About the company
Scott Brumit, the co-founder and current general director
of Longwood Opera, compares the training of an opera singer to that
of an athlete:
Both must learn by doing.
The Boston area has plenty of conservatories and universities with
excellent music programs - but provides few opportunities for young
singers to practice and gain experience in their art.
Why? Producing opera is a costly undertaking. Most major companies are reluctant to risk using "unseasoned"
singers in leading roles.
Scott Brumit and John Balme were willing to take that risk. They founded Longwood Opera in 1986 to give locally-based performers a chance to establish themselves as professional artists.
To continue the sports metaphor: Longwood works as baseball farm team - the Pawtucket Red Sox of opera.
Longwood achieves its commitment to local artists by using
a cooperative system.
Many of the roles in each production
are double- or even triple-cast, allowing several singers
to perform the same role
As a result, over the past few decades hundreds of singers
have had an opportunity to practice their craft as members
of the company.
As more people seek performing arts careers in a climate of dwindling opportunity, Longwood Opera has matured into a valuable forum for the young, talented artist.
While part of the company's mission is to
prepare singers for the next stage in their operatic careers,
success in achieving this goal can bring joy mixed with a
little sadness, as favorite artists move on.
Happily, many singers keep their local ties and may express
interest in learning a new role in one of our productions.
As a result, audiences can enjoy a performance
cast with singers drawn from several generations of the Longwood