The History of Michigan Opera Theatre/Detroit Opera - Detroit Opera

An Overview of Highlights and Historical Mileposts

By Timothy Paul Lentz Ph.D. - Archivist and Director, Detroit Opera Archive and Resource Library at Detroit Opera House

Awards and Honors

Awards and Honors David DiChiera has garnered honor and recognition abroad and at home by the Detroit City Council, the Michigan State Legislature, the Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs, the University of Detroit and the governor of Michigan. The Detroit News selected Dr. DiChiera as a Michiganian of the Year in 1979, stating “Dr. DiChiera has done more than any single person in the city or state to bring opera to the people.” He expanded upon this concept by creating a permanent home for opera in Michigan with the 1996 opening of the Detroit Opera House. He delivered the commencement address at the University of Michigan’s graduation ceremony in 1998 and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Music degree. He has also received honorary doctoral degrees from Oakland University (2001), Marygrove College (2004), Madonna University (2008) and Wayne State University (2010). In recognition of his significance to the musical world, he has been honored by the mayors of New York, San Francisco, New Orleans and Detroit, as well as the governments of France and Italy.

In recognition of his mandate to build bridges of understanding and cooperation across racial, social, economic and political divides, David DiChiera received the 2000 Bridge Builder’s Award, bestowed by the Partner’s for Livable Communities, a Washington DC-based civic leadership organization. Also to honor his efforts as a “bridge builder,” DiChiera was honored by New Detroit, Inc. with its 2008 Closing the Gap Award and in that same year, also received the Neal Shine Award for Exemplary Regional Leadership. During the fall of 2010, DiChiera was recognized by the National Endowment for the Arts at the Kennedy Center as a recipient of their annual Opera Honors, given to four noted individuals each year for their exemplary lifetime contributions to opera. It is our nation’s most prestigious opera award.

Share with friends: