Classic Atlanta: An Orchestra and The Opera
Atlanta’s classic arts scene shares a heritage of passion for music, and remains a vigorous part of the cultural fabric. United in a desire to expand audiences, The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and The Atlanta Opera are world-renowned powerhouses, committed to building upon their collective foundations of artistic excellence.
The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
Recognized as one of the most creative and innovative orchestras in North America, The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (ASO) has been delighting visitors since 1968 at The Atlanta Symphony Hall at the Woodruff Arts Center in Midtown Atlanta’s Art District.
The 95-member symphony presents more than 200 concerts annually, including classical, pops, and family concerts.Since its founding nearly 70 years ago, the ASO and Chorus has produced 100 recordings and garnered more than two dozen Grammy Awards. The ASO pays tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. through its yearly King Celebration, and schedules outdoor concerts at Atlanta’s Chastain Park Amphitheatre each summer.
The Atlanta orchestra also offers specially crafted family programs, which feature a stimulating and appealing mix of original and beloved children’s tales, with visual humor and award-winning dancers and actors. And, Atlanta’s most talented and dedicated students have an outlet to perform masterworks with the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra. Each year, more than 300 instrumentalists from rising eighth to rising twelfth graders audition for one of 100 seats in the orchestra. The Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra presents a three concert series each year, and members have exclusive invitations to participate in readings and master classes with the top artists in the instrumental music industry.
The ASO serves as the cornerstone for musical performance and training far beyond Atlanta’s borders, through its various concert series and its diverse initiatives in music education and outreach.
The Atlanta Opera
Atlanta’s taste for opera began in the early years of the 1900s with the Metropolitan Opera’s annual week-long tour to Atlanta. This tour was a major social event, featuring the performance of a different opera legend every night of the week. In 1979, the Atlanta Civic Opera was born and the company’s first production was The Seagull on Friday, March 14, 1980 at the Fox Theatre.
Today, The Atlanta Opera is one of the finest regional opera companies in the nation, leading efforts to reimagine opera for modern audiences. The Atlanta Opera expanded from three to four mainstage productions at Cobb Energy Centre and launched the acclaimed Discoveries series.
The Atlanta Opera is modernizing the art form through innovative experiences. Elegant pre-show dining is available prior to each Mainstage performance, served on the Mezzanine level of the Cobb Energy Centre at Mangia. One hour prior to the start of each mainstage performance, ticket holders can join a free, fun, and informative lecture about the evening’s opera to learn the story and what inspired the composer and librettist, delivering a better understanding of the opera and a boost of energy before the curtain goes up.
What’s more, The Atlanta Opera believes opera is for everyone. Each year, the opera serves approximately 25,000 students in Metro-Atlanta and throughout the state of Georgia through programs seeking to inspire creativity, stimulate critical conversations, promote an enduring appreciation of the arts, and create audiences for the future. These include in-school and virtual offerings of custom workshops and masterclasses.
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