando has also worked for over a decade with people with disabilities of all ages, especially in autistic communities all around Omaha and Iowa. Having struggled with PTSD his whole life, Fernando now uses his experience to illuminate mental health issues and disability in all forms.
Fernando has been invited to perform his work by organizations such as NAMI (National Alliance for Mental Illness) and The Boys and Girls Clubs of the Midlands, and to read alongside Nebraska State Poet Matt Mason. For 10 years, Fernando had the honor of being a Teaching Artist for the Nebraska Writers Collective, instructing poetry and writing in schools throughout Nebraska, and leading writing workshops in Omaha with community members of all ages. Additionally, he has performed at numerous Omaha events including Random Acts of Poetry, Writers Resist: Omaha, The Joslyn Art Museum’s “Framing The Flame,” and The Metro Area Teen Health Summit held at Creighton University, as well as many more. Currently, Fernando sits on the Education Committee for Kent Bellows Studios, and the Programming Sub-Committees for both Opera and Spoken Word at the New Benson Theatre.
Jaime Marie Webb
Coloratura soprano Jaime Marie Webb is a first year Holland Community Opera Fellow. Webb graduated with her Masters in Vocal Performance from University of Georgia, serving as the Resident Artist Soprano for the University of Georgia Opera Theatre where she performed Norina in Don Pasquale under the baton of Maestro Hilary Griffiths, and Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor and Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia under the direction of Nic Muni. During the 2020-2021 season, Webb made her debut as Susanna in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro in the International Summer Opera Festival of Morelia (ISOFOM) with the Orquesta Sinfónica de Michoacán under the baton of Maestro Jorge Parodi. She also sang the role of Musetta with ISOFOM where she performed in masterclasses with Ailyn Pérez, Danielle Orlando, and Kristine Opolais, and studied privately with Jennifer Rowley. Webb currently studies with internationally renowned artist Julia Faulkner, Director of the Ryan Opera Center. Additional operatic credits include Micaëla in Carmen, Hanna Glawari in Die lustige Witwe, Casilda in The Gondoliers, and Pamina in Die Zauberflöte. A champion of female composers, Webb partnered with the Lied Center for Performing Arts to make her solo concert debut in a tribute concert for Justice Ginsburg, performing the works of composers Patrice Michaels, Lori Laitman, Stacy Garrop, and Vivian Fung, as the first soprano other than Justice Ginsburg’s daughter-in-law to have the rights to perform the collection.
The panel represents a cross-section of the community including organizations, businesses, neighborhoods, and community groups. Those serving on the Community Panel develop a partnership with Opera Omaha to engage in meaningful conversations to identify community issues and program development and potential partners and opportunities across different neighborhoods and sectors. The panel considers high level strategic decisions and priorities, helping set the direction of the Fellowship and is a critical part of the Fellow selection process, With the panel, residents from neighborhoods across the greater Omaha metro area have a voice in choosing who and how artists interact with their diverse districts and constituent groups.
2021-2022 Community Panel
Camtrice Bexten, NU Foundation
Tiffiny Clifton, Gotta Be Me
Colleen Heavican Cass, UNMC Nebraska Medicine Healing Arts
Rachel Morgan, Nebraska Arts Council
Rita Paskowitz, Storyteller
Graciela Sharif, UNMC Munroe-Meyer Institute
Paula Wallace, Artist/Hot Shops
Cammy Watkins, Inclusive Communities
Roberta Wilhelm, Girls, Inc.
Gwyn Williams, Independent Leadership Coach
Nancy Williams, No More Empty Pots