General Opera Ticket Information

Admission for mainstage opera performances in Norton Hall requires an additional performance ticket purchase. For guests who do not have a Chautauqua Institution gate pass, the performance ticket acts as a gate pass and includes access to the grounds corresponding to the performance time as outlined here:

If Opera performance in Norton Hall start time is: Ticket provides access to Chautauqua Institution:
4 p.m. Noon–8 p.m.
After 4 p.m. 4 p.m.–Midnight

Please note: an opera ticket for performances in Norton Hall will not grant the holder access to events in the Amphitheater.

Admission for mainstage opera performances in the Amphitheater requires either a valid Chautauqua Institution gate pass or an event ticket. An event ticket includes access to the grounds corresponding to the performance time as outlined here:

If Opera performance in Amphitheater start time is: Ticket provides access to Chautauqua Institution:
After 4 p.m. 4 p.m.–Midnight

2020 Mainstage Opera Tickets



Performance Venue: Norton Hall

Performance Dates: Friday, July 10 at 4 p.m. | Monday, July 13 at 7:30 p.m. | Thursday, July 30 at 4 p.m.

Seating: Reserved Seating (View Seating Chart Here)

Pricing: Section 1: $55 | Section II: $45 | Section 3: $20

Youth tickets: Patrons may purchase Youth tickets for Tosca performances with the purchase of at least one regularly priced Tosca ticket. Youth indicates persons up to the age of 25. Youth Tickets are $10 each and can be purchased by calling the Ticket Office at 716 357-6250, or in person at the Main Gate.

On Sale Date: Purchase as part of a Premium Opera Ticket Pack, beginning March 13. Single Tickets on sale April 1. Prior season opera patrons can purchase Ticket Packs or single tickets during the January 13–February 2 pre-sale period, in person or by calling 716 357-6250.

Content Warning: Due to mature content, this opera is not recommended for children under the age of 13.

Language: Sung in Italian, with English supertitles projected above the stage.

Length: 2 hours and 30 minutes, with one 20-minute intermission.


2020 Premium Opera Ticket Packs

A great way to support the opera, guarantee your seats and save!

Premium Opera Ticket Packs go on sale March 13.

Ticket Pack Options:

THREE-PACK: $135 per pack (save 7%)
Pack includes one premium ticket for each of the three 2020 mainstage operas: Tosca, Thumbprint and The Mother of Us All**.

TWO-PACK: $85–$105 per pack (save 5%)
Pack includes one premium ticket each for two of our 2020 mainstage operas: Pick TwoTosca, Thumbprint, The Mother of Us All**.

**Important Notes:

  • For performances of Tosca and Thumbprint, patrons who purchase a Premium Opera Ticket Pack are seated in Section I. Seats in other sections can be purchased as single tickets, beginning April 1.
  • For the performance of The Mother of Us All, patrons who purchase a Premium Opera Ticket Pack are seated in Preferred General Seating. For anyone with a valid 2020 gate pass, no extra ticket is needed for this performance.

Refund and Exchange Policy

  • Opera tickets are non-refundable.
  • Patrons may exchange opera tickets for another performance of the same work, provided neither performance is sold out. A $2 service fee will be assessed per exchange request.
  • If an opera ticket is lost, stolen, or misplaced, it can be replaced by contacting the Ticket Office. A $10 replacement fee applies to each request after an order has been processed.

More Performances

In addition to our mainstage operas, the Chautauqua Opera Company presents over 30 operatic events each season, including:

  • An 'Opera Pops' concert with the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra,
  • Weekly "Afternoon of Song" recitals
  • An opera for Young Audiences
  • A fully staged Opera Scenes program
  • Master classes
  • Young Artist Open-Mic Nights
  • Opera Invasions

Admission to each of these programs is free with a valid gate pass.

Click here for a full list of 2020 Opera Events

Women's Suffrage Centennial: Claiming a Voice, Claiming a Vote

July 30–August 1, 2020

Chautauqua Opera Company's 2020 mainstage season marks the centennial of the ratification of the 19th Amendment with a trio of operas, each of which revolves around a powerful female figure who is fighting to forge her own path and have her voice heard. Audiences will be able to experience these three operas on consecutive nights during the company’s 2020 Opera Festival Weekend, happening July 30–Aug. 1, 2020. The festival will shed light on the fight for suffrage in the United States, victories women have fought for throughout history, and ongoing challenges they face worldwide today.  

