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L'Orfeo | July 8 | U.S. Stage Premiere

In this timeless myth of true love and loss, Orpheus, the man who could charm death itself with his music, travels to the underworld to plead with the gods for the life of his lost love, Euridice. 

Ottorino Respighi's re-orchestration of Monteverdi's L'Orfeo (one of history's first operatic masterpieces) has never been seen on stage in the United States. Be the first to experience this essential opera! Hear the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra fill the grounds (from their own underworld in the new orchestra pit) with this luscious and romantic score and join Chautauqua Opera Company for their first performance in the new Amphitheater.

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Don Pasquale | July 28 & 31

True Italian farce returns to the stage of Norton Hall, continuing Chautauqua Opera's dedication to performing operas for the entire family. Hijinks ensue when the aging bachelor, Don Pasquale, pursues the spirited Norina, hoping to trap himself a much younger wife. Chautauqua Opera Apprentice Artists will be featured alongside nationally renowned Guest Artists in Donizetti’s hilarious tale of love and deception.

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Hydrogen Jukebox | July 27 & August 1

Experience the collaboration of two of America's most revolutionary artists, composer Philip Glass and poet Allen Ginsberg, in this truly unique chamber opera. Hydrogen Jukebox paints a portrait of America approaching the end of the millennium, touching on political and social issues that are more timely than ever. Six Chautauqua Opera Apprentice Artists take the spotlight in this work which perfectly reflects the mix of arts and humanities that is the spirit of CHQ.

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Inside the Opera: Hydrogen Jukebox

A Special Studies class will be offered this summer exploring the music, poetry, and significance of Hydrogen Jukebox. Registration is now open at chqtickets.com, under Special Studies. Beginning June 25, registeration will also be available in person at the Hultquist Special Studies office or any ticket window on the grounds.
Mondays, July 3, 10 & 17, 2017 | 1–2:15 p.m. | McKnight Hall

Hydrogen Jukebox, which premiered in 1990, is the result of a once-in-a-lifetime collaboration between composer Philip Glass and poet Allen Ginsberg. These classes will give you an in-depth look into the creation, poetry, music, and history of the chamber opera. Each class will be led by Steven Osgood, with special guests from the production's artistic team.  Whether you take just one class or attend all three, you will leave with a deeper understanding of what makes this work a modern masterpiece. Enrich your experience further by attending the open rehearsal immediately following class!

More Performances

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

  • An Opera Highlights Concert and an Opera Pops Concert with the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra
  • Weekly "Afternoon of Song" Recitals
  • An Operatic Revue for Young Audiences
  • A fully staged Opera Scenes Program
  • Masterclasses
  • Open-mic Nights
  • Opera Invasions

Admission to each of these programs is free with a valid gate pass. For more information, please take a look at our calendar page.

Please join us for our 2018 season, as we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Chautauqua Opera’s Young Artist Program and the 100th Anniversary of Leonard Bernstein’s birth with productions of Don Giovanni, Candide, and As One.


Opera Events 2018 DonGiovanniDon Giovanni

Saturday July 7, 2018 - 8:15 p.m.   Purchase Tickets

Ned Canty, Stage Director
David Adam Moore - Don Giovanni
Richard Bernstein - Leporello

When legendary womanizer Don Giovanni goes too far, he finds himself tangled in his own web of lies and deception. Experience the magic of Mozart in the Amphitheater! With its perfect blend of tragedy and comedy, larger than life characters and stunning score, this opera is an irresistible classic. 


Opera Events 2018 CandideCandide

Friday, July 27, 2018 - 4:00 p.m.   Purchase Tickets
Monday, July 30, 2018 - 7:30 p.m.   Purchase Tickets
Norton Hall

Jay Lesenger, Stage Director
Mara Newbery Greer, Choreographer
Robert Orth - Voltaire/Pangloss/Martin
Leann Sandel-Pantaleo - The Old Lady

The naive young hero, Candide, is plagued by an endless series of bizarre comedic disasters on his globe-spanning search for the true meaning of life. Based on the sharply satirical story of innocence lost by Voltaire, Leonard Bernstein’s darkly funny operetta receives its company debut, joining the centennial celebration of the composer’s birth. With a delightfully tuneful score, including highlights such as “Glitter and be Gay” and “Make our Garden Grow,” Candide truly offers audiences “the best of all possible worlds.”


Opera Events 2018 AsOneAs One

Tuesday, August 7, 2018 - 4:00 p.m.   Purchase Tickets
Norton Hall

Music and Concept by Laura Kaminsky
Libretto by Mark Campbell and Kimberly Reed 
Matt Gray, Stage Director
Kelly Markgraf - Hannah Before
Sasha Cooke - Hannah After
Fry Street Quartet

As One is one of the most performed new operas in the country, and its exciting arrival at Chautauqua Opera reunites the original cast and ensemble of the 2014 premiere. Accompanied by the Fry Street Quartet, mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke and baritone Kelly Markgraf again share the part of the transgender protagonist Hannah in the opera’s sixteen vignettes that chronicle her journey toward self-acceptance with empathy and humor.  


More Performances

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

  • An Opera Highlights Concert and 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
  • Masterclasses
  • Open-mic Nights
  • Opera Invasions

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


A Letter from our General and Artistic Director, Steven Osgood:

To Our Chautauqua Opera Community—

For 90 consecutive summers, Chautauquans have gathered in Norton Hall to celebrate opera’s rich history, to hear our country’s great singers, and to catch first glimpses of promising young singers as they launch their professional careers. Our 2020 season of ToscaThumbprint and The Mother Of Us Allwas set to celebrate the centenary of the 19th Amendment, the central role Western New York played in the suffrage movement, and to give voice to three powerful women. Nevertheless, with the health and safety of our company and audience as the highest priority, it has become undeniably clear that the global COVID-19 crisis makes it impossible to proceed with this season’s productions.

Every June I find myself reflecting on what it means to be an opera company. While “the Chautauqua Opera Company” has existed since 1929, the true company is the dozens of individuals whose energy, talent, skill and devotion bring our productions to life each season. The Chautauqua Opera Company thrives on its mix of individuals whose tenure stretches into decades and those who join us for a handful of seasons. The company is in fact quite different every year, and I am saddened that the unique group of artists who were to make up our 2020 company will not have the chance to gather, to work together and to make opera.  

We have several tasks ahead of us as a company in the coming weeks and months:

  • SUPPORTING the artists and artisans who were to make up our company. These are challenging times for artists everywhere. Chautauqua Opera will do everything possible to support the over 50 individuals who have had their contracts with us canceled.
  • AMPLIFYING the voices of the 20 singers who were to make up our Young Artist Program this summer. Performing opportunities are only one, albeit critical, element in any Young Artist Program. We will find every way possible to introduce you to these 20 talented artists, and to help foster their growth even as we do not hold an on-grounds season.
  • CONTRIBUTING to the online Chautauqua experience. The arts are a vital part of the Chautauqua experience, and we will pour our energy into making Chautauqua Opera a vibrant participant in the global Chautauqua assembly this summer.

Much planning continues for this summer and next, and I look forward to sharing happier news with you in the coming weeks and months. It is our intention that ToscaThumbprint and The Mother Of Us All will come to life at Chautauqua in a future season.

If you have purchased tickets to one of our productions this summer, the Chautauqua Ticket Office will be in touch via email to offer you options for securing refunds, credits toward a future purchase, or transitioning your ticket value to a donation, should that be your desire. It is not necessary to contact the Ticket Office. They will reach out to you in the next 30 days.

Chautauqua is a unique and treasured place. For 90 years it has offered an immediate and vibrant connection between our artists, our audience and our community. The only bright spot I find in the decisions we make today is that the sole intention is to keep our company and community healthy so that we can gather again in the future, share a common space and experience great opera. Please stay safe, stay healthy, and stay connected with us over the coming months.


Steven Osgood
General and Artistic Director

Please join us for our 2019 season, as we celebrate the 90th anniversary of the Chautauqua Opera Company!

 CHQOpera 2019Season banner web

 Artwork by Alexander Charner


Opera Ticket Packs (new in 2019) are now on sale!

Click here for more information


Mainstage Operas

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Il Barbiere di Siviglia

Music by Gioachino Rossini; Libretto by Cesare Sterbini
Sung in Italian with English supertitles

Norton Hall
Friday, July 5, 2019 • 4 p.m.
Monday, July 8, 2019 • 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, July 25, 2019 • 7:30 p.m.   

Single tickets ($15-$52) and ticket packs now available at chqtickets.com or by calling 716-357-6250.

Steven Osgood · Conductor
Kathleen Smith Belcher · Stage Director
Alan Muraoka · Set Designer
Michael Baumgarten · Lighting/Video Designer
Howard Tsvi Kaplan · Costume Designer
Martha Ruskai · Wig & Makeup Designer

Daniel Belcher · Figaro
Aleks Romano · Rosina
Marco Nisticò · Doctor Bartolo
Blake Friedman - Count Almaviva

In Rossini’s lively comic opera, a young Count Almaviva (in disguise) is wooing the spirited and savvy Rosina, Dr. Bartolo’s young ward. Dr. Bartolo plans to marry Rosina himself, but Seville’s favorite trickster, Figaro, is on the scene to foil his schemes and help the young lovers unite, with hilarity and hijinks aplenty.

