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History

1992 Opera a la Carte, Inc. is founded.
1993 Opera a la Carte, Inc. becomes The Opera Company, Inc.

Original Mission Statement: to bring professional opera productions that are understandable, accessible, and enjoyable to all the residents of El Paso, Texas and the surrounding communities; and to sponsor educational programs that will introduce both youth and adult populations to the world of great vocal music.

1994 January – The Opera Company, Inc., initiated a series of well attended luncheons with a lecture and performance format to educate and create enthusiasm about opera.

September – Tosca by Giacomo Puccini is presented. The first complete opera produced by The Opera Company, Inc.

1995 May – Encouraged by the response in September 1994, The Magic Flute by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is produced. This production received wide recognition and a positive review in Opera News, the Metropolitan Opera’s international magazine.

October – Carmen by Georges Bizet performed and receives critical praise.

1996 May – The Barber of Seville by Gioachino Rossini was enthusiastically received by the audience and received high praise from critics.

The success of the prior season resulted in over 500 subscription seats being sold for the 1996-1997 season.

Students from the area are treated to the first “Youth Night at the Opera”, a final dress rehearsal performance of the mainstage production.

“Friends of the Opera”, a support auxiliary group, was organized.

August – Madama Butterfly by Giacomo Puccini, the first opera presented by The Opera Company, Inc. to have supertitles projected above the stage.

1997 May – Rigoletto by Giuseppe Verdi

September – Don Giovanni by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Spanish supertitles added to increase the enjoyment for a wider audience.

1998 May – La Bohème by Giacomo Puccini

September – Aida by Giuseppe Verdi: The Saturday evening performance was a sell-out night, a first for The Opera Company, Inc. The excitement of this achievement took the organization to the forefront of the arts community.

“Opera on Wheels” begins its existence by bringing opera into the schools with Engelbert Humperdinck’s

1999 April – Elixir of Love by Gaetano Donizetti

October – La Traviata by Giuseppe Verdi: This production along with the production in March 2000 was the first season for The Opera Company, Inc. to be a sell-out season. Subscriber base increased from 700 to over 1000 season subscribers.

Artist in Residence Program launched. Auditions were held nationally for young artists who would then spend four months performing outreach programs for area schools. The impact: approximately 25,000 students introduced to opera. Retirement villages were also added into the outreach program.

2000 March – I Pagliacci by Ruggiero Leoncavallo and Cavalleria Rusticana by Pietro Mascagni

September – Roméo et Juliet by Charles Gounod: The first performance of yet another sell-out season.

2001 March – Turandot by Giacomo Puccini

September – The Marriage of Figaro by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

2002 March – Faust by Charles Gounod: First production with a matinee performance added to performance schedule to better accommodate families and seniors.

August – Lucia di Lammermoor by Gaetano Donizetti

2003 March – Samson & Delilah by Camille Saint-Saëns

September – Madama Butterfly by Giacomo Puccini

The education outreach program expands its horizons, presenting in Juárez, Mexico and in Las Cruces, New Mexico. “Opera on Wheels”, a component of the company’s education program, presented a mini-opera rendition of Mozart’s The Magic Flute to third and fourth graders in El Paso and Far West Texas. Special trips were also made to visit children at Sierra Providence Medical Center through the auspices of Candlelighters and presented at the Junior Women’s Club of El Paso’s Spooktacular.

2004 March – Carmen by Georges Bizet

September – Tosca by Giacomo Puccini

2005 March – Cosi fan Tutte by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

September – La Bohème by Giacomo Puccini

2006 March – The Tales of Hoffman by Jaques Offenbach

October – La Traviata by Giuseppe Verdi

2007 September – Aida by Giuseppe Verdi
2008 March – Il Trittico by Giacomo Puccini

September – Il Trovatore by Giuseppe Verdi

2009 March – The Magic Flute by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart directed by David Grabarkewitz

April – Mr. Grabarkewitz is named Artistic and General Director of The Opera Company

May –Vegas Night Out, headed by Berthy Corral of Time Warner Cable, proves a successful fundraiser for The Opera Company

August – Encores & Overtures, headed by Wilma Salzman, Sandra Maxwell, and Gloria Lavis, raises over $60,000 for The Opera Company. Also, rehearsals begin for the rejuvenated Opera in the Schools Program

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