Baltimore Is a (Surprising) Opera Town
Baltimore’s opera buffs were crushed in 2009 when the city’s preeminent opera offerers (the Baltimore Opera Company) announced plans to cancel the rest of its season, file for bankruptcy, and shutter its doors. Who could’ve guessed back then that by 2013, the city would be the home to a handful of small opera outfits — including the Baltimore Concert Opera, which is in the middle of a major fundraising campaign.
Whereas the Baltimore Rock Opera Society (BROS) provides Teutonic bombast and, well, rock, the Baltimore Concert Opera (BCO) is a low- to no-frills operation. And hile other small outfits, including Opera Vivente and American Opera Theater, have closed in recent years, BCO and BROS are still going strong. BCO stages intimate performances of classic operas that eschew elaborate props and sets so as to keep the focus on the voices. “The concert opera form allows the rich facets of the human voice to take center stage while the artistry of our performers ensures that the dramatic element remains vibrant without sets or costumes,” BCO notes. They offer listeners “a chance connect with this music when you hear it in its truest form, in an up-close and personal setting.” Oh, and that whole lack-of-sets thing means that BCO performances are way cheaper than your standard opera, with individual tickets starting at $25.
The BCO’s current fundraising campaign has a goal of $25,000 to help the company launch its 5th season of performances, and they’re already nearly halfway there. (Donate here!) Meanwhile, in other opera news, BROS is rehearsing its original rock opera MURDERCASTLE, which is based on serial killer H.H. Holmes (familiar to anyone who’s read Devil in the White City), scheduled to premiere at the Autograph Playhouse on May 10.