Florida Grand Opera
Florida Grand Opera (FGO) is an American opera company based in Miami, Florida. It is the oldest performing arts organization in Florida and the seventh oldest opera company in the United States. FGO is the resident company at the Ziff Ballet Opera House, located in the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami, and also at the Au-Rene Theater at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts in Fort Lauderdale. FGO also stages productions at the Miami-Dade County Auditorium in Miami, Miramar Cultural Center in West Broward county, and the Parker Playhouse in Fort Lauderdale.
In 1941, the company was founded as the Opera Guild of Greater Miami by Arturo di Filippi, a tenor and voice teacher at the University of Miami. It later became known as the Greater Miami Opera Association. FGO was created in 1994 from the consolidation of two opera companies in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale region: Opera Guild of Greater Miami, founded in 1941 by Arturo di Filippi; and the Opera Guild, Inc. of Fort Lauderdale, formed in 1945.
Under the name the "Greater Miami Opera", Emerson Buckley was the company's music director from 1950 to 1973 and then served as artistic director and principal conductor through 1986. Willie Anthony Waters, who had become Chorus Master of the company in 1982, then served as artistic director from 1986 through 1992 and principal guest conductor from 1992 to 1995.
Stewart Robertson was FGO music director from 1997 to 2010. On June 1, 2011, Ramón Tebar became FGO's music director. He also became the first Spanish conductor to lead both an American opera company and an American symphony. In 2014, Tebar took the title of principal conductor with the company.
In 2006, FGO moved its principal performing venue from the Dade County Auditorium to the new Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts. The company has since faced regular financial problems because of increased expenditure at the new venue, without a parallel increase in audience revenue. FGO has sold off its assets in recent years to meet these expenses. In October 2014, the general director of FGO, Susan Danis, announced a new fund-raising campaign with the goal of $17.5 million, and also discussed in a series of town-hall meetings the exacerbated difficulties of the company's finances.
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