|Josephine S. Leiser Opera Center|
221 SW 3 Ave
, FL 33312
Web Address: http://www.fgo.org
Justin Moss, Director of Broward Operations and Outreach and Liaison to the Opera Society
Florida Grand Opera exists to produce opera and musical programs in South Florida for the benefit of residents, visitors, opera lovers, novices, children, singers, musicians, creative artists, and theater technicians. Its productions and programs are designed to educate and increase audiences for opera, to enrich the operatic art form through training and performance, and to culturally enhance and celebrate its diverse community, so that opera will be a central cultural force in the life of its community now and in the future.
During the 2015-16 Season, FGO will continue to follow the lead of General Director and CEO Susan T. Danis with an artistic vision to produce provocative repertoire. Finding a balance of standard operatic repertoire as well as pieces that will challenge our audiences to experience something they are not familiar with is the key to our success.
The 2015-16 Season at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts in Fort Lauderdale:
Rossini: The Barber of Seville
December 3 & 5, 2015
February 11 & 13, 2016
For tickets, call 1-800-741-1010 or order safely online at www.fgo.org
The Opera Society, The Guild of FGO, Crescendo Circle
America’s seventh-oldest opera company was founded as The Opera Guild of Greater Miami (later known as Greater Miami Opera Association) in 1941 by Arturo di Filippi, an accomplished tenor and voice teacher at the University of Miami. In 1945, The Opera Guild, Inc., of Fort Lauderdale was founded with the mission of presenting performances of Opera Guild of Greater Miami productions in Fort Lauderdale. The relationship continued until 1994, when the two companies merged to form Florida Grand Opera.
In Miami, the initial performances were presented in the Miami Senior High School Auditorium until 1951, when Dade County Auditorium opened west of the downtown area. In 2006, Miami performances moved to the Sanford and Dolores Ziff Ballet Opera House at the new Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County. Performances in Fort Lauderdale were continuously presented at the War Memorial Auditorium from 1945 until the opening of the Broward Center for the Performing Arts in 1991.
From 1941 through 1972, founder and General Manager Arturo di Filippi regularly brought leading artists from the Metropolitan Opera to south Florida, presenting them in the roles for which they had won worldwide acclaim. A 1965 production of Lucia di Lammermoor with Joan Sutherland featured a young Italian tenor, Luciano Pavarotti, in his American debut. Opera had begun to flourish in south Florida.
Upon Dr. di Filippi’s retirement, he was succeeded by Robert Herman in 1973. Herman had served as Assistant General Manager at the Metropolitan Opera under Sir Rudolph Bing, and was persuaded to forgo retirement to lead the Miami company. During his administration the world’s leading opera singers continued to appear with the company, and production values were dramatically elevated as the subscriber and donor based increased. Greater Miami Opera entered the ranks of the country’s leading opera companies and was established as one of the premier cultural institutions in the southeastern United States.
Robert M. Heuer was appointed General Manager when Herman retired in 1985. During his tenure, extensive educational and outreach programs were developed throughout the community and the company’s Young Artist Studio was established. In addition, Heuer led efforts to build a much-needed state of the art performance venue in Miami, which resulted in the opening of the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County in 2006. Heuer’s 25th Anniversary was celebrated with a gala concert in 2010, and he retired in 2012.
Susan T. Danis was appointed Florida Grand Opera’s fourth General Director in 2012 and the first woman to lead the company. During her tenure at Sarasota Opera, where she served as Executive Director since 1999, the company’s budget grew exponentially, and she successfully headed a $47 million capital campaign which included the renovation of the company’s historic theater. She is committed to opera for all and presentations throughout the community.