Opera Delaware is a professional non-profit opera company with a reputation for excellence in both opera and arts education. Our mission is to enrich the cultural lives of adults, families and students within the Mid-Atlantic region through meaningful arts education and the production of grand opera and intimate opera concerts, featuring established and emerging talent.
In 1945 a group of local artisans gathered under the guidance of Chick Laird to present classic opera with the finest voices in Wilmington at affordable prices. Today, our patrons are geographically and culturally as diverse as ever, stretching across the East Coast while at the same time reaching deeply into our Wilmington roots. Located in the heart of Wilmington, we serve the entire metropolitan area.
OperaDelaware is the only professional opera company in the state and the 11th oldest in the country. It is a source of economic revitalization and a source of arts education for many schools in the area that have none. The company employs nearly 250 full-and part-time local artists and staff members throughout the season and operate on an $800K annual budget.
Artists we have nurtured have performed in major houses throughout the world. We have been the recipient of major grants from national and local organizations and have received numerous awards and recognitions including the National Endowment for the Arts, Opera America, Governor’s Award for the Arts, and National Opera Associations’ Service to Children’s Opera award. We are a company that still retains the founders’ original philosophy of “Opera for Everyone.”