In 1948 the Charlotte Music Club founded the Charlotte Opera Association. In its early days, the operations and productions of the Opera were mainly run by volunteers. In 1986 the Association merged with the North Carolina, and the two companies combined main stage, educational, and touring operations. The merger also changed the name to Opera Carolina.
Although it is now a professional company, the Opera Carolina remains an institution built by the community for the benefit of the community. More than 90% of the company live and work in the region. They are joined by international artists to bring one of a kind performances to Charlotte. Check out an interview with John Viscardi, who played the title role of Cyrano with Opera Carolina.
Opera Carolina is a member of Opera America and is supported by the Arts and Science Council, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the North Carolina Arts Council. Opera Carolina presents three main stage productions, featuring the Opera Carolina Chorus and the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, in the Belk Theater in the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center. Opera Carolina also presented an annual concert, Art • Poetry • Music, at the Knight Theater. Opera Carolina's season begins in October and runs until mid April. See the Belk Theatre from a whole new perspective in the 360-degree performance video.
Opera Carolina has remained solvent during the recession, which began in 2008, while other opera companies of similar size have closed their doors. While similar companies closed their doors during the recession of 2008, the Opera Carolina stayed open. This was made possible by discontinuing the Love Notes concert, effectively reducing the season to their three main productions. Today, they enjoy sustained corporate and private charitable support that allows them to continue bringing Opera to Charlotte.
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