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About Us

Transforming Opera and the Community


In 1996, with little more than a vision, a handful of passionate, dedicated professional Bay Area opera singers and directors founded Golden Gate Opera (GGO) as a not-for-profit opera company. Its purpose was to put Marin County on the “Opera map” at the same high level as Opera America. We wanted to transform lives by making opera accessible – enriching the community through the beauty and majesty of full-scale operatic performances.

Golden Gate Opera started out small, performing in the 300-seat California Palace of the Legion of Honor’s Florence Gould Theatre in San Francisco from 1997-2004. In 2005, GGO launched the first opera production Marin County had seen in 20 years – debuting in the 2,000-seat Marin Veterans’ Memorial Auditorium – with a full orchestra in the pit. The curtain went up, and the audience gasped in amazement.

Since that time, Golden Gate Opera has thrilled audiences with its theater performances of Madama Butterfly, Carmen, Gianni Schicchi, Suor Angelica, Cavalleria Rusticana, I Pagliacci, Hansel & Gretel, The Medium, The Telephone, Der Apotheker, Die Walküre, Un ballo in Maschera, Il Trovatore,Opera’s Greatest Hits”, Opera Café and more. It has wowed patrons with Galas and delighted them with intimate Aria Parties, where Golden Gate Opera singers perform up close and personal in the comfortable setting of private homes. And it has gone into the community to share the joys of opera in one-of-a-kind performances designed especially for children.

Since 1997, Golden Gate Opera has reached over 100,000 children in Marin County and Bay Area schools with its in-school, in-theater, and in-classroom programs of unique one-act interactive operas. Winner of the 2016 NEA ARTWORKS award, Golden Gate Opera premiered LINCOLN-The African American Connection by Mill Valley’s Cepelak and Rose. In 2016, Golden Gate Opera launched, The Boy Who Grew Too Fast, written by two-time Pulitzer-prize winner Gian Carlo Menotti, an interactive anti-bullying opera program for children.

Our Mission:

Golden Gate Opera’s mission is to enrich the lives of everyone in the community with professional, cutting-edge performances that fully engage and inspire people of all ages and all cultural and economic backgrounds. Whether drama or comedy, Golden Gate Opera’s performances combine all art forms – vocal and instrumental music, theater, drama, visual arts, and even dance – to tell powerful stories and convey empowering messages to adults and children alike. Through the celebration of the unamplified human voice, Golden Gate Opera brings art to life, stimulating and teaching through its high quality performances and educational programs.

Who We Are:
GGO Board of Directors 2017-2019

Peter Nielsen, Justine Reichman, Christina Rose, Pam Joy Santiago, Graciela Pera

Advisory Board

Maria Aguila, Glenn D. Becker, Laurel Cleary, Shirley Graves, Noah Griffin, Anita Pereda, Dmitri Stroganov, John Shearman, Henry Tenenbaum.

Special Thanks to

Opera America, National Endowment for the Arts, California Arts Council, County of Marin, Wells Fargo Foundation, The Bernard Osher Foundation, Fullerton Family Foundation, The Fenwick Foundation, Hilda Namm Philanthropic Fund, Diane B. Wilsey Properties, Bob and Maura Morey, Anita and Daren Pereda, Nelly Timmers & Enrique Ferrer, Joan Clemmons, The Arts Fund for Children – Ruth Rosen, Hennessy Advisors, Inc. Charitable Fund, The Magic Flute Music Store, Marinwood Market, Robert H. Greene Realtors, Novato Unified School District, Marin Independent Journal, The Ark-Tiburon & Leonard Kaprielian Community Grant of Sausalito Art Festival Foundation.