Of Mice and Men at Austin Opera (photo: Erich Schlegel)

Mission & History

OPERA America leads and serves the entire opera community, supporting the creation, presentation, and enjoyment of opera.

Founded in 1970, OPERA America has a membership that includes over 500 opera companies, educational institutions, affiliated businesses, and other entities. More than 40,000 staff members, artists, and trustees at these organizations join nearly 2,000 individual members in empowering us as the national champion for opera.

Through national convenings, research, advocacy, granting, thought leadership, and a variety of programs for artists, administrators, educators, trustees, and appreciators, we move opera forward as an industry and an art form. 

The quarterly Opera America Magazine highlights the progress of the sector and the impact of more than $15 million in strategic grants we have awarded to increase new work, audience engagement, civic practice, business innovation, and inclusivity.

The National Opera Center, our custom-built rehearsal and performance facility in New York City, serves as the centralized home for the industry, welcoming 80,000 visitors each year.

50th Anniversary: 1970–2020

On the occasion of its 50th anniversary, OPERA America celebrates 50 years of opera in America. A series of special initiatives highlights the work of opera companies and artists, engages local communities, and connects the industry and audiences at a national level.

Sixteen of our 20 founding companies are still part of the OPERA America membership:

  • Cincinnati Opera
  • Houston Grand Opera
  • Kentucky Opera
  • Lyric Opera of Kansas City
  • Minnesota Opera
  • New Orleans Opera
  • Opera Carolina
  • Opera Mississippi
  • Opera Omaha
  • Opera Philadelphia
  • Opera Saratoga
  • Pittsburgh Opera
  • San Diego Opera
  • Seattle Opera
  • Tulsa Opera
  • Washington National Opera

Learn more about the celebration at 50th Anniversary.