To outsiders, Cincinnati doesn’t have a reputation as a hotbed of opera. Yet Cincinnati Opera—founded in 1920—is the second oldest company in the United States. Only New York’s venerable Met (1880) has a longer pedigree. Renata Scotto made her American debut here, in 1978. Artistic director Evans Mirageas was tabbed as one of the 25 most powerful names in American Opera by Opera News. In recent years it’s commissioned two original works: Richard Danielpour’s Margaret Garner (2005) and Adolphus Hailstork’sRise for Freedom (2007), with a third penciled in for 2011. And it’s achieved a rarity among American opera companies: finishing in the black every year for more than two decades.
One reason for this financial success is the annual format: a highly concentrated three- or four-production summer opera festival that spans June and July. Big names and a lively combination of established standards and regional premieres keep the turnstiles humming.
The company’s Opera IdolTM Cincinnati attracted more than 160 hopeful amateur singers when it premiered in 2009. With the group winnowed down to six finalists, more than 10,000 fans cast votes.
Cincinnati Opera Information
- Public Transportation: Fair (accessible by several SORTA bus lines)
- Handicapped Accessibility: Venue is accessible
- Performances/Programs: Four-five per season with multiple performances of each
- Ticket Prices: $26–$165, with prices varying by seat selection. $12 students rush tickets are available an hour and a half before each performance. Discounts available for groups of 10 or more
- Subscriptions: Four-show subscription $96–$636, depending on seats selected. Subscriber benefits include free ticket exchange privileges, and 15% off additional tickets. Subscriptions can only be purchased over the phone
- Membership: Several different giving levels are available, with a variety of benefits.