Opera America has named John Serrage of Cape Elizabeth, a longtime Opera Maine trustee and supporter, as the recipient of its 2018 National Opera Trustee Recognition Award. Serrage, a retired physician, will receive his award at the annual National Opera Trustee Forum on Feb. 23 in New York City.

“This is a much-deserved honor for Dr. Serrage, who has done so much for the company from its beginning 24 years ago,” Opera Maine board president Arlene Palmer Schwind said in a press release. “He was a founding supporter … in 1995, and he has remained committed ever since to the importance of the company’s mission and its contribution to the vibrant arts scene in Northern New England.”

Serrage managed Opera Maine’s Young Artist Program for many years, Schwind said, adding that he also set the tone for other trustees “in terms of his level of financial support and the elegant atmosphere and social milieu he has created around participation with the company.”

Serrage is the second trustee from Opera Maine to be recognized by Opera America. The opera company’s co-founder, Jack Riddle, received the award in 2011.

Serrage spent most of his professional career as director of neonatology at Maine Medical Center in Portland and as director of maternal and child health for the state. After retiring from medicine, he attended Harvard University to earn a master’s degree in Middle Eastern studies, and spent 10 years working at archaeological excavations in Israel.

He volunteers for Greater Portland Landmarks and teaches a course on opera at the University of Southern Maine’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.

Opera America supports the field of opera with educational and performance programs.


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