About WGO


Enriching Lives Through Inspirational Productions

At its founding, Wichita Grand Opera became the first professional opera company in the state of Kansas. From our home at the Century II Performing Arts Center in downtown Wichita, we create inspirational productions of great works of art to enrich our community. We strive to develop artists, programming, and activities to carry the artistic vitality of opera forward into the 21st century.

Mission Statement

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

Objectives

 

  • Engaging superb artists to create and perform in fully-staged operas and gala concerts
  • Continuing to enhance our talented, professional orchestra and chorus of locally-based musicians and singers to be the backbone of Wichita Grand Opera productions
  • Providing performance and professional development opportunities for Kansas and regionally-based opera singers
  • Offering educational and outreach experiences 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, with Luciano Pavarotti. 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. 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 WGO’s Founder’s Circle and 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 with the WGO.

  • 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 with the WGO.

  • 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 William Tell in 85 years, starring Grammy-winner Lucas Meachem and Michael Spyres.

  • July 2015

    WGO expands and re-names its Young Artists Program 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 & CEO.