Lancaster Opera Company

Lancaster Opera Company

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Lancaster Opera Company

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The Lancaster Opera Company is a non-profit, all-volunteer opera in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.


In the late 1940s, Frederick and Dorothy Robinson, a husband and wife team of voice teachers moved their studios from Philadelphia to Lancaster in order to accommodate their many area students. Realizing the need for a performing outlet for these students, other than church choirs, they conceived the idea of an opera workshop. This dream was brought to fruition in 1951 when a small group of students met to create an opera workshop whose goal was to perform scenes from grand opera and one-act operas in English, rehearsing in the Robinson's basement and presenting their work in a local high school.

In May 1952 the first "informal evening of opera" was presented and well received. Accompanied only by piano, the performance of one-act operas continued until 1957, when a decision was made to try a full three-act opera, La Bohème. Around this time, a committee of representatives from local theatrical producing groups was formed to investigate the possibility of live theatre at the Fulton, then a failing movie theatre.

In 1960, with the cooperation of the Fulton Opera House owners, the Lancaster Theatre Arts Association and the Lancaster Opera Workshop collaborated on a production of Madame Butterfly for the Fulton Opera House. Accompanied for the first time by a full orchestra, this hit set the pattern for LOW's future, as well as contributing to a growing community...
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