The Company

About Us

Our Mission

Enrich our community by creating the highest quality operatic and theatrical programming that re-imagines the classics and introduces new works; expands and engages our audience; and stimulates critical conversations. We seek to be a vital leader in the renaissance of opera in America by engaging a 21st century audience.

About The Company

Founded in 1979, The Atlanta Opera is one of the finest regional opera companies in the nation. In 2013, the company recruited internationally recognized stage director Tomer Zvulun as its General and Artistic Director. In the 2016-2017 season, the company expanded its mainstage season from three to four productions at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre while ushering the Discoveries series into its 3rd season for a total of six productions. The Opera works with world-renowned singers, conductors, directors, and designers who seek to enhance the art form and make it accessible for a sophisticated, 21st century audience. The Atlanta Opera strives to expand the experience of its patrons with memorable and exciting performances reflecting the highest musical and theatrical standards, while supporting community and educational programs.

In 2007, The Opera moved its mainstage performance home to the acoustically exceptional Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, just inside the I-285 perimeter.

In the 2014-2015 season, the company launched the acclaimed Discoveries series of operas staged in alternative theaters around Atlanta. The Discoveries series is dedicated to audience members who are seeking new works, new ideas and fresh perspectives. As part of The Atlanta Opera’s efforts to bring opera to new audiences all over the Atlanta metro area, these productions are performed in exciting alternative venues, including the Atlanta Botanical Garden and the cabaret Le Maison Rouge on the Atlanta BeltLine. The series was recognized by the Atlanta Journal Constitution as part of its Best of 2015 awards and the company was nominated for the International Opera Awards in London in 2016.

Our History

Atlanta’s taste for opera began in the early years of the 1900’s with the Metropolitan Opera’s annual week-long tour to Atlanta. Performing at the Auditorium-Armory, the fabulous Fox Theatre and finally the Boisfeuillet Jones Atlanta Civic Center, the Metropolitan Opera’s annual tour was a major social event. Every night of the week featured the performance of a different opera starring opera legends including Enrico Caruso, Leontyne Price, and later, Luciano Pavarotti. The audience included a who’s who of Atlantans and was celebrated with posh parties at the Georgian Terrace, Piedmont Driving Club and other upscale venues.

In 1979, the Atlanta Civic Opera was born, a result of a merger between two competing entities, Atlanta Lyric Opera and Georgia Opera. The first artistic director was noted composer Thomas Pasatieri. The company’s first production was The Seagull on Friday, March 14, 1980 at the Fox Theatre. The following December, a festive gala was held in Symphony Hall with such noted young artists as Catherine Malfitano, Jerry Hadley and Samuel Ramey. In 1985, the company was renamed to The Atlanta Opera.

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Major Milestones



Internal Revenue Service grants The Atlanta Civic Opera its 501(c)(3) status and the company officially begins. A few years later, it becomes The Atlanta Opera.



The Atlanta Opera appoints William Fred Scott as Artistic Director.



Alfred Kennedy named as Executive Director, serving in this role until he retired in 2004.



The Atlanta Opera moves to the 1,748-seat Symphony Hall.



The Atlanta Opera moves to the 4,518-seat Fox Theatre – the largest indoor venue for opera in the U.S. Faust is the debut production in the new home.



The Atlanta Opera hits $1 million mark in ticket sales for a single season.



The Atlanta Opera hosts the 31st Annual OPERA America Conference.



Atlanta Opera opens its 2003-04 season with AIDA at the 4,591-seat Boisfeuillet Jones Atlanta Civic Center.



Dennis Hanthorn takes on the role of General Director, while The Atlanta Opera celebrates its 25th anniversary as an opera company.



As the first resident company of Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, The Atlanta Opera opens the 2007-2008 season with an acclaimed production of Turandot.

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The Atlanta Opera Chorus performs at the Opera-Comique in Paris, in Granada and Cannes in a production of Porgy and Bess.

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Tomer Zvulun is appointed as the Atlanta Opera’s new General & Artistic Director. Walter Huff, the company’s acclaimed Chorus Master, celebrates 25 years with The Atlanta Opera. The Atlanta Opera receives a $9 million bequest from longtime board member Barbara D. Stewart.



The groundbreaking Discoveries series launches with Three Decembers. The production is named a “Best of Atlanta 2015” by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

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Cathy Adams is appointed Board Chairman, and The Opera grows to four mainstage and two Discoveries series productions. The Opera establishes its first ever young artist program, The Atlanta Opera Studio, which includes four singers, a stage director and pianist.