Recent News & Press

NOV 14 2018

Email REPEATS 11/15 & 11/18: Opera Carolina Takes Aim at the Funny Bone with Donizetti’s Daughter of the Regiment

Late in his prolific career, including nearly 30 operas composed between 1822 and 1830, Gaetano Donizetti did something he had never attempted before. After briefly becoming the pride of Naples – until the King censored his Poliuto in 1838 – Do...

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NOV 14 2018

Q & A: Mezzo-soprano Maariana Vikse Describes How Opera Singing Helped In Her Fight Against Breast Cancer

Performing opera professionally is always challenging, but especially so when you have been diagnosed with breast cancer. Mezzo-soprano Maariana Vikse, who sings the role of the Marquise of Berkenfeld in Donizetti’s The Daughter of the Regiment t...

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NOV 14 2018

Open this video and take your place on the Opera Carolina stage

Step onto the stage, into an opera. (It’s OK if you don’t know your lines; just hum a little and you’ll be fine.) White-gloved soldiers sprint in your direction. Turn, and the conductor’s keeping you in line. Turn back, and jump out of the wa...

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OCT 12 2018

Opera Carolina welcomes new executive director

A lifelong fan of opera and a long-serving Opera Carolina board member has taken on the role of executive director. Beth Hansen, a former corporate attorney, assumed the role in July. James Meena will remain with the company as artistic director. Mee...

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OCT 8 2018

“Lucille Ball with High Notes” – Q&A with Sarah Coburn

Following her star turn as Lucia di Lammermoor at Glimmerglass Opera, the New York Observer wrote that Sarah Coburn has “qualities that have made legends out of so many of her predecessors, from Adelina Patti to Maria Callas: stage charisma, a thri...

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OCT 8 2018

Mulan and Marie: Two Tough Heroine

In Disney’s Mulan, the 1998 animated film musical, the titular heroine disguises herself as a man just as an army of Huns approaches China and prepares to breach the Great Wall. Mulan is willing to risk her life to enlist in the Chinese army in pla...

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OCT 8 2018

Hitting the High C’s – Q&A with David Walton

When David Walton makes his Opera Carolina debut as Tonio in The Daughter of the Regiment, he’ll be taking on a lighthearted, comedic role. But it’s also famously challenging. Luciano Pavarotti rose to prominence singing the role of Marie’s lov...

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OCT 8 2018

Local Brewery Teams Up With Opera Carolina to Brew Bold Beer

On the heels of ushering in new executive director Beth Hansen, Opera Carolina has decided to celebrate its “She Season” of female-character-driven operas with a partnership with Bold Missy Brewery, a female-owned brewery in NoDa. Opera Caroli...

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OCT 8 2018

New “Carmen Get It!” Brew Celebrates Upcoming Opera Carolina “She Season”

Opera Carolina is marking its 70th season in a number of ways – honoring strong female characters, welcoming a new executive director (Beth Hansen) and commissioning a brew specifically for “The She Season.” Opera Carolina staffers, together wi...

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The images on this page are to be used for publicity/press purposes for Opera Carolina’s productions only. Publication must include the photographer and Opera company credit as listed below. These images are not to be used for advertising purposes. Any other use must be granted by the photographer. If you wish to contact the photographer(s), please contact Megan Miller at 704.332.7177 x102 or click here to email.

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CURRENT SEASON images coming soon

  • Cryano de Bergerac
  • Rigoletto
  • The Marriage of Figaro
  • I Dream

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Fast Facts About Opera Carolina


Founded in 1948 by the Charlotte Music Club as a small group of dedicated volunteers, who believed opera performances would enrich the community, and with a budget of $125, Opera Carolina has grown from these humble beginnings into the largest professional opera company in the Carolinas with an operating budget of $2.8 million.

Opera Carolina is a member of OPERA America, Inc., and receives funds from the Arts & Science Council/Charlotte-Mecklenburg, National Endowment for the Arts, and the North Carolina Arts Council.

Opera Carolina — a community resource with a commitment to artistic excellence and community service.

James Meena — General Director & Principal Conductor

Board of Directors

  • Co-Chair: Stephen Philipson, U.S. Bancorp Investments, Inc.
  • Co-Chair: Laura Philipson, Arts Advocate
  • Vice Chair: Afredo Gatto, The Hearst Corporation
  • Vice Chair: Beth E. Hansen, UTC Aerospace Systems
  • Vice Chair: Laura Meyer Wellman, Honorary Consul of France
  • Secretary: Daryl Hollnagel, Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick
  • Treasurer: Mary Shelton Rose, PricewaterhouseCoopers
  • Assistant Treasurer: Charles T. Greer, GreerWalker, LLP
  • Immediate Past Co-Chair: Rob Engel, Wells Fargo Securities
  • Immediate Past Co-Chair: Mary Engel, Queens University of Charlotte


Bravo! Young Professionals
  • BRAVO! is Opera Carolina’s premier group for young professionals interested in exploring and enhancing their enjoyment of Charlotte’s vibrant performing arts scene.
  • Members enjoy an After-Party at Blue Restaurant & Bar (Saturday night performances), BRAVO! Members-Only events, and E-newsletters.
The Opera Guild of Charlotte
  • The Opera Guild has awarded over 149 Scholarships since it began its Scholarship Program in 1969.
  • The Opera Guild has donated more than $1 million dollars to Opera Carolina.
  • The Opera Guild supports the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions for North Carolina and sponsors a Vocal Competition Scholarship Program at UNC Charlotte.


The mission of Opera Carolina is to elevate the quality of life throughout the region’s diverse communities through the presentation of excellent Opera and Education programs.


Opera Carolina is the largest and oldest opera company in the Carolinas, headquartered in Charlotte.

Annual audience (excluding broadcasts):
  • Grand Opera: 15,000+
  • Education programs: 40,000+ (NC, SC & GA counties)
  • 90% of the artists, technicians and administrators of Opera Carolina live in greater Charlotte.
  • Since 1971, Opera Carolina has been nationally recognized for its commitment to arts education.
  • 40% of the Opera audience travels from the outside of Mecklenburg County to attend performances.

Education & Outreach Programs

Opera Xpress
  • The 2017/18 touring production is The Billy Goats Gruff.
  • Learning Guides meet the National Common Core standards in Language Arts and Math, and NC Essential curriculum standards for History, Music, Theater, and more to help teachers and students prepare for Opera Xpress.
first Night at the Opera
  • Public, private, and home school students attend the final dress rehearsal for Opera Carolina main stage productions.
  • 1,500+ students attended in FY2016.
The Opera Carolina Academy
  • The Opera Carolina Academy provides professional instruction and training in classical singing, music drama, acting and movement with the region’s leading artists and teachers.
Master Classes
  • Master Classes and clinics with Opera Carolina principal artists and resident company members are available to regional high schools and universities throughout the Opera season. Check the ‘events’ tab for upcoming dates or send us a message to schedule one.

Media & Press Contact

Megan Miller
Director of Marketing