Palm Beach Opera
Palm Beach Opera, a professional opera company in West Palm Beach, Florida performs at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts as well as other locations throughout South Florida, was founded in 1961 as "Civic Opera of the Palm Beaches." Over its history, the company has presented a season of fully staged operas ranging from a single production in early years to four beginning in the mid-1990s; in lieu of a fourth production in the 2009-2010 season, the company scheduled a performance of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony with soloists including Ruth Ann Swenson. Works presented are primarily drawn from the Italian and, to a noticeable but lesser degree, French standard repertory; in 45 years, the company mounted La bohème eight times, La Traviata seven, Rigoletto six, and Carmen five, but among German operas only two productions of Hänsel und Gretel and a single production each of Fidelio, Der fliegende Holländer, and Tannhäuser. On occasion, however, the company has ventured somewhat farther afield with works such as Dialogues of the Carmelites and Fedora. The company also sponsors an annual competition for young singers, with the final round programmed as the season closer. In the 1980s the company was led by impresario Joseph Conlin. Anton Guadagno served as the company's director from 1984-2002. Bruno Aprea is currently the Artistic Director & Principal Conductor and Daniel Biaggi is the General Director.
The Palm Beach Opera began its vocal competition in 1969. Initial rounds winnow the competitors to a group of 14 finalists in two divisions, junior and senior. At the final concert of the season, they, accompanied by the opera company's orchestra, perform before a jury of established figures in opera to vie for prize money totaling in excess of $85,000.