ROCopera is a new opera collective in the city of Rochester, New York, co-run by three professional opera singers.
We want to create opera that is with, by, and for the people of Rochester by re-imagining and reinterpreting existing classical vocal music through a contemporary lens; by promoting new works for the classical voice; and by bringing opera out of the concert hall and into community spaces.
Our mission is two-fold:
First, to bring more opera to Rochester! Rochester has historically had an opera company, but each has not lasted long - we believe an opera collective is a more sustainable option. Rochester has shown a long-standing interest in the genre, but past financial models have proven unsuccessful.
Second, to present opera as we know it can be: feminist, anti-racist, anti-colonialist, inclusive, and socially relevant. Using two different approaches, we will present opera that both honors the genre and also doesn't hide from its past - and current - sociopolitical problems. The first approach is to reinterpret existing works using a feminist and anti-racist lens, specifically through more contemporary direction. The second approach is to highlight new operas written by living composers, operas which tend to be more relevant in terms of subject matter, and which are written by "non-traditional" composers - that is, not just cis white men.
ROCopera will perform in unconventional spaces (including online, where we are all currently bound), will seek to engage new audiences, and will build on an existing appreciation of opera in Rochester to create a more diverse, more accessible, and more sustainable opera presence is this arts-oriented city.