Opera for the People
The Power of Many
During the summer of 2006, a small group of graduate students headed by Laura Virella and Miriam Browning-Nance, having found themselves without the economic possibilities to accept young artist engagements across the Atlantic, decided to bring the shows here rather than follow them there. The task seemed almost laughable at the time: how to go about getting an orchestra, the rest of the cast members, a space, a director, a conductor, how to let people know about the show? Yet coópera opened that season, only two months after its conception, with a concert (but fully orchestrated) run of Rossini's Il barbiere di Siviglia and a full production of Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro.
Since its beginnings, coópera has established itself as one of the best hidden jewels in the New York City operatic scene. Running on an incredibly low budget, yet packed with the desire to create and the ambition to persist, coópera finds exceptional young artists and brings them together to make up a full orchestra, full production team and full cast for every single production. Constant in its goal to bring opera to the people, coópera presented Mozart's Die Zauberflöte in the heart of El Barrio, showing traditional opera in that area for the first time in history. Having found a home at The Players, coópera has presented Britten's The Rape of Lucretia, Ravel's L'enfant et les sortilèges, Mascagni's Zanetto, and an array of recitals and cabaret performances.
coópera stands apart from all other companies of comparable size for three main reasons: it is a company run by and comprised of professional (not amateur, albeit young) performers — these people are in it to make it, and they are trained to be great; it is a company that is true to the operatic art form as a combination of theatre and orchestrated music — they tell a story, not just sing it, and the experience is always enhanced by the rich sound of an orchestra; and finally, it is a company dedicated to returning full operatic productions to the masses — making them accessible, entertaining, engaging and affordable, without losing any of opera's innate elements.
One of our biggest convictions is that quality is achieved through simplicity. So you can rest assured that every dime, every penny that you give, will go directly to support what's on the stage and nothing else. Be part of something great. Make art happen. See where your money's going.