About WGO


Enriching Lives Through Inspirational Productions

At its founding, Wichita Grand Opera became the largest professional opera company in the state of Kansas. From our home at the Wichita Center for Performing Arts Theater (WCPA), we create inspirational productions of great works of art to enrich our community. We strive to develop artists, programming, and activities to reinvigorate opera in the 21st century.

Mission Statement

To produce opera and opera education programs at the highest of artistic level in order to enrich the cultural lives of Kansans

Objectives

 

  • Engaging superb artists to create and perform in fully-staged operas and gala concerts
  • Enhance our professional orchestra and chorus of locally-based musicians and to be the foundation of Wichita Grand Opera productions
  • Providing performance and professional development opportunities for Kansans and other regionally-based opera singers
  • Offering educational and outreach experience to students and communities throughout the region

Our History

  • November 15, 2000

    Founding and incorporation of Wichita Grand Opera. Margaret Ann Pent becomes the company’s Founding Artistic Director.

  • April 6, 2002

    WGO’s Inaugural performance… “Luciano Pavarotti in concert”. Debut of the WGO Orchestra.

  • December 7, 2002

    WGO gala concert with Plácido Domingo. Debut of the WGO Chorus

  • September, 2003

    Landmark performance of “Carmen” on the Lake at Bradley Fair. The founding of WGO’s Young Artists Program and Resident Artists Program.

  • October 23, 2004

    Renowned American baritone, Sherrill Milnes, unveils WGO’s Founder’s Wall commemorating the 78 members of our Founder’s Circle in honoring Luciano Pavarotti as WGO’s Founding Artist.

  • March, 2007

    Kansas native, Samuel Ramey, makes his home-state professional operatic debut as Scarpia in “Tosca”.

  • April, 2007

    WGO presents its first ballet, “Swan Lake”, starring the Russian National Ballet Theatre.

  • April, 2009

    Kansas native, Joyce DiDonato, makes her home-state professional operatic debut as Rosina in “The Barber of Seville”.

  • March, 2011

    WGO celebrates the 10th anniversary of its founding by reuniting three world-renowned graduates of Wichita State University in concert: Samuel Ramey, Joyce DiDonato, and Alan Held.

  • February, 2014

    WGO creates just the third new American production of Rossini’s “Guillaume Tell” in 85 years, starring Grammy-winning Baritone, Lucas Meachem, and Tenor Michael Spyres.

  • July, 2015

    WGO’s Young Artists Program is renamed as The Opera Academy of the Midwest.

  • July, 2017

    Margaret Ann Pent becomes WGO’s Founding Advisor. Edward J. Lada is named the company’s second President and CEO.

  • July, 2018

    Dennis Arnold is named WGO’s President and CEO.

  • January, 2019

    Internationally acclaimed baritone, Alan Held,  begins his duties as WGO’s New Artistic Director.

  • May, 2020

    Alan Held becomes the WGO’s General and Artistic Director.