Our mission and our history

Our mission and our history

The mission of Piedmont Opera is to create operatic productions of the highest artistic quality to enrich our community and to advance the art form.

Our Vision is to be the finest opera company of our size in the nation and acknowledged as the best at what we do.

The History of Piedmont Opera

After three years of planning, Piedmont Opera (previously known as Piedmont Opera Theatre) raised the curtain on its first production, Verdi’s Rigoletto, in September 1978. With support from the National Endowment for the Arts, this production and the four subsequent years were produced in conjunction with other regional opera companies. In 1983, Piedmont Opera Theatre was able to produce Puccini’s La Boheme on its own.

Founded by the late Norman Johnson (1928-1996), Piedmont Opera is now in its 37th year of continuous operation. The company strives to remain a nationally recognized and acclaimed regional opera company and a leader in the classical arts community.

Piedmont Opera produces the highest quality opera productions possible by using international, national, regional and local professional singers and technicians. Piedmont Opera currently attracts patrons from 16 states and communities throughout the Piedmont, Upstate, and Virginia. Since 1978, Piedmont Opera has performed over 48 different productions to an audience of over 150,000 people. In addition to two regularly scheduled productions each year, Piedmont Opera also conducts a wide variety of educational and outreach programs. As the second largest opera company in the state of North Carolina, Piedmont Opera has a current operation budget of $936,000 and operates with an administrative staff of four full-time people.