About Us

Mission

     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.

As all of our performances are free to children, we are in support of entertaining children
as well as educating and protecting them.  

Please visit freedomforchildren.org to learn more about how you can protect children.

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History

     Empire Opera was founded in 2007 by Artistic Director, Waundell Saavedra with a concert of his original works.

 

     Our main desire is to showcase musical works by living composers as well as rare works.  Each year the opera world is increased by a vast number of artists with fewer performing opportunities. 
 

     So, Empire continues to engage all artists, although mostly un-signed artists, as gaining performance experience is essential.

 

     Since 2007, Empire Opera has 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.

 

Artistic Director

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Waundell Saavedra, President and Artistic Director grew up on gospel, jazz, musical theater and then later got the bug for opera in college.  Entering college as a Math Major, he changed to a Music Performance Major a year later encouraged by a voice teacher. 

 

From a boy soprano to a basso, his first operatic role was Balthazar in Amahl and the Night Visitors.  He has gone on to sing many other operatic roles.  But Mr. Saavedra’s first love is the Oratorio and Mass having sung such works as Dvořák’s Stabat Mater, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Mozart’s Requiem, Bach’s Mass in B Minor, Handel’s Messiah, Faure’s Requiem, Duruflé’s Requiem, Brahms’ Eine Deutche Requiem, and Haydn's Lord Nelson Mass.

Mr. Saavedra is also a composer and has written works for solo piano, voice and piano, chamber works, and opera.  His operas include The Great Supper, which premiered in 2010, and Sweet Dreams, a children’s vocalise opera that premiered October 2012 at The National Opera Center.  In 2007 he founded Empire Opera with a mission to bring new audiences to opera by showcasing new and rarely performed works.  He has created a unique niche where deserving artists from near and far can get performance experience through readings, recitals and full productions of operas.