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Chelsea Opera provides opportunities for artists to advance their craft in a professional venue in New York City. Modest in scale and operating in an intimate performing space in a landmark church in the Chelsea district of NYC, the company produces standard and new works with chamber orchestra, making them affordable and accessible to a broad spectrum of the community. Intensely interested in attracting first-time audiences, Chelsea Opera is committed to creative pre-performance programs for adults and structured educational outreach programs coupled with live performances for school children.


Formed in 2004 by professional singers, Lynne Hayden-Findlay and Leonarda Priore, the company was launched with an all-volunteer production of Suor Angelica.  Initially, Ms. Priore and Ms. Hayden-Findlay had only intended to produce this one opera.  However, artist and audience response was so compelling that they agreed to move forward, incorporating Chelsea Opera and obtaining their IRS non-profit designation in a record eight days.  


Chelsea Opera has since produced Cavalleria Rusticana, Amahl and the Night Visitors (three times), Pagliacci, Don Giovanni, Gianni Schicchi, The Ballad of Baby Doe, The Scarf, The Bear, a 5th Anniversary production of Suor Angelica, Le Nozze di Figaro, This is the rill speaking/Bermudas, and The Medium.  In June 2012, Madama Butterfly saw the return of “America’s Tenor”, Daniel Rodriguez.  The company’s first world premiere, The Mark of Cain by Matthew Harris and Terry Quinn, opened on schedule in November, just a week after the city was devastated by Hurricane Sandy!


Early on, Chelsea Opera was cited by Opera News as "a company whose polished performances deserve greater attention" and a New York Times review by Anthony Tommasini ('07) described Chelsea Opera as "an enterprising company with committed singers and a proper orchestra".  The company continues to win industry and critical acclaim nationwide.  It's 2010 review of Glory Denied won an unqualified rave from Alan Kozinn at The New York  Times and Opera News, firmly establishing Chelsea Opera nationally as a leader among small opera companies.


Chelsea Opera presented The Mark of Cain by composer Matthew Harris and librettist Terry Quinn, its first world premiere in 2012.   Another Quinn piece, A Distant Love:  Songs of John and Abigail Adams composed by Gary Fagin received its Manhattan premiere in June 2013.  Now in its 10th season, the company gave the NY Premiere for Richard Wargo's Ballymore - Part One:  Winners and also presented Seymour Barab's parody, La Pizza con Funghi.  The season will conclude with Copland's The Tender Land in June 2014.



    Canticle II, Opus 51 –              The Mark of Cain (Harris)

    Abraham and Isaac (Britten)   (world premiere)


    Madama Butterfly (Puccini)    The Medium (Menotti)


    Bermudas (Hoiby)                   This is the rill speaking (Hoiby)


    Glory Denied (Cipullo)

   photos © Robert J. Saferstein and Chelsea Opera

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