Mission & History

North Carolina Opera was formed in 2010 from the merger of The Opera Company of North Carolina and Capital Opera Raleigh. The mission of North Carolina Opera is to enhance the cultural life of North Carolina by presenting artistically significant opera productions of the highest quality, strengthening and expanding audiences for opera in the region, and providing regional artists opportunities to participate in operatic productions and events.

During its first decade, NCO produced fully staged opera productions from the standard repertory and performed works of Wagner, Dvořák, Tchaikovsky, and Bellini in concert and semi-staged formats. The company’s acclaimed Wagner series has included a semi-staged production of the complete Das Rheingold as well as acts in concert from Die Walküre, Tristan und Isolde, and Siegfried. NCO was part of the consortium of opera companies that commissioned Jennifer Higdon and Gene Scheer’s opera Cold Mountain based on the novel by Charles Frazier. NCO presented the opera’s Southern U.S. premiere in collaboration with Carolina Performing Arts at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

In 2022, NCO produced the world stage premiere of Sanctuary Road by Paul Moravec and Mark Campbell to sold-out houses. Other contemporary offerings include Philip Glass’s Les Enfants Terribles, John Supko’s All Souls, D.J. Sparr’s Approaching Ali (with libretto by Mark Campbell and Davis Miller), Patrick Morganelli’s Hercules vs. Vampires, and Daniel Thomas Davis’s Family Secrets. Please see our production archive for information on our past seasons.

The company also has presented concerts and vocal recitals by Metropolitan Opera singers such as Michael Fabiano, Lawrence Brownlee, Anthony Roth Costanzo, and Leah Crocetto. NCO’s educational programs bring opera to schools across Wake County and surrounding counties. NCO is a resident performing arts organization at the Martin Marietta Center for the Performing Arts in Raleigh and also performs at other venues throughout the Triangle. North Carolina Opera is funded in part by the City of Raleigh based on recommendations of the Raleigh Arts Commission.