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Longwood's Mission

In 1986 Longwood Opera was created by Needham resident J. Scott Brumit and conductor John Balme to fill a void in New England's performing arts network. After students graduate from the universities and conservatories in the Boston area, they have the skills necessary to make a career as opera singers, but they lack the opportunity to utilize their talents.

Producing opera is a costly undertaking. Most major companies are reluctant to risk using "unseasoned" singers in leading roles. Longwood Opera gives these talented singers a chance to practice their art and to polish their performing skills, so that they may become successful artists. So far, over 350 singers have performed as members of the company over the past fourteen years, including three National Metropolitan Opera winners. After a few seasons the majority of these singers have continued onwards towards their goal of becoming professional opera singers. It has been rewarding to see the large number of now famous opera singers who began their careers with Longwood Opera.

Supporting local contemporary composers and librettists is an additional goal. For our 1989/90 season we commissioned Charles Shadle to compose an opera for "children of all ages." His delightful opera Friends and Dinosaurs has been successful throughout the United States since its premiere with Longwood Opera 10 years ago. For our 15th season we have commissioned Jeffrey Brody to compose a partner opera to perform with Mozart's The Impresario. Richard Sizensky has been commissioned as the librettist for this exciting undertaking.

Since 1990, Christ Episcopal Church in Needham has been our base of operations for auditions and rehearsals, as well as a venue for many performances and the summer concert series. The popular Summer concert series in the sanctuary of the church has drawn an average of 2000 people per summer and continues to grow. Every Tuesday evening at 7:30 pm, during the months of July and August, a different concert is performed utilizing different singers and different repertoire. The concerts feature evenings of Opera arias, Broadway melodies, Gilbert & Sullivan, as well as opera scenes. This summer more then 90 singers will have the opportunity to perform before the filled sanctuary.

In addition, Longwood Opera is committed to bringing opera to communities throughout the greater Boston area. We have performed regularly in Arlington, Beverly, Brookline, Medford, Providence, and Weston. Our venues have drawn people from over 27 communities in CT, MA, ME, NH, and RI.

As more people want to pursue performing arts careers in a climate where opportunities are dwindling, Longwood Opera has matured into a valuable forum for the young, talented artist. More importantly, the company is reaching people who can attend professional performances without the inconveniences of expense or travel.

J. Scott Brumit, General Director

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Longwood Opera
42 Hawthorn Avenue
Needham, Massachusetts 02492-3806

For more information call (781) 455-0960 or send e-mail to

Last updated on June 17, 2017 --> by Marion Leeds Carroll
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