In 2002, bass-baritone Scott Altman made a crucial choice. Rather than continuing a promising singing career, he and his wife Lisa settled in Princeton and started their own opera company, Opera New Jersey. They soon launched an ambitious four-opera season, which they’ve maintained to the present day.
The company, financially successful, has done equally well on the artistic side. In 2006 – its first year of eligibility – the New Jersey State Council on the Arts conferred its prestigious Citation of Excellence on the company. In 2009 they pulled off an astonishing feat: three different operas on three successive evenings, with three stage directors, three conductors, three casts.
As part of its mission statement to “create new and sustained audiences,” Opera New Jersey has established innovative programs such as Interact with Classics tours, bringing interactive adaptations of well-known operas into school classrooms; the Adventures in Opera Kids’ Camp, which concludes with the production of an opera by the youngsters themselves; and free attendance at master classes, in which aspiring singers receive detailed critiques from teachers and established artists.
Opera New Jersey Information
- Venues: McCarter Theatre (91 University Place, Princeton); New Jersey Performing Arts Center (1 Center Street, Newark); and other various venues
- Public Transportation: Varies by venue
- Handicapped Accessibility: Depending on venue, but generally good
- Performances/Programs: Approximately four productions per season, with two performances of each. Each season begins with a separate gala reception and performance
- Ticket Prices: Vary from $25–$125 depending on seating selection
- Subscriptions: Subscriptions to the summer season are available.