Opera Frontier delights opera fans and opera-phobes alike. We revere opera. We faithfully excerpt from traditional scores and strive for technically excellent singing.
But beyond that, we take outrageous liberties in the service of engaging our audience in unexpected ways—through radical changes of context and casting, and through the introduction of elements from dance, popular culture and contemporary beat. In this way, Opera Frontier redefines the way audiences experience this glorious music.
Founded in 2007 by Artistic Director Gail Simpson, Opera Frontier is a virtual opera company that produces full-length shows, as well as stand-alone performance pieces and pop-up opera events.
This isn’t your grandma’s opera
The idea for Opera Frontier came to me while daydreaming in Roger Dillahunty’s jazz-blues dance class. Instead of concentrating on his routines, I started wondering how I could combine my affection for musical theater with my passion for opera.
I decided to explore the idea of an opera company that created new works from the familiar repertoire by re-imagining the context for contemporary audiences. I definitely wanted to sing Lucia, only not as a 16-year-old pawn in a 17th century power struggle! So I decided to recast Lucia di Lammermoor and other powerful music in situations that relate to our everyday lives—from office politics and gym workouts, to power shopping and even navigating the global economic meltdown.
Introducing theatrical choreography meant recruiting singers with impeccable vocal technique who were also willing to dance to the edge—or frontier—of their comfort zones. Luckily, such singers have enthusiastically come forward to relish the challenge.
Together, we share a passion for creating new works that challenge stereotypes about opera, and that showcase the full richness of the human voice.
Within our body of work are pieces that combine opera with ballet, hip-hop and tango, along with classical Indian, Middle Eastern and even Bollywood choreography. We believe that under the right circumstances, classical repertoire has the power to stir emotions and transform lives just as deeply as any other theatrical experience.
This isn’t your grandma’s opera. Let us win you over!