|Burbank Civic Light Opera||Burbank||1952|
|Casa Italiana Opera Company||Sherman Oaks (Los Angeles)||1971|
|Desert Opera Theatre||Palmdale||1971|
|Guild Opera Company||Hollywood (Los Angeles)||1949|
|The Industry||Los Angeles||2010|
|Long Beach Opera||Long Beach||1979|
|Los Angeles Metropolitan Opera||Pacific Palisades (Los Angeles)||2008|
|Los Angeles Opera||Los Angeles||1986|
|The Mesopotamian Opera Company||Los Angeles||2000|
|Opera on Tap||Los Angeles||2005|
|Opera UCLA||Los Angeles||1949|
|Pacific Opera Project||Los Angeles||2011|
|Santa Monica Civic Light Opera||Santa Monica||1989|
|Studio City Opera||Studio City (Los Angeles)||2016?|
|Vineyard Touring Opera Company||Claremont||2008|
According to an article by Karen Bacellar for KCET, during the late 1800s, Los Angeles, like most American cities, was a backwater for opera. Any quality opera experienced outside of New York and New Orleans came from opera companies that toured the nation. On October 14, 1897, the Del Conti Italian Opera Company gave its American premier of the Puccini opera La Bohème in Los Angeles. The company had earlier been on tour in Peru and Mexico and, enroute to San Francisco, made a stopover in Los Angeles. It brought a troupe of 91 people with their own scenery and 31-piece orchestra. The performance was held at the Los Angeles Theatre, located at what is now 227 South Spring Street (the theater was demolished in 1941). Although only 532 people filled the 1,400-seat theater for the performance, Los Angeles subsequently became a regular stop for touring opera companies. By 1924, less than three decades later, Los Angeles had its own opera company, with the establishment of the Los Angeles Grand Opera Association.
Los Angeles Theatre, circa 1897, facing north on Spring Street. It is the turreted building in the foreground. Photo by J.B. Blanchard & Co., courtesy of California State Library.
The first local opera company in Los Angeles was the Los Angeles Grand Opera Association (1924-1934). It was followed by the Los Angeles Civic Light Opera (1938-1987) and the Los Angeles Civic Grand Opera (1948 through its last locally produced performance in 1967).
The Los Angeles Opera, founded in 1986, is the fourth largest opera company in the nation.
Among the distinguished artists nurtured by the L.A. Opera, who have gone on to enjoy national recognition, are Richard Bernstein, Greg Fedderly, Rodney Gilfry, Suzanna Guzman, and Paula Rasmussen.
Opera singer, television personality and native daughter Susanna Guzman had aspired to be an actress and rock singer prior to her career in opera.