I have been an opera lover since my teens and I knew that set me apart somehow as the very word “opera” seems to turn many people defensive. It scares them. This is still true, as a recent survey showed that a significant number of responders were worried that they wouldn’t understand an opera and that they would somehow feel out of place.

When I moved to Wilmington in 1978 I made certain that the Saturday Met broadcasts could be heard here. Unfortunately, after a few months those broadcasts abruptly disappeared from local airwaves. This led me into a multi year effort which resulted in associating with a group  who made possible the appearance of Wilmington’s first public radio station, WHQR;  thankfully many years later, still thriving.

I have devoted considerable energy in an effort to “debunk” the misconceptions about grand opera. I have gone into schools and on the air to try to relieve the anxiety some seem to feel about this entertainment. There isn’t a much better way to “convert” friends than the series of Metropolitan Opera film showings in HD at our local theaters. These are more affordable than a ticket in a major opera house today, the dress is casual, the sound and visuals are excellent, the intermission features entertaining and, of course, sub-titles make it possible to follow the story.

Opera Wilmington’s productions of fully staged operas are another thrilling entrée to opera. Again, supra-titles guide one along, the price is right and the mix of persons and dress will not intimidate. Follow this website for information about our offerings.

Why does opera exist at all? The power of music combined with action can’t be denied. Who doesn’t dry their eyes in a movie when the music swells behind an emotional climax? You may not really hear the music, but it is there and makes a monumental difference. That’s why opera brings us back over and over again.

Jerry Nolan

Past Productions


Venture backstage and check out some of our shows you might have missed!