A Conversation with Eve Summer

Opera Grand Rapids welcomes Eve Summer back as the stage director for Don Giovanni. We asked her a few questions about contemporary stagings of classic operas, how Don Giovanni relates to current audiences, and her advice for first-time opera goers. Read on for her thoughts.

Don Giovanni
October 22 & 24, 2021
DeVos Performance Hall

What inspires you to create contemporary settings of standard operas?

Eve Summer Connection. When we release ourselves from the responsibility of recreating period appropriate movement we can focus on the essence of the story, and tap into the most direct way to communicate with our scene partners. For me, contemporary settings are primarily about removing barriers between the artist and the character – fully inhabiting them without a layer of period gesture, mannerism, carriage. Even just not having a bulky costume between you and your lover makes a huge difference.Read More >

At OGR, every month is Women’s Month

We are Women! Hear us Roar Sing!

Jennifer Zetlan as Ruth Bader Ginsburg in Scalia/Ginsburg at OGR 

While women are gaining ground in the fight for equality and professional advancement, there is much still to be done…especially in the arts. According to an Opera America research study, historically there remains a static, very low (less than 8 percent) ratio of female general directors at the companies with the largest budgets. The GD/CEO percentages at mid-size companies have shown more variance but remain on average between 17 to 21 percent over the last 16 years. Performing arts organizations just don’t seem to select female leaders.

Opera Grand Rapids didn’t get the memo. Read More >

A Message from Executive Director, Emilee Syrewicze

Watch Emilee’s video message.

Dear Opera GR Patrons,

The Board of Directors is prioritizing the safety of the OGR staff, patrons and audience during the COVID-19 pandemic. The staff is working remotely while sheltering-in-place until April 13. We are fortunate that technology allows us to conduct normal operations and run a box office from our homes, so please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

We are rescheduling our spring events and Productions. 

Read More >

Opera Grand Rapids Transforms Scalia/Ginsburg into Virtual Performance

In Face of Global Pandemic, Opera Grand Rapids Transforms Scalia/Ginsburg into Virtual Performance

The Show Will Go On: Grand Rapids Company One of First in World to Stage Comic Opera

Grand Rapids, Michigan, March 13, 2020 – While arts organizations around the country canceled performances and closed their doors, Opera Grand Rapids found a way to bring a performance safely to its community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rather than risk gathering a large audience in a confined space, the company received unprecedented permission from composer and librettist Derrick Wang to record and share the performance of Scalia/Ginsburg with ticket holders. The cast will perform in front of a very small audience at the Betty Van Andel Opera Center, where the production will be recorded by Aria Show Technology and then virtually broadcast to ticket holders.

Read the full press release

Collegiate Vocal Competition Finalists Announced


Opera Grand Rapids is pleased to announce the finalists in its National Collegiate Vocal Competition, which offers one of the largest collegiate vocal prizes in the Nation.

For fifteen years, Opera Grand Rapids (OGR), Michigan’s oldest and longest-running professional opera company, has hosted a collegiate vocal consortium, giving experiential benefits and hosting a competition for collegiate members.  In this, the company’s fifty-second season, OGR expanded the competition to a National level and collected applicants from ten states.

Read the full press release.

Learn more about the Collegiate Vocal Competition here.