WHAT WE DO
Founded in 2012, New York City-based On Site Opera is the country’s leading presenter of site-specific operas in non- traditional venues. Rooted in collaboration and storytelling, On Site Opera celebrates the connection between artist and audience through highly curated experiences led by exciting opera artists and bold and innovative creative teams. Each On Site Opera production invites New Yorkers to explore their city in new and unique ways, while cultivating a new generation of opera audiences. To date, OSO has produced 19 operas in as many unique locations to critical acclaim, including the Bronx Zoo, Harlem’s historic Cotton Club, Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum, the Atlanta Botanical Garden, the American Museum of Natural History, Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Committed to exploring new technology to make opera more accessible, OSO was the first opera company to employ Google Glass supertitles, and the company has currently developed its own mobile app for multi-language translations and digital program information.
Following extended COVID-related theater closures in 2020, On Site Opera was recognized as a leading organization in reimagining opera, bringing productions to audiences around the world through the telephone, by mail, and online in inventive and creative productions.
Watch the video below or explore our past productions to see how we bring opera into unlikely spaces!
WHO WE ARE
Since its founding in 2012, On Site Opera has grown into a community of people who are excited to take opera to new places.
On Site Opera’s primary activities take place on and around the island of Mannahatta (presently and commonly known as Manhattan), the Homeland of the indigenous Lenape people, and on ancestral land of the Wappinger people and many other Indigenous groups. As a producer of site-specific performance, our art takes us into many spaces within this geographic footprint and often beyond. On Site Opera recognizes that this is unceded land. We work to honor past, present, and future generations of people who have been displaced from the area and we acknowledge the contributions that have been made by enslaved and displaced people to shaping, building, and maintaining what is now known as New York City. We show gratitude to the many thousands of Indigenous people who are living in and contributing to New York City and we pay our respects to elders past, present and future.
Site-specific performance invites our artists and audiences to consider the relationship between the story of each performance and the place in which we present it. While our productions most frequently embrace each venue’s current usage and aesthetic, we also encourage all participants to explore the relationship of each performance site to its past history as a home to Indigenous people. As part of our ongoing practice, we will provide resources for our participants to enhance their connection to each performance location with information about the Indigenous people who once inhabited that particular area as well as the area’s ecological history.
To learn more about the Lenape click here.
To learn how you can honor native land, visit the US Department of Arts and Culture, by clicking here.
To learn about the land you currently occupy, please visit Native Land’s interactive map, by clicking here.
Meet our Staff, Board, and Artistic Advisory Council. Click here.
Learn about opportunities to join our team here.
On Site Opera is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, and is a proud member of Opera America, the New York Opera Alliance, Composers Now, and the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce.