Use the links below to explore Madison Opera's 50-plus year performance history:
Madison Opera celebrated its 50th anniversary season in 2010/11 with three classic works; since then, the decade has seen the addition of nine works to Madison Opera's repertoire.
Madison Opera experienced exciting growth and reached new artistic heights, in large part due to the opening of the Overture Center for the Arts. The company presented the Midwest premiere of Jake Heggie's The End of the Affair in 2005, and in 2010 produced its first Wagner opera, The Flying Dutchman.
Madison Opera commissioned and produced its first world premiere opera in 1993: Daron Aric Hagen's Shining Brow. Upon Maestro Roland Johnson's retirement in 1994, John DeMain was appointed the company's new artistic director.
Madison Opera moved into the Oscar Mayer Theatre with a grand production of Aida in 1980, marking a new era of expansion. In 1986, the company celebrated its 25th anniversary with a performance of Beethoven's Fidelio starring Jon Vickers.
During the 1970s, Madison Opera continued to grow and found a new home in the Wisconsin Union Theater. The company gained national recognition for broadcasting its 1977 production of Massenet's Manon on both television and radio.
Madison Opera was founded in 1961 by Maestro Roland Johnson, his wife Arline, and a group of local singers known as the Opera Workshop. The first fully staged production of the Madison Opera Guild was Puccini's La Bohème, mounted at Madison East High School in 1963.