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We began as collective of artists dedicated exclusively to opera, but since its inception, CITY OPERA has evolvedand continues to evolverapidly into an entirely new form of collaborative presentations and opportunity-building for audience interaction.  

Opera is an art drawing upon many diverse talents in music, theater, dance, and visual arts, and so the company likewise became diverse in its programming and its offerings from the outset.  City Opera is a young, agile company, and because it represents such a unique and multi-faceted collection of native talent, it prides itself in charting new territory in the world of professional arts organizations and social businesses.  We're blazing our own trail far beyond the beaten path.

Our willingness to explore what it means to be a creative institution in the 21st century has proven to be an effective means toward cultivating opportunities.  In the 2009-2010 season, CITY OPERA is...

  • employing and/or contracting 170 musicians, dancers, costumers, filmmakers, and creative professionals.
  • visiting 21 different cities.
  • entertaining audiences from 200 kids up to 20,000 adults.
  • working in every conceivable type of venue: from elementary school "cafetoriums"  to colossal stadiums and arenas like L.A. Live's Nokia Theater, Mandalay Bay in Vegas, the American Airlines Center in Dallas, and the Poncherterain Center in New Orleans, and many others35 different venues in all!
  • employing staff that produced or managed 160 different concert events in nearly every conceivable genre.

The company is a social enterprisethat is, a "for profit" business.  Rather than merely serving the interests of shareholders, however, a socially-minded business has not one, but at least two bottom lines.  These include: 1) social impact, and 2) increasing its value within the communities it serves. While no more insulated from the recent economic downturn as any other business, our programming flexibility and entrepreneurial vision has enabled the company to remain stable in spite of wholesale reductions in the philanthropic community experienced by other arts organizations.  While schools reduce staff, and cities grapple with budget shortfalls, 2009 was the most robust and profitable year in our small but growing company's history.

It's easier to give inquiring minds a sense of what we are with a tiny snapshot of what we've done recently.  In the last year, CITY OPERA...
  • enlivened a nationwide tour of three Latin Grammy-winners with a dancing orchestra
  • brought together local city administrators and citizens during the mayor’s Budget Day at City Hall through the beauty of Bach's Brandenburg concerti
  • helped cohorts at Sempra Energy find a common groove in Brazilian samba
  • transported middle school students on a virtual trip halfway around the globe via the magic of African drum and dance
  • introduced a highly successful 10-week emerging professional mentorship program for high school and college musicians that culminated in 15,000 enthusiastic fans cheering these young virtuosi on toward newfound artistic exuberance as well as a commitment to the work that lay ahead
As a social enterprise, the live "edutainment" of kids and adultsas well as the development of communities through special performances in special placeshas always been core to CITY OPERA's mission.  We partner with civic-minded agencies, with businesses, with schools, and with other arts institutions and artists to change the world one performance at a time.  We invite you to join us on the journey!

CITY OPERA is a company dedicated to:

  • maintaining the world's legacy of great traditional and contemporary means of human expression while championing new forms, genres, and styles of music, dance, theater, and visual arts.

  • redefining and blurring the lines between the experience of live entertainment and education.

  • improving access to the arts for urban, suburban, and rural communities all around the world.

  • incorporating innovative technological solutions to improve the diversity, quality, and distribution of the arts.

  • modeling new strategies for governance and profitability in an arts organization.

CITY OPERA has an educational mission to:

  • train and mentor confident and creative leaders in the collaborative, interdisciplinary, and multicultural skills needed to succeed in the arts and in life.

  • empower student and adult audiences with potent imaginations and creativity.

  • expand general appreciation and knowledge of all types of arts in schools and neighborhoods throughout theentire city.

  • highlight for teachers and students the relationships between the arts and other academic disciplines.

  • foster special awareness and sensitivity for modes of expression honoring the diverse cultural heritage shared by students and adults within their respective communities.

  • enable students, teachers, neighbors, and all community stakeholders and business partners to confidently realize their own creative goals via promoting collaborative interaction within real world environments.

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