2inchMarriageRevised small¡Figaro! (90210)

Music by W.A. Mozart; Libretto by Vid Guerrerio, based on The Marriage of Figaro by Lorenzo da Ponte
Sung in English and Spanish with English supertitles

Norton Hall
Fridays, June 28 & July 26, 2019 • 4 p.m.   
Sundays, June 30, July 7, & July 14, 2019 • 7 p.m.

Brief talk-backs will follow each performance. 

Single tickets ($25-$40) and ticket packs now available at chqtickets.com or by calling 716-357-6250.

Jorge Parodi • Music Director/Conductor
Eric Einhorn • Stage Director
Alan Muraoka · Set Designer
Michael Baumgarten · Lighting Designer
B.G. FitzGerald · Costume Designer
Martha Ruskai · Wig & Makeup Designer

Matthew Cossack
 • Paul Conti
Lauren Yokabaskas
 • Roxanne Conti
Jesús Vicente Murillo
 • Figaro
Laura León
 • Susana

Vid Guerrerio’s contemporary multicultural adaptation of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro sets the action in modern-day Beverly Hills. Hollywood elite Paul and Roxanne Conti (Count Almaviva and Rosina) are now married with a daughter, and Figaro and his soon-to-be-bride Susana are undocumented workers on their estate. Hailed by Opera News as “dynamic, thought-provoking, respectful, and, yes, hilarious,” Guerrerio’s English and Spanish libretto infuses Mozart’s masterpiece with humor, heart, and present-day discussions of race, class, and American identity.

This Opera includes mature language and content and may not be suitable for children under age 14.

2inchGhostsRevised smallThe Ghosts of Versailles

Music by John Corigliano; Libretto by William Hoffman
Sung in English

Saturday, July 27, 2019 • 8:15 p.m.  

Single tickets and ticket packs now available at chqtickets.com or by calling 716-357-6250. General Admission ($45) and Preferred Seating ($55) available. No additional ticket necessary with valid gate pass. Preferred Seating upgrade available for $10 with a valid gate pass.

Steven Osgood · Conductor
Peter Kazaras · Stage Director
Alan Muraoka · Set Designer
Michael Baumgarten · Lighting Designer
B.G. FitzGerald · Costume Designer
Martha Ruskai · Wig & Makeup Designer
Nicola Bowie · Choreographer

Caitlin Lynch • Marie Antoinette
Daniel Belcher
 • Beaumarchais
Aleks Romano • Samira
Marco Nisticò · 
Louis XVI/Suleyman Pasha
Scott Purcell · 
Patrick Dean Shelton · Bégearss

Marie Antoinette and her court are bored of the afterlife, and bitter about their deaths. The love-struck ghost of Beaumarchais believes he can change the queen’s untimely fate by using the power of art. He brings his beloved Figaro and company back to life in a new opera, but when Figaro refuses to stick to the script, Beaumarchais must enter his own story. Alternately hilarious and heart breaking, this grand opera buffa is one of America’s operatic masterpieces.

Opera Festival Weekend

For the first time, audiences will be able to experience this unique “trilogy” of operas over three consecutive nights during the Trilogy Weekend happening July 25–27, 2019. Based on the three “Figaro Plays” by 18th century French playwright Pierre Beaumarchais, the three operas trace the lives of characters including Figaro, Count Almaviva, Rosina, and their friends and foes through many years of adventures and mishaps together.

For more information about the Opera Festival Weekend, please visit chq.org/trilogyweekend

More Performances

In addition to our mainstage operas, the Chautauqua Opera Company presents over 30 programs 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
  • Open-Mic Nights
  • Opera Invasions

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

For a full list of 2019 Opera Events Click Here

Mission & History

0708 Opera RLG03master 2Founded in 1929, the Chautauqua Opera Company is North America's oldest continuously operating summer opera company and fourth-oldest opera company after the Metropolitan Opera, Cincinnati Opera and San Francisco Opera. 

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Leadership & Staff

07XX16 FEAT OperaCrew CB 02Steven Osgood is the General and Artistic Director of the Chautauqua Opera Company and Carol Rausch is the Music Administrator/Chorus Master.

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Press Releases/News Links

062516 StevenOsgood sh 04View articles about the Chautauqua Opera Company written by The Chautauquan Daily.

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Past Productions

MAnon AB 128 copyView some of Chautauqua Opera's past productions.

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Supers and Children’s Choir

TheClowns 0151"Supers" people of all ages who volunteer their time and act as "extras" in Chautauqua Opera productions. Volunteers may perform as waiters, guards, townsfolk, etc., according to the production's needs.

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Performance Venues & Accessibility

norton hallDuring the season, the Chautauqua Opera Company uses Norton Hall and the Jane A. Gross Opera Center.

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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: Admin@chautopera.org

General Inquiries: Info@chautopera.org

Audition Information: Auditions@chautopera.org

Director of Administration, Michael Berg: Admin@chautopera.org

Company Manager, Gabriel Estin: CompanyManager@chautopera.org