Arizona Opera, originally the Tucson Opera Company, was founded in 1971 by a dedicated group of opera enthusiasts. Its inaugural season featured two performances of Rossini’s The Barber of Seville in Tucson and by the 1976 – 1977 season Arizona Opera was performing complete seasons in both Tucson and Phoenix.
Since its inaugural year, Arizona Opera has produced over 170 fully-staged operas and concerts. The company’s artistic history is rich with a blend of opera’s traditional repertoire featuring baroque, bel canto, and verismo works, turn-of-the-century masterpieces, operettas, and American operas. Arizona Opera has also presented Wagner’s complete Ring Cycle twice, a feat that has only been accomplished in North America by four other companies.
On stage, Arizona Opera presents artists of both international stature and emerging talent, and each season balances debut artists and the return of favorite performers. Arizona’s musical talent is showcased in its acclaimed orchestra and chorus. The Arizona Opera Orchestra, established in 2000, consists of members of symphony orchestras from Flagstaff, Phoenix, and Tucson, as well as faculty from local universities, and the chorus is comprised of Phoenix and Tucson community members and students from local universities.
In addition to producing five grand operas each year in Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona Opera offers in-school touring productions and numerous outreach events for children and adults of all ages.
Arizona Opera elevates the transformative power of storytelling through music—cultivating community and strengthening a state and people as adventurous and diverse as the place they call home.