About

Annapolis Opera has provided professionally staged operas and concerts for the mid-Atlantic region for over 40 years.

Mission

The mission of the Annapolis Opera Company is to be a cultural touchstone for the community, which delights audiences with musical storytelling; engages new audiences with diverse programming that inspires curiosity for opera; and attracts emerging artists.

Traviata Opera
Take a Chance on Love

Vision

The vision of the Annapolis Opera is to be recognized as a vital community cultural asset and partner; a valued source of knowledge and appreciation of opera as an art form; a vehicle for the development of emerging performing arts professionals; an innovative, inclusive and financially robust regional opera company.

History

In 1972 a group of artists from the Annapolis Summer Garden Theater Youth Group got together, giving 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 agreed to produce the company’s first opera and, more importantly for the future of Annapolis Opera, become its first president.

The Annapolis community supported the company from the outset. For the first seven years we used a variety of performance spaces including the U.S. Naval Academy, St. John’s College, Annapolis High School, and even the Hilton Hotel ballroom, before finding a permanent home in 1979 at Maryland Hall as its first resident company.

Maestro Ron Gretz became the first Annapolis Opera Artistic Director in 1983. He founded and taught at the opera workshop at the Community College of Baltimore County before joining the Baltimore Opera. His conducting debut was in 1964 with Gian Carlo Menotti’s The Telephone. He conducted Johann Strauss II’s Die Fledermaus in 1982 for Annapolis Opera and the following year became its Artistic Director.

In the earlier years, Annapolis Opera benefited tremendously from the leadership of Maestro Gretz and stage director, Braxton Peters. The company’s outreach into the Annapolis community provided educational programming for all ages including children’s operas and lectures. The Annual Vocal Competition, established in 1988, is a recognized steppingstone for young artists. Maestro Gretz retired in 2020 after serving as the Artistic Director of the Annapolis Opera for 37 years.

In 2020, Maestro Craig Kier was appointed Artistic and Music Director of the Annapolis Opera, continuing the legacy of Maestro Gretz. He also continued his work as the Director of the Maryland Opera Studio, a position he’s held since 2014. Maestro Kier’s conducting highlights include productions with San Francisco Opera’s Merola Opera Program, Wolf Trap Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Arizona Opera, Houston Ballet, the Brevard Music Center’s Janiec Opera Company, Anchorage Opera, Indianapolis Opera, and Opera Saratoga. He also served on the music staffs of the Seattle Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Atlanta Opera, Opera Colorado, and Des Moines Metro Opera.

In September 2023 Kier was appointed the new director of Arts for All at the University of Maryland. As director of Arts for All, Kier is responsible for raising the visibility of the arts disciplines at UMD (including music, theater, dance, visual art, creative writing, and design), expanding student access and engagement with arts programming, growing innovative partnerships with science and technology disciplines across campus and building community connections that utilize the arts to promote equity and justice.

Today, Maestro Kier continues his tenure with Annapolis Opera bringing both traditional and new cutting-edge productions to the stage.

About Annapolis Opera

Annapolis Opera Diversity & Inclusion Statement

As an organization, Annapolis Opera is committed to using the insight we were afforded by events of 2020, to build upon our mission by not only furthering the development of emerging performing arts professionals, but we will also ensure that we are intentionally creating a diverse group of emerging performing arts professionals.  

Annapolis Opera is committed to more diversity through our programs, on our stage, in our audience, and on our staff.  We want to ensure that members of our local community recognize the Annapolis Opera as a place where they are supported, where they are represented, and where they belong.  

We are working with organizations, like the Black Opera Alliance, to collect data that will enable us to better understand and improve our industry.

Annapolis Opera Production History

2022 - 2023

La Boheme, Lost in the Stars, The Marriage of Figaro

2022 - 2023

2021 - 2022

Cinderella, Into the Woods

2021 - 2022

2020 – 2021

Acis & Galatea

2020 – 2021

2019 – 2020

Tosca, Susannah

2019 – 2020

2018 – 2019

The Barber of Seville, Carmen

2018 – 2019

2017 – 2018

Little Women, La Traviata

2017 – 2018

2016 – 2017

South Pacific, Madama Butterfly

2016 – 2017

2015 – 2016

Faust

2015 – 2016

2014 – 2015

Cosi fan tutte

2014 – 2015

2013 – 2014

La Boheme

2013 – 2014

2012 – 2013

Aida, Rigoletto

2012 – 2013

2011 – 2012

Romeo and Juliet

2011 – 2012

2010 – 2011

The Marriage of Figaro

2010 – 2011

2009 – 2010

Tosca

2009 – 2010

2008 – 2009

Cavalleria Rusticana, Pagliacci

2008 – 2009

2007 – 2008

Carmen

2007 – 2008

2006 – 2007

The Barber of Seville

2006 – 2007

2005 – 2006

The Magic Flute

2005 – 2006

2004 – 2005

Madama Butterfly

2004 – 2005

2003 – 2004

The Mikado

2003 – 2004

2002 – 2003

Die Fledermaus, La Traviata

2002 – 2003

2001 – 2002

La Boheme, Don Giovanni

2001 – 2002

2000 – 2001

Rigoletto, Cosi fan tutte

2000 – 2001

1999 – 2000

Tosca

1999 – 2000

1998 – 1999

The Marriage of Figaro

1998 – 1999

1997 – 1998

Carmen

1997 – 1998

1996 – 1997

Madama Butterfly, The Merry Widow

1996 – 1997

1995 – 1996

The Elixir of Love

1995 – 1996

1994 – 1995

La Traviata

1994 – 1995

1992 – 1993

La Boheme, The Student Prince

1992 – 1993

1991 – 1992

The Mikado, Carmen

1991 – 1992

1990 – 1991

Die Fledermaus

1990 – 1991

1989 – 1990

Amahl and the Night Visitors, Madama Butterfly

1989 – 1990

1988 – 1989

HMS Pinafore

1988 – 1989

1986 – 1987

Amahl and the Night Visitors

1986 – 1987

1983 – 1984

Rigoletto, Cosi fan tutte, The Merry Widow

1983 – 1984

1982 – 1983

The Barber of Seville, The Medium, Man of La Mancha

1982 – 1983

1981 – 1982

Die Fledermaus, La Boheme

1981 – 1982

1980 – 1981

La Traviata, Don Giovanni, Hansel and Gretel

1980 – 1981