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Opera Cleveland

A rich and passionate form of art, opera offers a unique multi-sensory experience which can't but touch listener's soul. And even if you have long enjoyed opera, there is probably still a lot to discover about it. If you happen to visit Cleveland, Ohio, visiting Cleveland Opera is a must. Opera Cleveland is a professional opera company, formed in 2006 in Cleveland, Ohio, as a result of a merger between two existing opera companies: the New Cleveland Opera Company which operated from 1976 to 2006, and Lyric Opera Cleveland.
Founded in March 1976 by David Bamberger, Carola Bamberger, and John D. Heavenrich, Cleveland Opera debuted in the fall of that year with sold-out productions of Puccini's Madame Butterfly and Rossini's The Barber of Seville. Soon Cleveland Opera became the resident opera company at Playhouse Square Center, and by 1984 it had staged regular performances at the State Theater. The company made a significant contribution in the revitalization of the historic Cleveland Theater District and played a vital role in the movement to make theaters accessible to the physically challenged.
During the period from March 1976 to April 2004 when the company was run by David Bamberger as General Director and Carola Bamberger as Associate Director Cleveland Opera presented 122 full productions of 74 works by 43 different composers. The repertoire was very rich and could please anyone's taste as it spanned the history of musical theater from Monteverdi to the present. Its casts included some of opera's most prominent singers, including Roberta Peters, Jerome Hines, Sherrill Milnes. Such world renowned singers as Plácido Domingo, Luciano Pavarotti, and José Carreras also performed in concerts held on the stage of Cleveland Opera.
Besides presenting a wide range of operas and operettas, Cleveland Opera also staged many musical theatre favorites, including West Side Story, Man of La Mancha and My Fair Lady. It even commissioned and presented a world premiere opera "Holy Blood and Crescent Moon" by a famous Rock musician, Stewart Copeland of "The Police", having gained international recognition. Cleveland Opera was also noted for its outstanding education and outreach program called "Cleveland Opera on Tour". It was a member of OPERA America, a national organization which supervises and promotes the development of opera all across North America.
Since April 2004 the company has experienced considerable financial problems that weakened it greatly. Because of substantial financial constraints it was decided that Cleveland Opera was to merge with Lyric Opera Cleveland, a smaller company that operated mostly in the summer. After the merger the company was renamed Opera Cleveland and presented its first staged production in April 2007. Unfortunately because of the national economic crisis of 2007 the company had to suspend its performances in the fall of 2010. A committee has been established to look into what type of opera company Cleveland might have in the future.
In the previous centuries people used to go to the opera house if they wanted to enjoy classical music along with professional singing. Now opera lovers can enjoy listening to their favorite arias anywhere: at home, in a car or in a plane. With so many CDs available at target.com and eBay building your own opera collection is easy and really not expensive. But naturally opera is not just about music and singing, it is also about acting and performing. Nothing can compare to seeing live opera performance. Any person should visit opera at least once in a lifetime. George Bernard Shaw, a master of quick-witted quotations gave the following definition of opera, "Opera is when a tenor and a soprano want to make love and are prevented from doing so by a baritone". Did he hit the point?