To promote opera in Buffalo, New York & Niagara Region


About Us

The EHJ Memorial Fund, Inc. continues its mission, supporting opera and performers throughout the community.
A significant amount of all contributions received are committed to giving grants for:

Performances in the form of children's tickets

Annual scholarship for a nominated young vocalist from a local studio to continue vocal lessons

Material support to local musical organizations

Opera outreach programs for children and seniors

Offering three concerts each year to the community

Coordinating and promoting Celebrate National Opera Week in Buffalo/Niagara

     In past years, we've awarded grants for children to attend the opera at Nickel City Opera
as we continue to help expand young audiences.

We sponsored Hillman Opera Lectures for the public with a focus on children in Buffalo and Niagara Falls.
 We've also been sponsors of performances by Nickel City Opera, Buffalo Opera Unlimited, Opera Sacra,
and The Cadenza Opera Workshop, as well as The Metropolitan Opera Great Lakes Region Auditions,
and the Niagara Arts and Cultural Center.

     We are also proud of EHJ Memorial Fund, Inc.’s award-winning Singing it Forward outreach program, created especially

for children to bring classical, operatic, and musical education to WNY schools throughout the year.
Through these informative, interactive classes, students explore opera and classical music in the world around them,
and cultivate appreciation for this art form, regardless of age. It has been so successful, that an adult version
is now available for the community.

If you or your organization are interested in having a SIF class presented, please contact [email protected].

We thank Opera Volunteers International for their sponsorship of Singing it Forward.

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“The Art of Opera” created by Board member
Danielle Di Stefano, soprano, Concert Coordinator,
Opera 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.

These books can be purchased by clicking the picture!

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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.

Every year, we receive numerous proclamations from local and state government officials, recognizing Opera Day and Opera Week in WNY/Niagara.

These proclamations have been addressed at our Proclamation Day, which has kicked off the

week-long celebration of Opera Week here in our area.

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

Last year the EHJ Memorial Fund created and printed 10,000 color program covers, that were made available to the public at all Buffalo and surrounding libraries.

We are pleased to announce that the 2018 celebration broke participation records nationally and locally.

The upcoming 2019 schedule will be available early in October and we invite you, family and friends to attend

these special events planned for all.

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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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Our Board Members

Dr. Anastasia Johnson, President

Annette Di Stefano, Vice-president

Dr. Katherine Johnson, Secretary

Elenora Heffner, Treasurer

Danielle Di Stefano, Concert Coordinator

Barbara Mathewson, Member at Large

A thank you for the continued support of Opera Volunteers International.