In 1948, the Charlotte Music Club sought a performing outlet for the area’s talented young singers. The group raised $125 to found the Charlotte Opera Association, which produced Francesco Maria Veracini’s Rosalinda for its initial offering. The company proved more than a one-shot wonder, eventually presenting four operas every season.
In 1986 it merged with North Carolina Opera to become Opera Carolina. Now with an operating budget of well over three million dollars, the organization is one of the largest regional companies in the United States. Besides the regular repertoire, Opera Carolina usually offers a seasonal presentation: Love Notes (Valentine’s Day) and/or Amahl and the Night Visitors (Christmas). In 2000, the company inaugurated a unique administrative structure: principal conductor James Meena also serves as general director.
Opera Carolina’s education and outreach programs reach an estimated 200,000 people annually. Music! Words! Opera! provides an opportunity for students in elementary schools to learn about a great opera and create and produce their own. Opera Express serves audiences all over North Carolina in a variety of venues. The company also offers a summer workshop, where students learn about singing, staging, costumes and sets, as well as writing and producing an original opera.
- Other Venue: Knight Theater (430 South Tryon St.)
- Public Transportation: Good
- Handicapped Accessibility: Yes
- Performances/Programs: The Opera Carolina mounts four productions each year, plus a Valentine’s Day concert. Performances are usually Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays.
- Admission: Single tickets are $20-$150. Military personnel are eligible for a 15% discount, and seniors and students qualify for a 10% discount on regular ticket prices. $10 Student Rush tickets sold one hour before performance.
- Group Discounts: Groups get 25% off regular single ticket prices.
- Subscriptions: Several subscription options available, ranging from $36-$450. Subscriber benefits include ticket exchanges and 25% discount on additional single tickets.
- Memberships: Memberships start at $25. At the $100 level, benefits include invitations to open rehearsals.
Opera Carolina Information