BEHIND THE SCENES with “Captain Itinerary…”

Have you ever wondered who handles all those pesky details for our major social events of the season? Who comes up with creative partnerships, barters with vendors, and rallies the troops to make these events fun and efficient? Her name is Amanda Wilborn… otherwise known as “Captain Itinerary,” and she’s taking over the planet, one event at a time… Let’s see what she has to say about what it’s like to be an Event Manager at The Atlanta Opera. Enjoy!

1. What is your role with The Atlanta Opera?
I am the Event Manager and I work with each department to handle the planning and logistics for all of the Atlanta Opera’s events. This includes managing all the details leading up to the event and the logistics on the day of the event. I manage everything from the annual Opera Ball to small cocktail parties in private homes, group trips for our Zurich General Director, and our staff holiday party.

2. Why does the Opera have an Event Manager?
The recent growth of the company means that the management of our events can no longer be haphazard. All of our events have a large impact on showcasing the Opera’s vision and brand, and having one person manage all the events has made the process more organized and efficient.

3. What are the annual events the Atlanta community can look forward to?
The 2011 Atlanta Opera Ball, our biggest fundraiser of the year, is coming up on Saturday, September 17 at the St. Regis. I’ve been working with our Co-Chairs since April on all the details, and I know it’s going to be a big success. Every year, we also produce an Artist Luncheon featuring artists from one of the season productions; La Belle Soirée, the spring garden party; and an onstage dinner for members of the Society for Artistic Excellence, our special group of donors who make three-year commitments to The Atlanta Opera.

4. Talk about some of your favorite events.
My favorite event was the 24-Hour Opera Project back in the fall of 2010. Our Director of Education and I cooked up the idea at the lunch table one day and went for it! We secured composers, librettists, directors, and singers to produce an opera scene in 24 hours. It was a big hit and we’re already planning the next one for January 2012. Other fun events include Bon Appetit! at The Cook’s Warehouse, the Porgy & Bess Artist Luncheon, and of course the annual Opera Ball.

5. Why do you do what you do?
I really enjoy planning and organizing, and I’m really good at it. In fact, my friends call me Captain Itinerary! And, the glass of wine at the end of the party always makes up for the long hours.