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Regional Opera Company of the Week: Mississippi Opera

Mississippi Opera, once known as the Jackson Opera Guild was started in 1945 mainly by the efforts for Mignonne Caldwell, the wife of John Caldwell. Her hard work with the support of an ever growing number of vocal and instrumental performers in the Jackson area created what was at the time one of only twelve organization in the entire United States. The group was officially incorporated in 1947 in hopes to promote and encourage the study and appreciation of Opera as an art form while developing operatic talent and performance.

The first performance by the company was on November 27, 1945 with a production of Mascagni's Cavalleria Rusticana in the auditorium and the Bailey School. After a continuous and successful 25 years the company celebrated its Quarter Century Anniversary in 1970 when the Jackson Opera Guild became the Mississippi Opera Association, Inc. The original name was retained by the auxiliary support group, which handled promotion, education projects, local fundraising and ticket sales. In 1977, this entity changed its name to Mississippi Opera Guild.

The Mississippi Opera is committed to making opera relevant in the lives of Mississippians. This is reached though many outreach programs for people of all ages. The newest program is the Mississippi Co-OPERA program set up between the Company and all opera educators of higher education. Mississippi Opera also has a Family Series, which accompanies every season's performances as well as Student Matinees of the Main Stage Production for schools to come to see during the school day.

In addition to the Companies main production and concerts they also offer a new series called the Opera Underground which is a cabaret-type series performing all types for music from blues to opera. It is a more intimate and casual setting where you can sit back, relax, and enjoy good food . . . and conversation with fellow patrons. This its Second Season featured four Underground evenings from Mid September through Mid March.

Current Season

This season started with a Gala Concert in November followed by a production of Amahl and the Night Visitor in December. February brought a Valentine's Program for the patrons. The final production of the season, Cosi fan tutte is just a few weeks away on Saturday April 27. For more information or to purchase tickets to this opera classic visit the website at or by calling 601.960.2300.

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From This Author Scott Frost

Scott Frost is a Production and Stage Manager and a Freelance Costume Designer. In addition to being a theatrical manager and designer he currently works (read more...)