50 Years of Opera

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On June 2, 1967, West Michigan audiences were given their first opera. This year, Opera Grand Rapids is celebrating 50 years—128 operas later. Here's what they have planned.

Rigoletto will open Opera Grand Rapids' 50th anniversary season on October 13 and 14, 2017, at DeVos Performance Hall with one of Giuseppe Verdi's most memorable creations. Based on a controversial play by Victor Hugo, Rigoletto features both tragedy and comedy as the drama between a conniving court jester, promiscuous duke and innocent daughter caught in their feud unfolds.

Opera Grand Rapids continues its community-centered programming with the premiere performance of Douglas Tappin's I DREAM. The semi-staged opera production recounts the inspiring life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 50 years after his tragic assassination, with music that beautifully fuses opera with bluesy, jazzy and gospel-tinged rhythms. "I DREAM" will be presented at Fountain Street Church on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, January 15, 2018.

Collegiate Vocal Competition
The Opera Grand Rapids' Collegiate Vocal Competition provides an opportunity for West Michigan's finest collegiate student vocalists to compete in a professional competition and to be recognized for their excellences. The Final Round Concert on April 15, 2018, at the Betty Van Andel Opera Center, is open to the public.

The Marriage of Figaro
Opera Grand Rapids is returning to its first-ever opera production, The Marriage of Figaro, on May 4 and 5, 2018. Considered by many to be the greatest opera of all time, The Marriage of Figaro features Mozart at the height of his creative power.

50th Anniversary Night With The Opera Gala, featuring Forte
A celebration gala honoring 50 years of opera in the community will close the season. Opera Grand Rapids invites arts advocates to enjoy a special evening featuring musical guest, America's Got Talent opera-crossover sensation Forte, in a sit-down dinner-theater experience. Proceeds from the event support Opera Grand Rapids' productions and programs.

Subscriptions for Opera Grand Rapids' 2017 – 2018 season are available now through the Opera Grand Rapids Box Office. Individual tickets go on sale August 15. For additional information on Opera Grand Rapids' 2017 – 2018 season, visit operagr.org/2017-2018.

Photo courtesy of Jeff Roffman for The Atlanta Opera. 

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