Thursday, February 16, 2012

Meet the Sponsors: Duvel

Duvel Moortgat is the second Belgian company sponsoring our gala, and they will be providing us with refreshing Premium Belgian Beer.  Duvel Moortgat USA is the American arm of Duvel Moortgat Breweries of Belgium.  Duvel, Be. is also the parent corporation of multiple high-quality European breweries, including Brewery Ommegang in Cooperstown, New York.  Duvel brews and exports to 50+ countries around the world.

Duvel Moortgat was founded in 1871 when Jan-Léonard Moortgat and his wife started the brewery in the small town of Puurs, Belgium.  Now, four generations later, it is still in the hands of the Moortgat family.

Following is an interview with Larry Bennett, Duvel's Communications Director.

Opera Idols:  Does the company have any history in the arts?
Larry Bennett:  In Belgium, Duvel has been a long supporter of both modern visual arts and jazz.

OI:  Does Duvel participate in any other philanthropic endeavors?
LB:  We support many upstate New York environmental and art causes, both local and state wide.  We support the Belgian-American Chamber of Commerce (BACC) and the Glimmerglass Festival.  In the past, we have supported openings at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and we have supported a classical pianist here in the US, Simone Dinnerstein.

OI:  What is your involvement with the Glimmerglass Festival, the world renown summer opera festival?      
LB:  We are creating a special beer for Glimmerglass, for their facility only, in an effort to help support the festival and our region.  We treasure Glimmerglass as a jewel in our midst.

OI:  What made you decide to sponsor MONC/ER?
LB:  First of all there is the connection to Glimmerglass and secondly, we like supporting the arts.  And we were also asked to sponsor the gala.

OI:  Do you have any specific criteria when sponsoring an event?
LB:  We prefer it to be in one of our major markets.  However, we are nationally distributed, so that's easy.

OI:  What do you hope a competition like this will contribute to the future of opera?
LB:  All arts are worth supporting and encouraging.  It's not just preserving, but helping to move forward and to grow.

OI:  What do you hope your involvement with MONC will do for the company?
LB:  For you, keep people interested and keep support flowing in a tough economic time for opera.  For us, help spread the word about the art of brewing fine beer.

OI:  How important is social media these days to promote the company?
LB:  Important and expanding quickly.

OI:  Do you like opera or is there any other type of music you like?  If you like classical music, do you have a favorite singer/aria/composer?
LB:  Yes to opera; and jazz, R&B, classical, musicals, world...and...well, you get the picture.  We're ecumenical and it's very hard to define a favorite for everyone.

Courtesy of
To find out more about the rich history of the company and how to perfectly pour your own glass of Duvel, head on over to to get all the inside scoop.

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