July 26, 2019
Chicago Opera Theater brings a demonstrated commitment to equity, a multi-pronged approach to nurturing new works and creators, and a boldly millennial voice to the industry. Verismo Communications is proud to be representing COT for a full season of Chicago premieres, including a double bill of Everest / Aleko, the world premiere of Dan Shore’s Freedom Ride, and Nathan Gunn’s role debut in David T. Little’s Soldier Songs.
Led by millennial women, Chicago Opera Theater is emerging from the recent leadership transition as a company laser-focused on living its values:
• expanding the tradition of opera as a living art form
• producing high-quality works that are new to Chicago audiences
• identifying top-tier casts and creative talent at the beginning of grand operatic careers
• leading the industry in Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility initiatives
Since its founding in 1973, COT has staged over 125 operas, including 66 Chicago premieres and 36 operas by American composers. COT is led by Stefan Edlis and Gael Neeson General Director Ashley Magnus and Orli and Bill Staley Music Director Lidiya Yankovskaya, who is the only woman to hold the title of music director at a multimillion-dollar opera company in the United States.
In addition to its mainstage season, COT is devoted to the development and production of new opera in the United States through its three-pronged Vanguard Initiative, launched in 2018. The Vanguard Initiative mentors emerging opera composers, invests time and talent in new opera at various stages of the creative process, and presents the Living Opera Series to showcase new and developing work.
Committed to leading the charge to increase representation onstage and behind the scenes. In the coming season, 47% of artists (singers/conductors/directors) are ALAANA; 20% of staff are people of color; 27% of staff identify as LGBTQIA; 37% of board members are female-identified.