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Contents of this page

  • What is the C-Opera listserv?
  • How do I join C-Opera?
  • Who is on C-Opera?
  • How do I use the C-Opera listserv?
  • How do I search the C-Opera archive?
  • What other options do I have?
  • How do I unsubscribe?

    What is the C-Opera listserv?

    The C-Opera listserv is an e-mail mailing list. It is a public but moderated discussion group for those involved in the creation, production and presentation of contemporary music theatre and opera. The list was founded by Lukas Pairon and Kent Devereaux, and has been moderated by Glenn Erik Haugland and Barry Drogin. The current list moderator is Yoav Gal (New York City, U.S.A.), composer and multi-disciplined artist (visit his website, The listserv is archived and operated out of a Unix e-mail server named "Hermes" out of the Computing Services Department of the University of New Brunswick in Canada (thus the "" in the list address) with the help of Education Professor Don Soucy. The list allows for discussions about all kinds of topics related to the creation of contemporary music theatre and opera, but is especially worthwhile as a bulletin board for announcements of new productions, questions amongst practitioners, and specific requests for information or advice for solving certain problems. The official "objective" is the same as that of the NewOp/NonOp meetings, as summarized by its founders:

    "The objective is to see a more cooperative communication and relationship develop between members who have common artistic objectives in advancing and advocating a contemporary appreciation of the evolving music-theater and opera form in all its aspects."
    Subscribers to the list are specifically asked to post:
  • info about subscriber's (or their company's) background and interests in contemporary opera
  • calls for composers, librettist, designers, directors, singers, musicians, etc., for new productions
  • info about new productions you currently have underway
  • info about new productions for which you are seeking co-producers/presenters
  • info about previously premiered work for which you are seeking second productions
  • reviews of contemporary music theater or opera productions that might be of interest to the list at large

    Some major points to remember about the list are:

  • The list is moderated. Posting is not pre-screened, but the moderator will contact subscribers privately whose postings do not fit into the spirit of the list. This includes preserving an environment for "cooperative communication". If necessary, the moderator will remove violators from the list!
  • The list is "for those involved in the creation, production and presentation" of new work. It is not a fan site, and, in the spirit of advocacy, negative "reviews" of new work should be handled delicately. Fans, critics, musicologists and other academics are allowed to join, but do not dominate the list.
  • The list is sometimes very "quiet," especially during the off-season.
  • There have been debates on what constitute "fit subjects" for the list. There is some interest in historical productions and "non-standard" repertoire, but requests for information are usually taken "off-list". Although many subscribers have a knowledge and even love of works of the American Musical Theater (which includes both Broadway and West End), attendees of NewOp/NonOp meetings know that "the commercial theater" is pretty irrelevant to most participants.
  • As can be seen from the list of NewOp/NonOp Sponsors and Attendees, most NewOp/NonOp meetings have been in Europe. A survey in 2004 of the C-Opera subscriber list revealed C-Opera participation from Australia, Canada, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, the United States, Israel, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Austria, Estonia, Norway, Bulgaria, Brazil, Ecuador, Hungary, Indonesia, Ireland, Iceland, Latvia and Poland. There were over 200 subscribers, and the 2004 survey revealed that 68% had attended or planned on attending at least one NewOp/NonOp meeting.

    How do I join C-Opera?

    It's simple but tricky to join --- you have to get it just right. First, you send an e-mail containing the single line:

    SUBSCRIBE C-OPERA your-name

    substituting, of course, your real name (not your e-mail address) instead of "your-name" above. You don't need anything in the subject line, and make sure to turn your signatures off! You send this one line message to ""

    Within about an hour (maybe less), you'll receive a confirmation e-mail, with the words "OK XXXXX" somewhere in the text, where XXXXX is some weird code. You have only 48 hours to respond, or else they kill you and you have to try again (I've been through all this). You then send another e-mail with the single line (turn off the signatures!)


    to the same ( e-mail address. Alternatively, you can point your browser to

    where XXXX is the code. You will then hopefully get a confirmation e-mail and you're on the list. The moderator suggests you save this e-mail, as it contains useful info about the list. To quote: "Six months from now you will be glad you saved this information when you realize you cannot remember which lists you are subscribed to, nor what command to use to "unsubscribe" from a list."

    Who is on C-Opera?

    Once you have been confirmed, you can send the single line request


    to the "listserv address", and you'll get a list of the network e-mail addresses and names of all the current subscribers.

