Founded in 1979, The Atlanta Opera is one of the finest regional opera companies in the United States producing mainstage opera productions and excellent arts education programs for all ages. It directly serves almost 60,000 people annually in Metropolitan Atlanta and throughout the Southeast. Based on recent independent research, it is estimated that The Atlanta Opera, a non-profit organization, brings over $39 million of economic impact to the region each year.
The Atlanta Opera strives to expand the experience of its patrons with memorable and exciting performances reflecting the highest musical and theatrical standards, while supporting community and educational programs. The Opera also works to attract the finest international, national, and regional singers, conductors, stage directors and designers.
In 2007, The Atlanta Opera moved into its performance home at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, just inside the I-285 perimeter. Since its move to this acoustically exceptional theatre.
Tickets to The Atlanta Opera are very affordable, starting at just $26. Education programs are often free of charge, allowing the opportunity for anyone who desires to learn more about opera to do so.
In the coming years, The Atlanta Opera hopes to reach an even wider audience in this ever-expanding region and become the premier opera company in the southeastern United States.
Atlanta’s taste for opera began in the early years of the 1900’s with the Metropolitan Opera’s annual week-long tour to Atlanta. Performing at the Auditorium-Armory, the fabulous Fox Theatre and finally the Boisfeuillet Jones Atlanta Civic Center, the Metropolitan Opera’s annual tour was a major social event.
Every night of the week featured the performance of a different opera starring opera legends including Enrico Caruso, Marian Anderson and later, Luciano Pavarotti. The audience included a who’s who of Atlantans and was celebrated with posh parties at the Georgian Terrace, Piedmont Driving Club and other upscale venues. In the late 1970’s, the Metropolitan Opera stopped touring to Atlanta, leaving a void in the region.
Volunteers and civic leaders joined forces to continue opera in Atlanta. In 1979, the Atlanta Civic Opera was born, a result of a merger between two competing entities, Atlanta Lyric Opera and Georgia Opera. The first artistic director was noted composer Thomas Pasatieri. In 1985, the company was renamed to The Atlanta Opera.
The company’s first production was La traviata on March 28, 1980 at the Fox Theatre. The following December, a festive gala was held in Symphony Hall with such noted young artists as Catherine Malfitano, Jerry Hadley and Samuel Ramey.
Throughout the years, The Atlanta Opera has been an integral part of a growing and thriving city. It has helped foster young international talent as well as local talent. The Atlanta Opera is proud to celebrate 30 years of opera in Atlanta during the 09/10 Season. It has become a strong company that will thrive for years to come.