Arbor Opera Theater (AOT) was founded as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization in 1999 by three singers: Karin White, Katherine Whittington-Perkowski, and Shawn McDonald. Upon completion of their academic music programs, they realized there was little opportunity in Southeast Michigan for singers to practice and hone their craft. Arbor Opera Theater was created to fill this void by producing full operatic productions, chamber operas, educational programs, and vocal recitals utilizing emerging professional artists. Additionally, AOT provides exciting programming that generates enthusiasm for opera in the community and encourages community members of all backgrounds to become more deeply involved in opera through participation in productions, serving on a committee or the board, and volunteering in administrative or artistic capacities.
In its seventeenth year of operation, Arbor Opera Theater has typically presented one fully-staged opera accompanied by orchestra, one or more chamber productions and numerous recitals. In 2011 we changed our format, condensing our public performances and workshops to a “festival” format during May and June. We hope this will allow us to create a strong presence not only in our community, but also help us to better serve the artists. While we are called Arbor Opera Theater, we plan for this festival to eventually encompass not only traditional opera, but other forms of vocal music and theater such as cabaret, artsong, musical theater, performance art, and operetta.
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