The Erwin H. Johnson Memorial Fund, Inc.

To promote opera in Buffalo, NY & Niagara Region

About Us

Please keep scrolling 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, Nickel City Opera, Opera Lytes, Chopin Singing Society, 
Niagara Arts & Cultural Center and Chautauqua Institution
Opera Guild (through our membership) and
Opera Volunteers International. 
The Metropolitan Opera Great Lakes District Auditions; 
Opera Day at the Niagara Arts and Cultural Center.  

The Erwin H. Johnson Memorial Fund Inc., are the coordinators/promoters of World Opera Day and National Opera Week 2022 in Buffalo/Niagara and are proud to receive proclamations from local and state government officials. 
These proclamations have been recognized at our
Fall Celebrate Opera Concert every year.
For Opera Day, October 25th, we were pleased to have the

Peace Bridge lit in burgundy and gold.

We look forward to presenting a scholarship in Fall 2023 to
a deserving young vocal student to continue their studies
for opera and classical music.

In addition to the concerts we offer to the public, our
Singing It Forward outreach program which has been 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
slide presentations, multi-media clips, live singing, interactive activities, and demonstrations of rudimentary
operatic techniques 

They are taught at adult living/centers, schools, and
venues throughout WNY. 

If your facility, school or organization is interested in having
Singing It Forward class presented, 
please contact [email protected] or call 716-992-9264

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The Art of Opera
“The Art of Opera” created by Board member Danielle Di Stefano, is an award-winning art exhibit, lecture and concert of arias.
Featuring 16 enlarged, professionally hand-colored posters of characters from beloved operas, drawn in a semi realistic Manga (Japanese) style.

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

The image is from her updated edition 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. This book also makes an entertaining and educational tool for students. 

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 on Amazon by clicking the picture! 

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The Erwin H. Johnson Memorial Fund Inc., promoters of Celebrate World Opera Day 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 celebrations in WNY/Niagara again broke participation records nationally and locally.
This year due to health concerns, many musical organizations have postponed events. We all look forward to next year hopefully allowing us increased participation. 

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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, hand drawn illustrations, 

and a Spotify playlist based on the arias and art songs performed in the novel.

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.' Out of 60,000 novels, Songstress placed in the top 10!
 In the two and half years since its publication, Songstress has gained an international following of over 18,000 readers and counting.

Click the picture to read and enjoy!

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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.

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