This opera company was founded in 2001, as a production company to mount Madana, the first full-length grand opera by Thai composer S. P. Somtow. This production featured in the title role the American soprano Stacey Tappan.
In 2002, with Somtow as artistic director, the Bangkok Opera began a series of productions, the first being Purcell's Dido and Aeneas. The series then moved onto larger-scale works such as Mae Naak, The Magic Flute, and Turandot.
At the end of 2005 the Bangkok Opera declared its first "complete" season and also started a five-year project to perform the complete Wagner's Ring Cycle. Its resident orchestra is the Siam Philharmonic Orchestra and its resident chorus is the Orpheus Choir of Bangkok. The opera company performs regularly at the Thailand Cultural Centre, and also at other venues in Bangkok.
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Somtow says the Bangkok Opera was set up based on the idea that, "nothing important has ever happened in art when an audience has been ready for it." He says the opera caters to three groups: expatriates, high society, and other Thais who love opera. He seeks to bring all three groups under one roof.
- Fodor's Bangkok 25 Best, p. 90 (2015).
- Turnbull, Robert. "Thai Impresario Prepares A 'Ring' With a Difference", New York Times (April 18, 2006).