Preserving and advancing one of the World’s great cultural legacies
The Operatic art form was created during the Late Renaissance in Florence, Italy by a group of progressive humanists, musicians, poets and intellectuals dubbed the Florentine Camerata, who believed that the evocative and expressive powers of music and text, when married together, and further bolstered by staging, scenery, dance, costumes and beautiful signing, would recapture the theatrical practices of the ancient Greeks. Their ideas and experiments led them to create a then new theatrical art form, which would represent the highest-level artistic achievement possible, Opera. COT carries on this Italian tradition of opera to honor the traditions of the past with respect to the unique beauty of the art form, and also to share the gift of opera with the current generations in new and exciting was so that Opera remains a moving, relevant, fun, and exciting experience in the 21st century, and a positive reflection of the ingenuity, creativity and spirit of the Italian people.
The beautiful art of opera has become an endangered species in Cleveland, and in cities throughout the world. COT has served as a tireless champion for the preserved legacy and advancement of the art form in Cleveland and Northeast Ohio, with a growing voice of prominence and influence in the international operatic community. COT believes that Cleveland’s arts and culture legacy, and the current and future artistic communities, deserve the presence of professional opera theater as a dynamic component of that arts community.
Cleveland Opera Theater’s philosophy of honoring the operatic traditions of the past while innovating for the future of the art form is carried out through a diverse annual performance season featuring a free summer concert series Cleveland’s beautiful parks, a light opera production in Chagrin Falls, a developmental or new work of opera theater in the fall, a touring production of Amahl and the Night Visitors to benefit the City Mission in December, and a spring main stage opera production, in addition to other performance offerings including educational outreach, pop-up, and site specific productions, which make the operatic art form accessible to a broad range of audience members.
As captured in the recently launched “This is Cleveland” campaign, Cleveland is in the midst of a cultural renaissance and economic resurgence. From hosting events such as the recent Gay Games 9 and the upcoming Republican National Convention, to national headlines with the return of LeBron James with the Cavaliers, the exciting and nationally recognized food scene featuring many fine dining establishments, including locally owned and those run by celebrity chef Michael Symon, the construction of the Horseshoe Casino, and the recreation opportunities in the beautiful Metroparks system.
Cleveland has the living amenities to stake a claim as a world-class city. Add to this an unparalleled arts, culture and educational and medical environment including The Gordon Square Arts District as a paragon of the positive impact of the arts on economic and community rebirth and development as the cornerstone of Cleveland’s West Side, downtown in the vibrant Playhouse Square, the country’s largest performing arts center outside of New York, and University Circle framing the east side of our great city with a bastion of world-class art, culture, educational, and medical institutions including Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland Institute of Music, Cleveland Institute of Art, Cleveland Museum of Art, Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland, Cleveland Orchestra, Lakeview Cemetery, and University Hospitals/Case Medical Center. Cleveland is staking its claim as a world-class city.
COT is producing professional opera in Cleveland, and through the annual production of a full season of Opera Theater is helping to solidify the cultural excellence of our great city and complete Cleveland’s vast cultural offerings with the specific economic, cultural and livability benefits to the City of Cleveland that only an opera company can provide.
In the midst of the challenging economic climate that has led to the closing of other operatic organizations in Cleveland, and nationally, Cleveland Opera Theater has built and strengthened our reputation as a professional opera company. Cleveland Opera Theater continues to operate with organizational and financial stability, demonstrating fiscal responsibility and a consistently balanced budget, while fostering an increase in the number of performances offered, and in the diversity of the communities served.
COT Performance tickets range from $20 - $99 ($15 student rush tickets are made available at selected performances where the venue allows for such), with a number of free to the public performances offered in numerous community outreach productions throughout the greater Cleveland area. This is well below the national average for opera ticket prices. COT provides unparalleled accessibility to professional opera theater thereby building potential and return audience members in underserved communities, the young, and through partnership with community, arts and civic organizations. COT 's critically acclaimed performances continue to play to sold-out audiences and capacity crowds attracting new opera fans and supporters of all ages and in a wide range of communities and demographics.