    There are more instructions for fancier stuff, which you can find out about with some of the following:
    INFO GEN (and KEY and FILE and LP and JOB and OWN... you get the idea)

    How do I use the C-Opera listserv?

    Sending e-mail to the "listserv address" is not the point of the listserv! What you will want to do is post a message to all the people currently subscribed to the list. You do this by writing to the so-called "list address":

    This is called "sending mail [or posting] to the list", because you send mail to a single address and the "listserv program" makes copies for all the people who have subscribed. An introductory letter, describing yourself and your work, is most appropriate from new subscribers.

    This can be a little confusing; there is the "listserv address," the "list address," and then, when you receive e-mail from the list, the actual address of each participant on the list. All commands must be sent to the "listserv address" ( Never try to send any command to the "list address"; it would be distributed to all the people who have subscribed. Sometimes you will receive an "off-list" reply from a subscriber, or you will want to respond privately to a poster. Although it does not happen very often, the list sometimes sees public responses to private e-mails, as well as e-mails that were intended to be private but were posted publicly.

    All e-mail programs have, in their setup/options/preferences, the ability to display the full routing information at the top of the message. For letters sent to the C-Opera list, this includes not only the listserv address,, but also the originator's e-mail address, too. This information, however, is lost when the reply button is pushed.

    Listserv subscribers who never post to the list are referred to as "lurkers." The 2004 survey revealed that 38% of the listserv subscribers are lurkers.

    Listserv subscribers wishing to go "off-list" to respond to a writer who has not included his/her e-mail address in the signature file (and this is a reminder to all to update their signature file accordingly), should do the following:
    1. Go to setup/options/preferences and enable the full address display
    2. For a particular letter, find the e-mail address and, using the cursor, copy it into the paste buffer
    3. Hit reply
    4. Highlight the TO address, and then click on paste, which will replace the address (C-OPERA...) with the personal address.

    It is important to remember to copy the address BEFORE hitting reply.

    A more laborious option, but guaranteed to work, is to send a one line e-mail to the listserv computer, at that says


    as a one-line text (the subject doesn't matter). You'll receive back, usually within a couple of minutes if not seconds, a two-column list consisting of everyone's name and e-mail address. You can then look up the writer in question and respond accordingly.

    How do I search the C-Opera archive?

    Most subscribers are not aware that the contents of the C-Opera listserv are archived and available on the web. Only subscribers with an e-mail address current on the listserv can access the archives. Go to

    Follow the directions from there.

    (Note: This changed from http to https - update your links accordingly.)

    What other options do I have?

    The default Internet archive view places the newest posting at the top. This means that if you check C-Opera regularly from the Internet, it is easy to see what new postings you haven't read yet are present. You can also post or reply from the Internet, which opens up another option for C-Opera participants - they can decide to not receive listserv mail, or receive a daily digest or index.

    There are just a few minor caveats to using the web to access C-Opera

  • When posting, you will not have a signature file. You can compensate by typing in a signature or pasting one from a text file left on your desktop.
  • The web interface leaves a cookie on your machine. If you tend to access the internet from many machines on a regular basis, you'll have to log-on on all of them. If others use these machines you will have given them access to the listserv, which should be considered.
  • The first time you logon from any machine, you will have to give your e-mail address EXACTLY as you used it to subscribe, and set up a password. Some people are unaware that their computer e-mail program may send out an e-mail address slightly different from what they tell people (with added words like "pop" perhaps). If you have trouble, do a "REVIEW C-OPERA" to find out exactly how you are listed.
  • If you're comfortable using the web interface, you can turn off e-mail delivery by sending the single line NOMAIL C-OPERA to . If you'd like to receive a daily digest or index instead of e-mail (they're mutually exclusive), the options are

  • normal digest - NOMIME DIGEST C-OPERA
  • normal index - NOHTML INDEX C-OPERA
  • Send the line after the dash to as a single line without your signature.

    If you do any or all of these options, you will STILL be able to post to the listserv from your regular e-mail program, if you like.

    How do I unsubscribe?

    If you ever want to remove yourself from the C-Opera mailing list, send e-mail directly to the "listserv address" ( with the following command in the body of your e-mail message:

    unsubscribe c-opera

    IMPORTANT: When sending commands to the listserv address, turn your signature OFF --- the computer responds individually to every line in the body of the message sent it. When sending e-mail to the list address, turn your signature ON --- that way, subscribers who wish to respond privately will have your name and address embedded in the text of the message.

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    Copyright 2000-2008 This page maintained by Barry Drogin. Last Updated: November 20, 2016.