The Erwin H. Johnson Memorial Fund, Inc.

To promote opera in Buffalo, NY & Niagara Region

About Us

Please scroll down to see all of our opera advocacy offerings!

The EHJ Memorial Fund, Inc. continues its mission, supporting opera and performers throughout the community. 

This year we sponsored performances by Buffalo Opera Unlimited, The Metropolitan Opera Great Lakes District Auditions; and Opera Day at the Niagara Arts and Cultural Center.  

The Erwin H. Johnson Memorial Fund Inc., coordinators/promoters of Opera Day and
National Opera Week 2021 in Buffalo/Niagara was proud to receive proclamations from local and state government officials. 
These proclamations are recognized at our Celebrate Opera Concert every year.
This year twenty- one of our community's talented musical organizations, soloists and educators offered exceptional performances during 
Opera Week, and audiences throughout WNY and Ontario enjoyed the abundance of talent and art in our community.

For Opera Day we were pleased to have the Peace Bridge lit in burgundy and gold.

In addition to the three concerts offered to the public, our Singing It Forward outreach
program is being expanded 
due to request and popularity. This year, our board
member Danielle Di Stefano, soprano, has added sixteen new music appreciation
classes for opera and music history for adults, that include visual presentations,
live singing and 
historically accurate costumes. 

They will be taught at adult living/centers and venues throughout WNY. 

If you or your organization are interested in having a Singing It Forward class presented, 

please contact [email protected] or call 716-992-9264

Click Here to Add a Title

The Art of Opera
“The Art of Opera” created by Board member Danielle Di Stefano, soprano, Artistic Director, Opera Day/ Week
Co-chair, is an award-winning art exhibit, lecture and concert of arias. 
It features 16 enlarged, professionally hand-colored posters of characters from beloved operas, whimsically drawn in manga (Japanese comics) style.

They are adorned in historically accurate attire, with patterns and furnishings showcasing essentially what would have been seen in real life. Factual essays about each opera accompany the pieces, providing unique insights into the works featured.

These images are from her release of the (all ages) opera coloring book, "Manga & Mozart," created to entertain, educate and utilize a fresh approach for opera advocacy. They are being distributed to opera houses throughout the country.

We are excited to announce that "The Art of Opera" received Opera Volunteers International's "Project of Special Merit Award" for 2018.

The book can be purchased by clicking the picture! 

Click Here to Add a Title

The Erwin H. Johnson Memorial Fund Inc., coordinators/promoters of Opera Day and Celebrate National Opera Week in Buffalo/Niagara, has been cited nationally as an example of success from Opera Volunteers International.

Many musical organizations, soloists and educators offer exceptional performances, lectures, and productions throughout WNY and Niagara, and audiences truly enjoy the abundance of talent and art in our community.

We created a special website-
 and Facebook page, (please stop by and Like our page)   to keep you updated on all of the amazing events offered.

We are pleased to announce that the 2021 celebration again broke participation records nationally and locally.

The upcoming 2022 schedule will be available early in October and we invite you, family and friends to attend

these special events planned for all.

Click Here to Add a Title

The Songstress and 

the Swordsman

 Artistic Director Danielle Di Stefano created the award-winning  The Songstress and the Swordsman multi-media project to bring opera, and classical music to the world of gaming through the mediums of fanfiction, music, and visual art. It comprises of a trilogy of artistic components, marrying a written novel, illustrations, 

and a Spotify playlist.

Songstress follows a modern-day opera singer, Rana El-Khoury, who finds herself 

stranded and injured in the fantasy world of Thedas, the setting of the novel, comic, 

and game series Dragon Age. 

When an elven swordsman rescues her, she creates a life and singing career amidst 

the Thedosian nobility. But as she gets more and more involved in the political coup her rescuer is organizing, Rana must navigate a turbulent, glittering sea of court intrigue, deception, romance, and, of course, 

beautiful music.

The cover art of Songstress has actual medieval illuminations from the 13-15th centuries. The border, letter 'S,' and the sword are medieval.

The embellishments on the 'S' are 

Ms. Di Stefano's; the blue is the original.

We are excited to announce that Songstress 

has won Opera Volunteers International's 

2021 Project of Special Merit Award for classical music and opera advocacy! 

It was also featured in ScreenRant's article, '10 Amazing Works Of Dragon Age Fan-Fiction On AO3.' In the two and half years since its publication, Songstress has gained an international following of over 17,000 readers and counting.

Click the picture to read!

Click Here to Add a Title

We thank you in advance for being visionaries with us by your support of our mission,

your generosity is greatly appreciated.

For your convenience we are pleased to offer a secure Paypal donation button. Please click below to donate.

Click Here to Add a Title