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The Mission of Toledo Opera is to enhance the cultural fabric of the region by creating opera experiences that celebrate, both in the theater and beyond its walls, what is unique to opera: dramatic, passionate stories expressed through glorious music and the powerful voices of classically trained singers.
The Vision of Toledo Opera is to be a vital, cherished and sustainable part of the region’s cultural community, with a reputation for artistic excellence, organizational effectiveness and community engagement.
Toledo Opera opened its first season in 1959 with Verdi’s Aida in the 3,500 seat Paramount Theater in downtown Toledo. Subsequently, the Opera performed in the Toledo Museum of Art’s Peristyle Theater and the Stranahan Theater. In October 1999, the Opera opened its fortieth anniversary season with performances in the newly renovated 900-seat Valentine Theatre. That venue has now become its home, with the company’s main stage productions, three each year, taking place there. The 2017-2018 season is representative of recent years: two operas from the classical repertoire (Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers and Verdi’s Rigoletto) and one production of an American 20th – 21st century opera (Tappin’s I Dream, which will have its world premiere in Toledo in April 2018). The Toledo Symphony Orchestra plays at all performances, with the Toledo Opera Chorus and Children’s Chorus performing as needed.
In 1987, the company began offering educational programs which now include An Opera Is a Story for preschoolers, Opera on Wheels for elementary students and Student Night at the Opera for high school and college students. Overall, these programs reach 20,000 area students annually In June 2017, the Opera partnered for the first time with the Toledo School for the Arts (TSA) to offer a two-week Opera Boot Camp at the school. In 2018, camps will again take place at TSA. The Opera’s resident artist program provides high-quality professional training and experience to the newest singers entering the field. The Toledo Opera Chorus provides young professional artists and community members with opportunities to sing in main stage operas.