About | History | Leadership
Florida Grand Opera (FGO), the oldest performing arts organizations in Florida, celebrates its 74nd year of continuously producing grand opera during the 2014-2015 season, which features: Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, Nov. 15 through Dec. 6; Mozart’s Così fan tutte, Jan. 24 through Feb. 14; Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers, Feb. 28 through Mar. 14; and Menotti’s The Consul, May. 9 through May 16. Subscriptions for all four operas of the season start at $40 and single tickets start as low as $12. Tickets may be purchased by phone at (800) 741-1010 or online at www.FGO.org.
FGO presents a mixture of standard repertoire and contemporary works as well as commissioned new productions – all featuring projected translations in English and Spanish. FGO is recognized for funding by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Council on Arts and Culture, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Florida Grand Opera is made possible with the support of the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, Cultural Affairs Council, the Mayor and the Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners and the Miami-Dade County Tourist Development Council. Funding is also provided by the Broward County Board of County Commissioners as recommended by the Broward Cultural Council and the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau. Florida Grand Opera is a Resident Company of the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County and a member company of OPERA America. American Airlines is the Official Airline, Intercontinental Miami is the Official Hotel and Steinway & Sons is the Official Piano of Florida Grand Opera.
Florida Grand Opera was formed in June 1994 by the merger of Greater Miami Opera Association, founded in 1941, and The Opera Guild Inc. of Fort Lauderdale, founded in 1945. Florida Grand Opera is one of the resident companies of The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County where it presents its Miami performances in the Ziff Ballet Opera House. Fort Lauderdale performances are given at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts’ Au-Rene Theater.
The company’s first production, held at Miami Senior High School in 1942, was a single performance of Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci, performed in English, with Dr. di Filippi, the founder, singing the role of Canio. In 1945, Dr. di Filippi appeared in a production of Il trovatore at Ft. Lauderdale Central High School, representing the first production of the The Opera Guild, Inc.
Florida Grand Opera has a rich history of presenting internationally acclaimed artists such as Robert Merrill, Dorothy Kirsten, Richard Tucker, Renata Tebaldi, Roberta Peters, Franco Corelli, Renata Scotto, Montserrat Caballe, Jon Vickers, Sherrill Milnes, Nicolai Gedda, Birgit Nilsson, Anna Moffo, Plácido Domingo, Beverly Sills, Joan Sutherland, Evelyn Lear, James Morris, Thomas Stewart, Diana Soviero, Justino Diaz, Simon Estes, Elizabeth Futral, Helen Donath, Deborah Voigt, and Fernando de la Mora. Luciano Pavarotti made his American debut in 1965 with the company’s production of Lucia di Lammermoor, which also featured soprano Joan Sutherland.
At the core of Florida Grand Opera’s mission is a commitment to training emerging opera professionals and educating young people about opera while embracing the diverse cultural heritage of the South Florida community. Each year, established education programs, including the School Dress Rehearsal Program and the company’s education festivals expose thousands of children and students to opera’s many facets. Florida Grand Opera’s renowned artist training program, the Young Artist Studio, nurtures gifted young singers and provides them with the skills and experience necessary to move beyond their training at universities and music conservatories into successful careers in the professional opera world.
Susan T. Danis, General Director and CEO
Susan T. Danis is the General Director and CEO for the Florida Grand Opera. Danis comes to FGO with more than 25 years of arts administration, having most recently served as Executive Director of Sarasota Opera for the past 12 years. During her tenure in Sarasota, the company’s operating budget more than doubled, growing from $3.2 million to over $8 million. Beating fundraising goals at every turn, Danis increased individual giving by more than 200% in a seven-year period and raised more than $47 million for a capital campaign, part of which funded the $20 million renovation of the company’s historic theater.
A proven leader in the opera community, Danis completed a six year term as a member of the Board of Trustees of OPERA America, three of which she served as treasurer. Danis holds a Master of Business Administration, with a concentration in International Marketing, from the University of Hartford’s Paris Program, and a Bachelor of Science from Indiana University.
Danis will be embarking on her third season with Florida Grand Opera with a continued focus on bringing a new artistic vision with provocative repertoire that resonates with the diverse communities in South Florida. This vision has helped to bring a new level of national and international recognition to Florida Grand Opera starting with the critically acclaimed production of Marvin David Levy’s Mourning Becomes Electra and Giuseppe Verdi’s Nabucco along with more intimate productions such as Andy Vores’s No Exit during the 2013-2014 Season.
Ramón Tebar, Principal Conductor
Maestro Ramón Tebar has successfully served as Music Director of Florida Grand Opera (FGO) since 2011, following his acclaimed debut in 2010. A dynamic young conductor whose articulate command of the opera and orchestral stages has resulted in increased commitments both nationally and abroad, Tebar has renewed his contract for an additional two seasons, and will continue to lead FGO productions through the 2015-16 season as Principal Conductor.
Born in Valencia, Spain, Maestro Tebar has the distinction of being the first Spanish conductor to be appointed Music Director of an American opera company, the FGO. Artistic Director of the Palm Beach Symphony since 2010, this past January 2014 Tebar was appointed Music Director of the Dominican Republic’s biannual Festival Musical de Santo Domingo, and in May 2014 was appointed Artistic Director of Florida’s Opera Naples.
Tebar's guesting credits include distinguished organizations worldwide, among them Italy's Teatro Regio di Torino, Germany's Kolner Philharmonie, Netherlands's Het Concertgebouw, Spain’s Orquesta Sinfonica Ciudad de Oviedo, France’s Orchestra de Rouen Haute-Normandie, and Russia’s St. Petersburg Symphony. Amongst the acclaimed artists with whom he has worked are Roberto Alagna, Joshua Bell, Joseph Calleja, Gautier Capucon, Placido Domingo, Angela Gheorghiu, Maria Guleghina, Ben Heppner and Renata Scotto.
Since 2005, Ramón Tebar has been part of the musical staff of Palm Beach Opera and Cincinnati Opera, working in around 40 opera productions, while maintaining a full schedule in Europe. Maestro Tebar has been honored twice with FGO’s Henry C. Clark Conductor of the Year Award (2010, 2013).