Our mission at Empire Opera is to feature new operas by living composers, as well as research and produce rarely or never-performed works. Empire reaches out to all of New York State and surrounding areas to build new audiences for opera.
We are especially dedicated to exposing our youth to the wonderful world of opera as all Empire performances are free for children 12 years and under. Towards these ends, your tax-deductible donations will be expended in the cultivation of intelligent appreciation and high-quality performance of opera. Empire Opera, Inc. is a non-profit corporation in the State of New York with 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status, registered with the Charities Bureau.
Empire Opera was founded in 2007 by Waundell Saavedra along with co-founders, George L. Medina, Donna Darden-Medina and Candice Donaldson. After a concert of Saavedra’s original works, George suggested starting a company. Our desire was to showcase the compositions of living composers. We also added rare works to the list as there are countless worthy operas that never or seldom receive a performance.
Each year the opera world is increased by a vast number of artists so that there are even fewer opportunities for each of them to perform for an audience.
Thus, with our first official season we reached out to all artists to come join us. The response was overwhelming. Empire continues to engage all artists, mostly those not yet signed by an artist agent, as we know that performance experience is essential.
Our first performance was a concert of selected scenes from the opera Passion by Waundell Saavedra. This work is still in progress. That first season also included popular operas Suor Angelica/Gianni Schicchi as well as a concert version of the less performed work Fidelio by Beethoven. Empire has produced full operas, concert versions, scenes and recitals with piano, chamber and full orchestra.
Since 2007, we have survived difficult economic times on a shoestring budget. Our exceptional artists are a major reason for making that possible, and our faithful audience, continuing year after year, is the other reason for our continued success and existence.