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Regional Opera Company of the Week: Opera Idaho

Opera Idaho was founded in 1973 though the existence of opera in Boise dates back much earlier. Since the early 1960's, the Boise Philharmonic has been producing annual operas featuring singers from the surrounding region. When these were discontinued in the late 60's, Mrs. Hazel Weston and a large group of local opera enthusiasts formed the Boise Opera Workshop. The early company provided workshop productions, monthly public lecture programs and group studies of operatic works. In the continued efforts to producing grand opera, the company changed its name in 1973 to Boise Civic Opera and by 1977 they were already importing professional singers to perform the principal roles in its productions. In 1983, the company changed its name again, to Boise Opera, to recognize the increasing professionalism of the company's productions.

The company continued to grow with each season until by the mid 80's they were presenting operatic concerts with international stars in addition to the seasons productions. In the 1984-85 season, Boise Opera moved its main stage productions into the Morrison Center. The new home brought additional performances of classic grand opera, the occasional musical comedy and by 1994 and addition of operettas as well. This decade brought the start of educational and outreach programs as well. By 2000 the company was offering training in lyric theater to children and adults; the company even has its own Opera Idaho Children's Chorus.

In the late 1990's, the company changed its name once again to the current name, Opera Idaho. This new name shows the success and growth of the company with the world premiere of Nosferatu. The company has only continued its growing success since the change. In recent years, Opera Idaho has moved to its new home at the historic Egyptian Theatre in downtown Boise, a move which not only brought the opportunity for more intimate opera experiences for the audience but financially also for more performances of more productions. The 2010-11 season saw the beginning of the Made in the USA series, five American operas performed in five consecutive seasons.

Opera Idaho's 2012-13 season is an eclectic selection of works, ranging from beloved classics to more contemporary works. The season featured three main stage productions and three productions à la carte which continues to further the companies vision of taking opera to a new level for its audiences.

Mainstage Operas

Giuseppe Verdi's
October 26 & 28, 2012

Ruggiero Leoncavallo's
with Igor Stravinsky's
Pulcinella Suite
in collaboration with Ballet Idaho
March 1 & 3, 2013

COMING UP! Carlisle Floyd's
Made in the USA Series
May 17 & 19, 2013

Productions à la carte

Engelbert Humperdinck's
Hansel & Gretel
December 28, 29 & 30, 2012

The Winterreise Project
February 1 & 3, 2013

COMING UP! Rodgers & Hammerstein's
The Sound of Music
in Concert

July 19 & 21, 2013

For more information about the company or to purchase tickets visit

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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...)