Founded in 1929, The Chautauqua Opera Company is North America's oldest continuously operating summer opera company and 4th oldest opera company after the Metropolitan Opera, Cincinnati Opera and San Francisco Opera. The Chautauqua Opera Company offers more than 30 operatic events each season, including three mainstage productions in Chautauqua Institution's 4000-seat Amphitheater and in the historic 1,300-seat Norton Hall, concerts with the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, weekly recitals, opera performances for young audiences, and Opera Invasions. Chautauqua Opera productions feature internationally recognized guest artists alongside emerging artists from Chautauqua Opera's Young Artist Program.


The ARTS at Chautauqua
Our mission is to expand the lives of our audience within and beyond the Institution’s gates through the power of the performing and visual arts. We seek to serve the purposes of the Institution by inspiring, educating and engaging a diverse and growing audience; by serving as an integral part of the Chautauqua community; by exemplifying artistic excellence in presenting programs that celebrate both tradition and innovation; and by demonstrating sound financial stewardship.

Our Mission

To produce highly captivating opera and music theater

To excite audiences of all ages through the emotional, visual, and musical impact of opera

To nurture and develop young singers through our Young Artist Program

To attract opera lovers to Chautauqua and introduce them to the Chautauqua experience

To encourage exploration of Opera through multiple encounters within and beyond the gates


General Directors

Steven Osgood (2015–present)

Jay Lesenger (1994–2015)
Linda Jackson (1988–1994)
Cynthia Auerbach (1981–1987)
Leonard Treash (1966–1980)
Julius Rudel (1959)
Alfredo Valenti (1944–1958)
Albert Stoessel (1929–1943)