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Arts and Entertainment

Bringing back grand opera to northeast Ohio
A task force works to revive Opera Cleveland

Vivian Goodman
Mozart's Don Giovanni at Severance Hall
Courtesy of Roger Mastroianni
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This week the Cleveland Orchestra presents Mozart's Don Giovanni at Severance Hall, but grand opera, with all the sets, costumes, and spectacle it entails, has been missing in the region since Opera Cleveland went silent for the season. A task force is working to bring it back. Meanwhile opera fans have HD opera in movie theaters and the offerings of music conservatories, orchestras, and smaller opera companies.

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Related Links & Resources
Opera America

Brecksville Theater on the Square

Northern Ohio Opera League

The Cleveland Orchestra

Cleveland Institute of Music

Opera Circle

Opera per Tutti

Listener Comments:

Great reporting, Vivian.

I am involved with nearly all of the regional operatic organizations. What amazes me, is that Detroit, in its post-apocolyptic ecomonic state, is able to support a renowned company in Michigan Opera Theatre and Cleveland is not. That having been said, Detroit Symphony has folded while the Cleveland Orchestra remains world class.

If you ask me, the problems with both Lyric Opera Cleveland and Cleveland Opera and now Opera Cleveland stem from the organizations losing (or the boards pushing out) their founding directors and, hence, losing sight of the companies' mission. While Dean Williamson is a great conductor, he is not a Clevelander. I think part of Detroit's sustainability is that founding General Director, David DiChiera IS a Detroiter. DiChiera has had companies fail in other cities, Opera Pacific comes to mind. Being a member of the community is particularly important in the area of development. I know that this responsiblity was that of Will Cole's in Cleveland. This, too, is problematic. I sang for the company and can hardly pick Cole out of a line-up. Bamberger was the "face" of Cleveland Opera.

This discussion is far from over, but thank you for shining a light on the plight of opera in our region.

Posted by: Jeremy Gilpatric on March 24, 2011 11:03AM
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