Welcome to Florida Grand Opera

Maria Todaro

Maria Todaro
Interim General Director

Florida Grand Opera is an historically significant producer of opera. The oldest performing arts organization in Florida and the seventh oldest opera company in the United States, it was founded in 1941 by Arturo Di Filippi as Greater Miami Opera, which merged with The Opera Guild Inc. of Fort Lauderdale in 1994 to become Florida Grand Opera.

The Artists

It was nicknamed “The Met South” by the many distinguished artists who graced its stage. One of those distinguished artists was Luciano Pavarotti, who made his U.S. debut here in 1965. It continues to present internationally-acclaimed stars and fast-rising artists.

The Work

We relish producing masterpieces of grand opera, and we delight in discovering innovative contemporary works, and even commissioning world premiere operatic projects.

The Studio

The Florida Grand Opera Studio program offers emerging artists the opportunity to perform principal and comprimario roles alongside FGO’s roster of acclaimed directors, conductors, and musicians. They also give concerts and a touring children’s opera throughout Miami-Dade and Broward counties. The Studio also offers a wide variety of educational and outreach programs, including dress rehearsal visits for schoolchildren.

The Venues

Florida Grand Opera is a resident company of the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County in the Sanford and Dolores Ziff Ballet Opera House. Fort Lauderdale performances are held at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts in the Au Rene Theater. Concerts are performed in various locations in Broward County and Miami-Dade County. FGO’s ZIP CODE Tour brings the best of opera and other great music to non-traditional venues throughout South Florida.

HISTORY

  • The great tenor, Luciano Pavarotti famously made his American debut here in 1965 in Lucia di Lammermoor, opposite his future frequent stage partner, soprano Joan Sutherland.
  • FGO’s world premieres include David Carlson’s Anna Karenina with libretto by Colin Graham in 2007; 1997’s Balseros by Robert Ashley with libretto by world-renowned Cuban writer María Irene Fornés, and Robert Ward’s Minutes Till Midnight in 1982.
  • US premieres include Gioacchino Rossini’s Bianca e Falliero and the final revised version of Alberto Franchetti’s Cristoforo Colombo.
  • Under the leadership of former General Director and CEO Susan T. Danis, FGO’s “Made for Miami” series presents works designed to connect with South Florida’s rich and diverse communities. Company premieres in this series have included Mieczyslaw Weinberg’s The Passenger, Jorge Martín’s Before Night Falls, Daniel Catán’s Florencia en el Amazonas, and Robert Xavier Rodriguez’s Frida. In the 2022–23 season, FGO presented a specially commissioned Spanish translation of Dominco Cimarosa’s El matrimonio secreto, set in 1980s Miami Beach.
  • The many internationally acclaimed artists who have appeared at FGO include Robert Merrill, Dorothy Kirsten, Richard Tucker, Renata Tebaldi, Roberta Peters, Franco Corelli, Renata Scotto, Montserrat Caballé, Jon Vickers, Sherrill Milnes, Nicolai Gedda, Birgit Nilsson, Anna Moffo, Plácido Domingo, Beverly Sills, Joan Sutherland, Evelyn Lear, James Morris, Thomas Stewart, Diana Soviero, Justino Diaz, Simon Estes, Elizabeth Futral, Helen Donath, Deborah Voigt, Lauren Flanigan, and Fernando de la Mora.