The Big 5-O: Opera Grand Rapids’ Celebrates 50th Anniversary During 2017-18 Season

By Katharine Baran

This year marks the 50th year in business for Opera Grand Rapids. They just released their 2017-18 schedule and it’s packed with such a variety of opera events!

“Balance is our programming mantra for the season,” Maestro James Meena, Opera Grand Rapids artistic director said. “We strive to create season schedules that include the familiar as well as the new.”

So this fall, the season takes off with a traditional opera, Verdi’s “Rigoletto” at the Devos Performance Hall on October 13th and 14th.

The fun continues as Opera Grand Rapids introduces a new rhythm and blues opera, an opera crossover performance and an Italian grand opera.

“We are especially proud to announce the new R&B opera, ‘I DREAM.’  Created for the 50th commemoration of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1968, ‘I DREAM’ provides us a wonderful opportunity to bring people from across the community to share this important commemoration,” said Meena.

As the Michigan’s oldest and longest-running opera production company, Opera Grand Rapids is looking to explore the opera world and expand it to all audiences and viewers. “As with everything we do at Opera Grand Rapids, we are focused on presenting the finest opera performances possible, for the enrichment of our city,” Meena said.

On May 4th and 5th, 2018, the company showcases yet another canonical classic, “The Marriage of Figaro,” at Devos Performance Hall.

This is a special season for Opera Grand Rapids and they’ll be ending it next May on the 18th, with an opera gala featuring Forte.