Opera Theater of Connecticut was formed in 1986 to provide professional artists with the vital opportunity to realize their talents in the practice of their crafts, to provide access to the Performing Arts to a wide audience by presenting high quality productions at an affordable price and to bring the Performing Arts into communities not regularly serviced by Performing Arts companies. Our MainStage Opera Productions are fully mounted, thereby giving the artists (singers, musicians, designers and support staff) the chance to expand their potential by experiencing an actual performance. Ticket prices for our fully-produced operas have been about half the cost of other professional opera companies in Connecticut. Theater Wing performances, also produced on our MainStage, have provided another professional venue for Connecticut’s actors to explore and showcase their talents in Shakespearean plays, and have reached an audience otherwise unserved in the state.
For people who have not had the good fortune to experience well performed opera in the proper environment, it seems to be a rarefied art form. Many consider it elitist, citing foreign language performances and expensive tickets as barriers. Strange then, that as a performing art, it is the most widely accepted throughout the world, and across all social, economic, and cultural barriers. In reality, opera is the one art form best able to embrace, and be embraced by, all people.
It has always been the goal of Opera Theater of Connecticut to provide high quality opera to a wide audience for a ticket price that allows attendance by all people. It has also been our goal to provide, here in Connecticut, a paying venue for the state’s many talented young opera professionals, as well as providing the opportunity for them to work with nationally known artists. We have focused our attention on the standard repertoire since it provides young singers with the roles they will need to enter the professional marketplace and since, in a state with so little professional opera, it also provides the audience the chance to hear excellent singers in favorite operas. Our MainStage theater is relatively small, barely 500 seats. This provides an incredibly intimate setting for our presentations, a truly moving experience when audience and performers connect, an event rare in the larger halls in which most operas are performed. The stage has technical limits, not so severe as to hamper a full production, but definite enough that we will never be able to put more emphasis on production values than on the true heart of opera, the voices and the music.
Our slogan, “Experience affordable opera in an intimate setting.” is more than just a catchy phrase for Opera Theater. It represents the artistic vision, as well as the history, of the company.