“Celebrating Life’s Grandest Stories
on and Off Stage!”

The Company

Opera Las Vegas is a nonprofit professional opera company serving Nevada through full-scale productions and a variety of innovative outreach programs in local schools and community venues.

Mission

Opera Las Vegas enriches the culture of Nevada by producing high caliber opera theatre both on and off stage, through a mix of innovative educational experiences and performance events for audiences of all ages and backgounds.

Vision

To be the premier company in Nevada that attracts both new and devoted audiences to the exhilarating world of opera theatre.

Company Goals

  • Set standards for artistic excellence, innovation and creativity in all we do
  • Attract talented singers, musicians, technical artists, staff, board and volunteers
  • Captivate a supportive, diverse audience that is continually growing
  • Strengthen our financial and organizational foundation

History

Opera Las Vegas was established in 1999 by tenor Mark Thomsen, Dr. Paul Kreider of the UNLV music faculty, and Gloria Marinacci Allen, a world renowned opera singer. They were enthusiastically joined by other like-minded individuals who wanted to bring quality opera theatre to Southern Nevada.

The company began producing major, high-quality opera performances in 2005 with a well-received Carmen. An acclaimed La Boheme followed in October 2006, then an innovative Pagliacci in September 2007. Four years later, Metropolitan Opera conductor and choirmaster Gregory Buchalter began working with Opera Las Vegas and brought MET singers as guests in the major roles of OLV productions: Tosca (2011), Don Giovanni (2012), The Barber of Seville (2014), Madama Butterfly (2015), Carmen (2016) and Rigoletto (2017).

Opera Las Vegas provides training to Las Vegas singers by giving them the opportunity to perform roles in fully produced operas. Earlier in the season, five young artists performed the annual Holiday on Broadway tour at retirement communities, and brought a delightful family production of John Davies’ operatic pastiche, Pinocchio, to Summerlin Starbright Theatre and the Windmill and West Las Vegas Libraries. The latter also featured a youth chorus from the Thurman White Academy. Rounding out OLV’s busy 2016-2017 season were: Our Three Tenors, Operatic Spooktakular, Dueling Pianos in the Liberace Mansion, and a Rigoletto Preview.

Luana DeVol, a world-renowned soprano, joined OLV from 2014 to 2017 as the company’s General Director. In 2017 she was awarded the Opera Las Vegas Award for Excellence, which will be presented annually. She is succeeded in the General Director’s role by Jim Sohre.

Opera Las Vegas sets out in the 2017-2018 Season with a fresh point of view, which includes expanded outreach with the newly-minted Opera on Wheels programming in the community, a highly anticipated return to the Jazz Cabaret in The Smith Center to celebrate the Leonard Bernstein Centennial, two new opera support clubs, Opera With Class “informances” in the schools, and a gala “Cinderella’s Ball” at the Liberace Mansion, culminating with Rossini’s Cinderella on the Mainstage. And we are just getting started! See you at the opera!

Did You Know?

  • Opera Las Vegas is a proud member of Opera America in 2017, currently the only official member in the Silver State.
  • Has increased attendance by over 40% over three seasons.
  • Creates an introductory operatic experience for over 2,700 area students at twelve Clark County Schools with “informance” shows in English of Mainstage Operas like Carmen and Cinderella.
  • Delights opera aficionados and novices alike with fundraising events like That’s Amore, Dueling Pianos, Our Three Tenors, Operatic Spook-takular, Beer and Baritones at Borsch and Arias Con Brio.
  • Offers dynamic professional performance and employment opportunities to local singers, pianists and theatre practitioners, integrating them into teams to be mentored by international opera stars and leading conductors.
  • Takes opera out of the concert hall into various retirement communities, veteran’s facilities, shopping malls, community centers, libraries, churches parks and other public venues.
  • Hosts over a hundred students at the final Mainstage Opera dress rehearsal, giving them an opportunity to experience their first live opera at a young age.
  • Has conducted thousands of hours of networking and resource-sharing opportunities with peers across the nation and received a prestigious Circuit Rider Grant from the Nevada Arts Council in 2017.
  • Presents Bravo Bernstein! at The Smith Center this spring as part of the year-long “Bernstein’s Centennial” celebration being feted around the world.
  • Has launched four great ways for people to play a starring role in the company – The Bravo Circle, The Operazzi, The Encore Club and Opera Angels.

Meet Our People

Luana DeVol, General Director 2014-17

Luana DeVol is one of the world’s most successful dramatic sopranos, having sung all of that Fach’s major roles in all of the world’s major houses, including La Scala in Milan, Teatro de Liceu in Barcelona, Wagner Festspiel in Bayreuth, Vienna’s Staatsoper, Munich’s Nationaltheater, the Metropolitan Opera in New York, and many others. She was twice named Opernwelt’s “Singer of the Year.” Ms. DeVol stepped in the General Director ‘s role from 2014 to 2017. She has a stellar reputation as an international teacher and coach. With Dolora Zajick, she is a key team member with the Institute for Young Dramatic Voices and heads the American Wagner Project competition annually in Washington, DC. In 2017, she was awarded the inaugural Opera Las Vegas Award for Excellence, which will be presented annually.

James Sohre, General Director 2017-18

Jim Sohre recently completed a 40-year Army civilian career, the last 33 years spent in Germany as the command level Entertainment Director. Mr. Sohre conducted major annual community theatre programs: One Act Play Festival and Theatre Skills Workshops, and a six-week Tournament of Plays culminating in the Topper Awards Show. For ten years, he conducted large-scale German-American friendship concerts in Frankfurt’s Alte Oper. Among the touring shows he coordinated were Toby Keith, Robin Williams, Billy Joel, BB King, and Sheryl Crow. He is International Committee Chair for the American Association of Community Theatre, and travels extensively throughout the world, attending opera and theatre. Since 2008, he has reviewed for the acclaimed on-line magazine Opera Today at www.operatoday.com.

Opera-tunity Auditions

Several times a year, OLV holds “Opera-tunity Auditions” for singers, which are open to audiences for a nominal fee of $5. Singers audition for title roles in the Mainstage and Second Stage productions, as well as for OLV’s Young Artists Ensemble, which performs all Opera On Wheels and Opera With Class productions in schools and community venues.