Eugene Opera’s mission is to produce artistically excellent opera and engage our community in that effort.
To increase audience engagement, support local and emerging artists, and enrich the lives of youth through education.
Eugene Opera is located on lands ceded by the antecedent tribes and bands of the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde Community of Oregon under the Willamette Valley Treaty of January 22, 1855. We welcome you to explore their website to learn about their history and who they are today: granderonde.org.
Since 1977, Eugene Opera has presented professional opera in western Oregon, staging many of the world’s best-known operas and some of the best new operatic works.
In 1976, Artistic Director Philip Bayles and over 100 volunteer musicians, singers, stagehands and opera fans combined their efforts to bring opera to Eugene, Oregon. The first production Carmen played to a “full house” of 600 attendees in a local high school auditorium. A local newspaper reporter remarked, “It’s a first effort to be proud of, for it has proven that Eugene is loaded with high-quality musicians and opera-hungry concertgoers.” In 1982, Eugene Opera became a resident company in the newly opened Hult Center for the Performing Arts.
Eugene Opera has been profiled nationally on National Public Radio and in Opera News, and enjoyed a cameo appearance by humorist Dave Barry in his only operatic role. In recent years it has also received favorable notice for its productions of modern operas.
Eugene Opera helped launch the careers of such current opera stars as Deborah Voigt, Susan Graham, Stephen Mark Brown, Kelley Nassief, Gregory Turay, Lucas Meacham, and Joelle Harvey. Today’s productions regularly feature stars from great opera houses worldwide, including the Metropolitan Opera. They also continue to feature emerging stars, particularly those from the Pacific Northwest.
Eugene Opera has regularly conducted educational outreach programs that bring opera to students and classrooms throughout the surrounding Lane County area. Currently, it introduces high school students to opera through the Eugene Opera Academy.
In 2015-16, Eugene Opera began to program chamber operas, which proved both popular and artistically successful, receiving high praise both in local reviews and in Opera News.
More recently, Eugene Opera’s recent seasons featured sold-out performances of María de Buenos Aires, the Company’s first Spanish language opera, as well as As One, its' first opera composed by a female composer, Laura Kaminsky, with libretto by Kimberly Reed and Mark Campbell.
Eugene Opera offered a number of online offerings during the pandemic, and was thrilled to return with a full season in 2021-2022, featuring the operas Lucy and The Magic Flute.
1977 — Carmen
1977-78 — The Maid as Mistress, HMS Pinafore, Don Giovanni
1978-79 — The Pirates of Penzance, The Barber of Seville
1979-80 — Rigoletto, Gianni Schicchi, The Impresario
1980-81 — The Mikado, Amahl and the Night Visitors, Pagliacci/Pulcinella
1981-82 — Patience, Così fan tutte, Madama Butterfly
1982-83 — La bohème, Die Fledermaus, Don Pasquale, Yeoman of the Guard
1983-84 — Die Fledermaus, The Magic Flute, La Traviata
1984-85 — Faust, Cinderella, Tosca, The Pirates of Penzance
1985-86 — Madama Butterfly, Hansel and Gretel, Carmen
1986-87 — The Barber of Seville, The Merry Widow, The Medium, The Mikado
1987-88 — Tosca, The Daughter of the Regiment, Tartuffe, The Marriage of Figaro
1988-89 — La Bohème, The Elixir of Love, Così fan tutte
1989-90 — Cinderella, Gianni Schicchi, Pagliacci
1990-91 — The Barber of Seville, Rigoletto, Madama Butterfly
1991-92 — Candide, Romeo and Juliette
1992-93 — The Impresario, The Telephone, The Face on the Barroom Floor
1993-94 — Cavalleria Rusticana, Tosca, HMS Pinafore
1994-95 — Gianni Schicchi, La Traviata, The Pirates of Penzance
1995-96 — Carmen, La Bohème, Trial by Jury
1996-97 — The Magic Flute, Lucia di Lammermoor, The Mikado
1997-98 — Die Fledermaus, Don Giovanni, Porgy and Bess
1998-99 — Madama Butterfly, Opera Under the Stars, The Barber of Seville
1999-00 — Aida, Le nozze di Figaro, Turandot
2000-01 — La Cenerentola, Così fan tutte, The Mikado
2001-02 — Tosca, La Traviata, Susannah
2002-03 — Pagliacci, La Bohème
2003-04 — Carmen, HMS Pinafore
