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Opera Memphis Moves To The City's Urban Core

The company is further expanding its capacity by selling its offices near the Memphis/Germantown border and moving operations back to the heart of the city it serves. 

Continuing its mission to bring opera to every ZIP code of the city, Opera Memphis will present its 2022-23 season in venues and public spaces across Memphis and Shelby County. This undertaking includes performances with its long-standing partners, as well as the organization's inaugural performance at the soon-to-open Scheidt Family Music Center at the University of Memphis, a theater designed with the input and support of Opera Memphis as a venue especially well-suited to operatic performance. The company is further expanding its capacity by selling its offices near the Memphis/Germantown border and moving operations back to the heart of the city it serves.

Discussions around moving the Opera Memphis offices into one of the city's arts and culture neighborhoods began in 2016, in the wake of Ballet Memphis' move to Overton Square. A committee was formed in 2019 to explore possible locations, and in early 2020, it decided to begin preparing for a move. While the pandemic delayed the process substantially, on June 24, 2022, the organization sold the Clark Opera Memphis Center at 6745 Wolf River Blvd.

"The Clark Opera Memphis Center has been an amazing home for almost two decades," said Ned Canty, Opera Memphis' general director. "It helped us to grow from 10 or 12 performance days a year to well over 50, but it was designed to meet the needs of who we were 20 years ago. For opera to continue expanding in Memphis, we need to be a part of the positive change and growth that have defined the past 10 years and are creating the next 10, from Crosstown Concourse and Overton Square to Northside Renaissance and TONE's Orange Mound Tower."

In preparation for a fully packed 2022-23 season, its administrative team moved to temporary offices in Overton Square, while rehearsals will take place at partner institutions throughout the city. The team is currently assessing multiple design concepts for a future headquarters, with a planned public unveiling this summer. The location is being chosen specifically to enable Opera Memphis to intersect with Memphians on a daily basis where they live, work, and play.

As it finalizes the details of its new headquarters, Opera Memphis is completing plans for its 2022-23 season. Confirmed so far are a collaboration with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra for a special concert with legendary soprano Renee Fleming on Sept. 8 and Giacomo Puccini's "Tosca" with Opera Memphis favorite Reginald Smith Jr. in his role debut as Scarpia. The Christmas Fiesta, a collaboration with Cazateatro and the Dixon Gallery and Gardens, will return in December, and 30 Days of Opera will celebrate its 11th year in April. Closing the season will be the return of Zach Redler and Jerry Dye's masterpiece "The Falling and the Rising" at the Scheidt Family Music Center.

"The opening of the Scheidt Family Music Center is a testament to the community's demand for more access to live arts, and it's a win for Memphis to gain another world-class facility," Canty said. "When I first sat down with Rudi and Honey Scheidt more than a decade ago, they shared a vision for a theater that could be a home for Opera Memphis, as well as their beloved students. While our hearts break that Rudi and Honey won't be there for that first show, we know that every performance there in years to come will be possible because of their love for this art form and this city."

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