The Palm Springs Opera Guild of the Desert is one of the Coachella Valley’s oldest charitable organizations. In 2018 the Guild celebrates its 50th consecutive year of providing quality cultural experiences to the region.

One of the most exciting programs we offer is the upcoming 34th Annual Dorothy Nocita Memorial Palm Springs Vocal Competition on Dec. 3, where eight emerging young opera singers will have their performances judged by a distinguished panel of experts. More than $40,000 in prizes will be awarded as the opera superstars of tomorrow compete with each other today. More than 250 gifted young singers have participated in this competition over the years, and many have gone on to achieve significant success in their field. The vocal competition is free and open to the public.

As we commemorate our five decades of cultural impact, we look back on our past accomplishments and reflect on the many ways we continue to bring an appreciation for opera to the residents of the Coachella Valley.

Over the years, we have sponsored or produced a variety of important cultural and fundraising events, including a memorable 1974 “A Night in Vienna” ball, which opened with a waltz by Hungarian soprano Gitta Alpar and Prince Franz Hohenlohe. Some of the noteworthy stars to perform in Opera Guild-sponsored productions include Marni Nixon, Beverly Sills, James McCracken, Renata Scotto, Rita Moreno, Roberta Peters, Licia Albanesi, Victoria de Los Angeles, Nicolai Gedda, and Jerry Herman.

Some of the many ways we have impacted the community (and continue to do so) is through our outreach programs, including our Opera in the Schools program, which introduces operatic music to youth in the greater Palm Springs area. Last spring alone, more than 15,000 students were exposed to opera through our program.

In 1999, we launched our popular Opera in the…