2004-05 — Die Fledermaus, Belle Voci Competition, Rigoletto
2005-06 — Belle Voci Competition, The Barber of Seville, Hansel and Gretel
2006-07 — The Pirates of Penzance
2007-08 — The Magic Flute, Madama Butterfly, The Art of the American Diva
2008-09 — Orpheus in the Underworld, Il Trovatore, Don Giovanni
2009-10 — Le nozze di Figaro, Faust
2010-11 — La bohème, The Mikado
2011-12 — Carmen, Nixon in China
2012-13 — The Pirates of Penzance, Dead Man Walking
2013-14 — La Traviata, The Girl of the Golden West
2014-15 — The Elixir of Love, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
2015-16 — The Turn of the Screw, Lucia di Lammermoor, Eugene Onegin, Little Women
2016-17 — Much Ado About Nothing (Béatrice et Bénédict); Opera Trio: Aida (Act 1), Dialogues of the Carmelites (Act 3), Die Fledermaus (Act 2)
2017-18 — The Barber of Seville, María de Buenos Aires
2018-19 — HMS Pinafore, As One
2019-20 — the little match girl passion, New Year's Celebration, Tosca (cancelled due to COVID-19)
2020-21 — Diva Cage Match (virtual), New Year's Eve Special (virtual)
2021-22 — Madama Butterfly in the Garden, Lucy, The Magic Flute
2022-23 — La bohème, Acis and Galatea
Board of Directors
Ruth Obadal, President
Victor Congleton, Vice President
Mary Meacham, Treasurer
Kevin Helppie, Secretary
Chris Lamb, Chorus Representative
Statement on Cultural Equity
EUGENE OPERA’S COMMITMENT TO DIVERSITY, EQUITY, AND INCLUSION
Eugene Opera is committed to fostering diversity, equity and inclusion in our organization and our art form.
Diversity is the breadth of representation within the opera field. It can mean diverse cultures and ethnicities, gender identities, ages, geographies, or works presented.
Inclusion is the invitation and the welcome. Inclusion doesn’t just mean representation in numbers, but also whose voices are heard. It urges us to think about how we create a space where everyone feels comfortable and safe.
Cultural Equity embodies the values, policies, and practices that ensure that all people, regardless of race/ethnicity, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, socioeconomic status, geography, citizenship status, or religion, have opportunities to learn, engage, support, create, perform, and fully experience the art of opera.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS & AFFIRMATIONS
- We understand that the cultural origins of opera have created barriers in accessing an art form that should belong to everyone.
- In addition, there are entrenched systems of power in the United States that grant privilege and access unequally such that inequity and injustice result, and that must be continuously addressed and changed.
- We believe cultural equity is critical to the long-term viability of the arts sector.
- We must hold ourselves accountable to acknowledge and challenge our inequities in order to make change happen.
MODELING THROUGH ACTION
To provide authentic leadership for cultural equity, we strive to…
- Pursue cultural awareness throughout our organization by listening and learning and through the adoption of formal, transparent policies.
- Identify and dismantle any inequities within our policies, programs, and services, and be accountable for making such changes happen.
- Commit time and resources to expand diverse leadership within our board and staff.
- Publicly recognize that the land on which we live, work, and perform is located on Kalapuya Ilihi, the traditional indigenous homeland of the Kalapuya people.
To pursue needed change related to equity, we intend to…
- Identify our own biases as they relate to opera, privilege and cultural elitism.
- Identify vulnerable decision-making points including casting, board recruitment, and hiring, in which questions of equity should be at the forefront.
- Improve the cultural leadership pipeline by advancing education programs that relate to careers in the arts and technical fields.
- Actively engage with organizations that serve communities of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color and People with Disabilities in Eugene-Springfield.
- Work with local tribal organizations to develop a meaningful and respectful land acknowledgment position.
- Invite and include Lane County residents of all socioeconomic circumstances, and those in rural communities outside the Eugene-Springfield metro area.