Chicago Opera Theater is a company laser-focused on living its values: 

  • expanding the tradition of opera as a living art form
  • producing high-quality works new to Chicago audiences
  • identifying top-tier casts and creative talent 
  • following through on commitments to equity and access – behind the scenes, on the stage, and in the audience

Since its founding in 1973, in a city where storefront theaters and global icons thrive side by side, COT has grown from a grassroots, community-based company to a national leader in an increasingly vibrant, diverse, and forward-looking art form. COT has staged over 150 operas, including 78 Chicago premieres and 45 operas by American composers.

In addition to its mainstage season, COT is devoted to the development and production of new opera in the United States through its Vanguard Initiative, launched in 2018. The Vanguard Initiative trains emerging opera composers, invests time and talent in new opera at various stages of the creative process, and opens up opportunities for Chicago audiences to become part of the development of new work, in dialogue with the creators themselves.

Upcoming Events