Founded in 1946, Fort Worth Opera is the oldest continually performing opera company in Texas, and one of the 14 oldest opera companies in the United States. Under the leadership of General Director Darren K. Woods since 2001, the organization has gained national attention from critics and audiences alike for its artistic quality and willingness to take risks. Known throughout the operatic world as a champion of new and rarely-performed works, the company has taken a leadership role in producing contemporary operas.
In 2007, when the company changed its fall/winter schedule to a condensed one-month long Festival in the spring, FWOpera staged its first world premiere,Frau Margot, and followed up the next season with Angels in America, Dead Man Walking in 2009, the world premiere of Before Night Falls in 2010, and Hydrogen Jukebox in 2011. The 2012 Festival staged the regional premieres of Mark Adamo’s Lysistrata and Jake Heggie’s Three Decembers, the first time the two composers’ works have been co-programmed, and the 2013 season featured the regional premiere of Tom Cipullo’s Glory Denied, as well as the inaugural season of its new works showcase, Frontiers, featuring works by eight composers from the Americas. In 2014, the company presented the professional world premiere of Daniel Crozier and Peter M. Krask’s With Blood, With Ink, as well as the regional premiere of Kevin Puts and Mark Campbell’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Silent Night. Fort Worth Opera’s CD recordings of Frau Margot, Before Night Falls, and Glory Denied are available on the Albany label.
Celebrating the 70th anniversary of the company as well as the 10th anniversary of the Festival, the 2016 season will showcase the compelling blend of forwarding-thinking contemporary works and classic, traditional operas that has become FWOpera’s signature. Main stage productions include the world premiere of the company’s much anticipated commissioned opera JFK by David T. Little and Royce Vavrek, together with Rossini’s bubbly, comedic romp The Barber of Seville in its first FWOpera production since the 2002-2003 season. The company’s Opera Unbound selection includes two brand-new, compelling one-act works Buried Alive | Embedded by the creative teams of Jeff Myers and Quincy Long and Patrick Soluri and Deborah Brevoort. Rounding out the Festival, will be the fourth annual installment of FWOpera’s critically-acclaimed new works showcase, Frontiers.
Established in 2002, the Fort Worth Opera Studio is a year-round training program for emerging young artists who are cast from annual national auditions. In addition to receiving professional training while in Fort Worth, the singers also perform in the Children’s Opera Theatre, the company’s educational program that tours fully costumed, portable operas to elementary schools. COT performances span the whole state of Texas and reach as many as 50,000 children a year, many of whom have no other access to arts education. Since 2007, attendance of Festival performances by out-of-town audiences has grown almost 5%. The local economy has also benefitted, with over 1,900 hotel rooms booked for the 2012 Festival alone. The company has balanced its budget for the eighth consecutive year.
Board of Directors
John O. Sutton, Jr.
G. Whitney Smith
Jo Ann Patton