Founded in 1946 and accordingly one of the country’s oldest opera companies, Fort Worth Opera showed there was no ossification in its bones by undergoing a radical shift in 2007. Under general director Darren K. Woods, the company shifted from its traditional fall/winter/spring season to the Fort Worth Opera Festival, producing three or four works in just over two weeks in late May and early June. The change “has absolutely raised the profile of the organization nationally,” notes Opera America president Marc Scorca.
There’s no ossification in the festival’s selections, which typically include one sure crowd-pleaser (Carmen, Don Giovanni), one sort-of-familiar-but-I’ve-never-seen-it-and-this-is-a-good-chance (La Cenerentola, Elixir of Love) and one contemporary (Hydrogen Jukebox,Frau Margot and Before Night Falls—the last two being world premieres). The format boosts the company’s adventurous spirit. “People are much more willing to try something new when it’s wrapped around something familiar,” Woods explains.
The primary educational program is Children’s Opera Theatre, which has presented kid-oriented operas to as many as 50,000 youngsters annually since its establishment in 1977. That program was expanded in 2002 to become the Fort Worth Opera Studio. A nationwide search ends with the selection of four young singers. Besides starring in the young people’s operas, the singers often appear in the festival.
Fort Worth Opera Information
- Venues: Bass Performance Hall, 4th and Calhoun Streets, Fort Worth; Scott Theater, 1300 Gendy Street, Fort Worth; Rose Marine Theater, 1440 North Main Street, Fort Worth
- Public Transportation: Good (Each venue accessible by several bus lines)
- Handicapped Accessibility: Good. All venues are accessible
- Performances/Programs: Three-four per season with multiple performances of each
- Ticket Prices: $17–$154, with prices varying by date and seat selection. Students and military receive a 50% discount if purchased prior to performance, and $5 best-seat-available tickets at the door. Employees of XTO Energy, The Arts Council of Fort Worth & Tarrant County, American Airlines, Alcon, BNSF Railway, and Bank of America; members of KERA; and Opera America – Young Friends of Opera members all receive a 20% discount (must call box office)
- Group Discounts: 20% discount available for groups of 15 or more
- Subscriptions: Season subscriptions range from $33–$394, depending on date and seats selected
- Membership: Donations from $1–$100,000+ are welcome. Donor benefits include a complimentary Libretto newsletter, admission to pre-performance lectures, personalized patron ticket services, backstage tours, and more, depending on donation amount.