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Opera Fort Collins Mission & History


Our Mission

To entertain, enrich and educate through the professional presentation of opera and community engagement programs.

~November 2012

Our History

Opera – the crown jewel of the performing arts – is a grandscale event that brings together the widest range of talents and partnerships in the theater world. A staged opera is a highly creative and intricate collaboration of vocalists, instrumentalists, actors, dancers and choreographers; directors; set and costume designers; light, sound and media experts; and skilled craftsmen/women.

Opera Fort Collins, an established 501(c)3 non-profit performing arts group, provides productions of excellent quality and high performance standards. Its goal is to both entertain and educate its audiences, while providing training and work venues for local and guest artists in the many disciplines that comprise opera production: singers, instrumentalists, designers, costumers, choreographers, lighting technicians, directors, etc.

Opera Fort Collins was established in 1979. Independent productions were first staged from 1979-1980. From 1981-1990, the productions ran under the auspices of OpenStage Theatre. In 1991, OFC was formally incorporated as a performing arts company with Elizabeth Elliott as Artistic Director. Its first opera was presented in 1992. In 1999 OFC added a winter gala, launched a regional school educational program, and held a regional singing competition. Additional events have been launched in subsequent years to enrich this community with vocal artistry. Operas are presented in the original languages. Easy-to-read English supertitles are always provided in order to make the performances more accessible.

The Company's second artistic director, Dr. Todd Queen, was joined by Maestro Wes Kenney as Music Director, formalizing the relationship with the Fort Collins Symphony Orchestra. Together, they expanded the season to include three productions: a fully staged opera each August, a concert version opera in May, and a December arias concert with a sparkling gala and fundraising auction. An OFC Apprentice Artist program was added, giving CSU master in Vocal Arts students the opportunity to sing the comprimari roles with hired opera professionals. In addition, these apprentices represent the Company in its educational outreach programs to regional schools and service organizations. During the OFC season 31, the community wide OFC Chorus was formally established under the direction of Chorus Master Dr. Gerald Holbrook. Dr. Queen served the company for seven years before retiring in the spring of 2011.

Now under the artistic direction of UNC professor Brian Clay Luedloff, OFC offers two fully staged operas (August and June), a December Arias Gala, a family-friendly chamber opera (December), and Afternoon Tea with a Diva fund raiser. Exciting new fundraising and community education events are in development.

OFC is pleased to be recognized as one of America’s outstanding regional opera companies.

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