History

In 1972 a group of artists from the Annapolis Summer Garden Theater Youth Group got together and gave birth to the Annapolis Opera Company. Their search to cast the title role for Gian-Carlo Menotti’s The Medium led them to soprano Martha Wright, an active performer, and producer, who turned down the role but instead agreed to produce the opera and more importantly for the future of Annapolis Opera, to take on leading the organization. This became the very first Annapolis Opera production and Martha Wright became its first President.

The Annapolis community supported the company from the outset. For seven years the company used several performance spaces: the U.S. Naval Academy, St. John’s College, Annapolis High School and even the Hilton Hotel ballroom, which was the site of the first performance, before finding a permanent home in the Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts as a founding resident company in 1979, a relationship that continues today.

Annapolis Opera has benefited from the leadership of Artistic Director, Ronald J. Gretz, and Stage Director, Braxton Peters, who have headed the artistic staff for many years, providing artistic continuity and integrity. The company has expanded into the community and provided educational programming for all ages including special operas for children and lectures on the art form to organizations and community groups.  The Annual Vocal Competition, established in 1988, is a recognized stepping stone for young artists in the Mid-Atlantic region in their career development.

Since its founding, forty-five years ago, seventeen Presidents have led the organization and carried Annapolis Opera to its current position. Members of the Board of Trustees have included several mayors of Annapolis, retired leaders of government and business, educators, retired opera singers…people from all walks of life who share a love of opera.

Annapolis Opera Production History

  • 2017 – 2018: Little Women, La Traviata
    2016 – 2017: South Pacific, Madama Butterfly

    2015 – 2016: Faust
    2014 – 2015: Cosi fan tutte
    2013 – 2014: La Boheme
    2012 – 2013: Aida, Rigoletto
    2011 – 2012: Romeo and Juliet
    2010 – 2011: The Marriage of Figaro
    2009 – 2010: Tosca
    2008 – 2009: Cavalleria Rusticana, Pagliacci
    2007 – 2008: Carmen
    2006 – 2007: The Barber of Seville
    2005 – 2006: The Magic Flute
    2004 – 2005: Madama Butterfly 
    2003 – 2004: The Mikado
    2002 – 2003: Die Fledermaus, La Traviata
    2001 – 2002: La Boheme, Don Giovanni
    2000 – 2001: Rigoletto, Cosi fan tutte
    1999 – 2000: Tosca
    1998 – 1999: The Marriage of Figaro
    1997 – 1998: Carmen

  • 1996 – 1997: Madama Butterfly, The Merry Widow
    1995 – 1996
    : The Elixir of Love

    1994 – 1995: La Traviata
    1992 – 1993: La Boheme, The Student Prince
    1991 – 1992: The Mikado, Carmen
    1990 – 1991: Die Fledermaus
    1989 – 1990: Amahl and the Night Visitors, Madama Butterfly
    1988 – 1989: HMS Pinafore 
    1986 – 1987: Amahl and the Night Visitors
    1983 – 1984: Rigoletto, Cosi fan tutte, The Merry Widow
    1982 – 1983: The Barber of Seville, The MediumMan of La Mancha
    1981 – 1982: Die Fledermaus, La Boheme
    1980 – 1981: La Traviata, Don Giovanni, Hansel and Gretel
    1979 – 1980: Faust, HMS Pinafore, Madama Butterfly
    1978 – 1979: Carmen, Don Pasquale, The Magic Flute
    1977 – 1978: Rigoletto, The Turn of the Screw, The Marriage of Figaro
    1976 – 1977: Tosca, The Student Prince, The Elixir of Love
    1975 – 1976: La Traviata, Dido and Aeneas, Cosi fan tutte
    1974 – 1975: La Boheme, La serva padrona, The Bear, Die Fledermaus
    1973 – 1974: Madama Butterfly, The Barber of Seville
    1972 – 1973: The Medium, The Beggars Opera