New York City Welcomes New Opera Company

By Afton Wooten
(Photo credit: Lera Kogan)

On May 6, 2023 Marshall Opera was named New York City’s newest opera company.

Marshall Opera has set a goal to reach and inspire diverse audiences with productions of new and neglected contemporary operas. Mark Shapiro is the Principal Conductor with Jim Schaeffer as the General and Artistic Director.

Composers such as Amy Beach, Douglas Moore, Vivian Fine, William Mayer, William Schuman, Scott Joplin, Ulysses Kay, Dame Ethyl Smyth, Olivier Messiaen, Louis Andriessen, Hans Werner Henze, Jo Kondo, and Benjamin Britten’s work will be produced with the company. Productions will be presented in concert versions to keep the focus on the music. Marshall Opera plans for lectures and an oral history project for each production.

Schaeffer stated in a press release, “I am honored to serve as the founding General and Artistic Director of Marshall Opera and look forward to working with the exceptional staff and board of directors already assembled. I am proud to honor the legacy of Richard Marshall who has done so much to advance the cause of contemporary opera in the U.S. With Marshall Opera’s focus on neglected works from the last and present century, we are excited to introduce these great operas to an entire generation of new audiences.”

Marshall Opera recognizes the contemporary opera visionary, Richard Marshall, who from 1976 – 82 was the general director of the Charlotte Opera (now Opera Carolina). He was the head of opera at The Boston Conservatory, as well as founder and director of New England Regional Opera. Marshall also served as head of opera and choral music at the University of Buffalo. In 1982, Marshall founded the Center for Contemporary Opera.