Asheville Lyric Opera is a professional, 501 (c)(3) non-profit opera company located in Asheville, North Carolina. ALO provides Western North Carolina with a variety of theatrical experiences at its main performance venue, the Diana Wortham Theatre, in the heart of downtown Asheville.
Asheville Lyric Opera stages original productions of opera and lyric theatre to enrich, engage, and educate. We serve patrons and the community through collaboration with various organizations and schools in Asheville and the surrounding region.
Starkey’s Curtain Call and A New Direction
In the final months of 2016, David Craig Starkey, who had served the opera selflessly for almost eighteen years, was presented with the chance to serve as general director for the Indianapolis Opera. As Starkey moved forward to this new opportunity, he left behind an incredible legacy. Asheville Lyric Opera is currently suffering from a bit of founder’s syndrome and the need to move in some new directions. When you have someone as brilliant as Starkey for eighteen years, there comes a point where the founder must move on – for both the company and the founder’s sake. We are so excited for Starkey and his new path at Indianapolis.
Over the years, Asheville Lyric Opera realized that Asheville really desired traditional, classical opera, presented in fresh and original productions. With each season, we try to develop and reach new audience members, while at the same time stretching our performing wings by taking on diverse projects. Our future will continue with the strong backbone that Starkey established that of performing the classics. Our future will also include some more experimental performances and reach out to include more of Asheville and reflect the changes in our community. Even though Starkey has left, his fingerprint still remains; Asheville Lyric Opera will continue with the high caliber performances and the excellent and loyal artistic directors.
Asheville Lyric Opera’s goal is for the people and children of Western North Carolina to have access to the higher arts for generations to come. We look forward to building on existing collaborative relationships and forging new ones. We really need everyone in our community of Asheville to come together behind us at this time. The arts matter. Let’s protect this amazing opera.
Asheville Lyric Opera’s commitment to give back to its surrounding community through local education and community outreach proves equally as important as their opera productions. These programs are dedicated to providing performance and education within community organizations as a vital part of the company’s plan for fostering passion for the theatre arts. With a promise to generate enthusiasm and support for the presence of classical opera in the Asheville community, the Opera focuses on bringing opera to social and civic clubs, school systems, religious organizations, local businesses and corporations. The company has developed various projects within the Education and Community Outreach Program that are designed to reach students of all ages and levels in music. It offers lectures, concerts, and recitals to the public; internships and apprenticeships to undergraduate and graduate level students in arts administration, technical production, performance, and marketing; as well as the annual Education Opera that offers students of high school choral programs the opportunity to participate in a professional opera production on their own campus.
To welcome the future audience Asheville Lyric Opera encourages select members of the public–mainly children and students to bring their families to preview dress rehearsal performances of each main-stage opera production. The director and staff provide background information on the opera and interact individually with participants by providing a question and answer forum with the singer after each performance. A summer music intern program provides a high quality and intensive opportunity for rising young singers to work with professional musicians and develop their talents. Less public, but no less significant for the future of music, the Asheville Lyric Opera provides a music administration internship program to introduce musicians to the intricacies of managing a career and working with a company engaged in the musical arts. Such extraordinary outreach can only be sustained if the community of Asheville stays behind the opera.