In addition to experiencing this unique trio of operas and exclusive opera lectures, guests attending Opera Festival Weekend will have access to the entire breadth of Chautauqua Institution’s programming, including lectures, religious services, Amphitheater entertainment and performances by the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, as well as water sports and outdoor leisure activities. 

A limited number of all-inclusive packages are now available for purchase through Chautauqua Institution's historic Athenaeum Hotel or Road Scholar. Scroll down for more information about Festival Weekend Packages.


2020 season banner


About the Opera Festival Weekend packages

Three packages are currently available for purchase, with limited availability:

A Four-Day Package (July 29–Aug. 2, 2020) available through the Athenaeum Hotel

A Weeklong Package (July 26–Aug. 2, 2020) available through the Athenaeum Hotel

Six-Day Package (July 28-Aug.2, 2020) available through Road Scholar


Packages include:

  • Lodging at the historic Athenaeum Hotel located on Chautauqua Lake
  • Opera Festival Host support to ensure guests experience the fullness of the Chautauqua experience
  • Nightly premium buffet dinners, lunch, breakfast, and Sunday brunch at Heirloom Restaurant
  • Chautauqua Institution Gate Pass (provides access to all Amphitheater events) and parking
  • Preferred seating for Tosca in Norton Hall on July 30, 2020
  • Preferred seating for Thumbprint in Norton Hall on July 31, 2020
  • Preferred seating for The Mother of Us All in the Amphitheater on August 1, 2020
  • Special Opera Lectures with Ned Canty, Stage Director and General Director of Opera Memphis

In addition to experiencing the opera performances over three consecutive nights, visitors to Chautauqua will have access to the entire breadth of Chautauqua Institution’s programming. The gate pass serves as a passport to the Chautauqua Experience, giving visitors access to most events on the grounds, including all lectures, religious services, Amphitheater entertainment and performances by the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra.


Package Pricing:

Athenaeum Hotel Four Day Package (July 29-Aug. 2, 2020): Packages begin at $1,368 per person (double occupancy) and $2,069 per person (single occupancy). Taxes not included**.

Purchase a Four-Day Package

Athenaeum Hotel Weeklong Package (July 26-Aug. 2, 2020): Packages begin at $2,272 per person (double occupancy) and $3,325 per person (single occupancy). Taxes not included**.

Purchase a Weeklong Package

Road Scholar Six-Day Package (July 28-Aug. 2, 2020): Packages begin at $2,149 per person (double occupancy) and $2,379 per person (single occupancy). Taxes included.

Purchase a Road Scholar Package

**Offer based on availability. This offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other promotion or standard discount. Package rates are subject to applicable taxes. Dining gratuity is not included in package.

Questions: • 1.800.821.1881

About the Operas

tosca stave


Music by Giacomo Puccini; Libretto by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa

Performance dates: July 10, 13 & 30 in Norton Hall

Puccini’s glorious score brings to life one woman’s struggle for love, art, and freedom in a male-dominated world at the turn of the 19th century. Religion, politics, and passion collide in this stirring work.


thumbprint print


Music by Kamala Sankaram; Libretto by Susan Yankowitz

Performance dates: July 3, 15 & 31 in Norton Hall

Thumbprint is a chamber opera inspired by the experiences of Mukhtar Mai, a contemporary real-life warrior for women’s rights and education in Pakistan. Sankaram’s dynamic score blends Hindustani and European opera influences to tell this astonishing story of courage in the face of oppression.


mother flag

The Mother of Us All

Music by Virgil Thomson; Libretto by Gertrude Stein

August 1 in the Amphitheater

For one performance only, Chautauqua’s Amphitheater will once again ring with the voice of Susan B. Anthony in Virgil Thomson and Gertrude Stein’s joyfully surrealist homage to one of the foremothers of our country and the suffrage movement in America. This performance will bookend Chautauqua Institution’s Week Five programming, themed “The Women’s Vote Centennial and Beyond.”


