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 40 operatic events each season, including fully staged 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, Music Theater Revues, Opera Scenes programs, and operatic revues for young audiences. Chautauqua Opera productions feature internationally recognized guest artists as well as promising young singers from our 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 CHQ 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)