More information about these performances and Chautauqua Opera's 2020 season can be found here


Chautauqua Opera's Festival Weekend is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. Read the press release here

Opera Events 20185


Sunday, August 5, 2018 – 12:30 - 7p.m.

Chautauqua Opera and partners across the grounds collaborate to host “As One Community Day”. This series of events, designed to engage audiences more deeply as we consider the role of arts in global understanding, will include a moderated panel, a screening of Kimberly Reed’s film Prodigal Sons, a talk-back with the creators of the opera, an open rehearsal, and more.

All events are free and admission to Chautauqua's grounds is free on Sundays.  Attendees in As One events Sunday, August 5 will be given a voucher for free parking for the day.

Schedule of Events

12:30–2 p.m. | Prodigal Sons – Film Presentation, Chautauqua Cinema

Prodigal Sons is an autobiographical documentary by filmmaker Kimberly Reed (co-librettist of the opera As One). Winner of the FIPRESCI Prize at the Thessaloniki Documentary Film Festival, Best Documentary Jury Prize at NewFest, and Special Jury Prizes for Fearless Filmmaking at the Florida Film Festival and Bravery in Storytelling at the Nashville Film Festival, Prodigal Sons is a raw and provocative examination of one family’s struggle to come to terms with its past and present. Learn more about this powerful film at

2–2:30 p.m. | Talkback with filmmaker Kimberly Reed following the film, Chautauqua Cinema

2:30–2:45 p.m. | Break and Travel Time

2:45–3:30 p.m. | As One Rehearsal ViewingNorton Hall

View a sneak peek of the opera As One, as the cast rehearses for their performance on August 7* 

3:30–5 p.m. | Panel Discussion: What Binds Us? Achieving Understanding Across Difference, Hurlbut Church Sanctuary

Moderated by Rev. Gene Robinson, Vice President for Religion and Senior Pastor, Chautauqua Institution

Panelists (To Date):

Mark Campbell, Librettist/Lyricist; Co-Librettist, As One
Kimberly Reed
, Filmmaker; Co-Librettist, As One
Darren Canady
, Associate Professor of English, University of Kansas; Chautauqua Literary Arts Writer in Residence
Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich, Author, The Fact of a Body: A Murder and a Memoir; 2018 Chautauqua Prize Winner
Joseph Reyes, Business/Office Manager, Chautauqua Theater Company

5–6 p.m. | Creating Shared Meaning Through PoetryPoetry Maker Space, Colonnade

Explore the libretto of As One and create your own poetry through the Traveling Stanzas interactive exhibit.

6:30 p.m. | LGBTQ & Friends GatheringAthenaeum Hotel Porch (Cash Bar)

An informal gathering with Chautauquans.  Great for networking and launching new friendships.

*As One will be performed Tuesday, August 7th at 4 p.m. in Norton Hall.  Learn more about the opera at  Purchase tickets ($25) to the August 7 performance at

Chautauqua Cinema will be screening Kimberly Reed's latest film, Dark Money, Monday, August 6 at 12:15 and 5:15 p.m.  Ms. Reed will be available following both screenings for talk-backs.


Pick the pieces for the Opera Invasion this Friday, July 21 from 6:15-7:15pm in front of the Amphitheater


Chautauqua Opera's Mission Statement

TO PRODUCE opera/music theatre of the highest quality as part of the artistic and cultural diversity that is represented at the Chautauqua Institution.

TO BUILD tomorrow's audience for opera and music theatre, both regionally and nationally, through the presentation of productions of the highest quality, using a mix of seasoned professionals and Young Artists in training.

TO NURTURE the development of Young Artists, creative staff and production personnel.

TO REINFORCE the appreciation of the standard repertoire and to broaden interest in American and non-standard works.

Click here for Google Map directions

Chautauqua Opera NYC (Sept.-May)
412 West 42nd Street, Suite 4E4
New York, NY 10036
Phone: 212.779.3177
Fax: 212.779.3293

Chautauqua Opera (June-August)
PO Box Q
Chautauqua, NY 14722
Phone: 716.357.6286
Fax: 716.357.3285

General/Artistic Director, Jay Lesenger:

General Inquiries:

Audition Information:

Director of Administration, Michael Berg:

Company Manager, Gabriel Estin: