Each summer, California Opera Association fills Fresno’s historic theaters, churches and outdoor spaces with renowned artists as well as emerging performers in disciplines ranging from mainstage opera, musical theater, dance, chamber, symphonic and choral music, as well as the visual arts. The California Opera Festival has firmly established itself as one of the world’s major emerging opera festivals, presenting world premieres and American works since its inception in 2000. One of the Festival’s tenets is to provide young performers the opportunity to work with veteran directors, designers and performers.
The mission of the California Opera Festival is to create a comprehensive and innovative arts festival that produces and presents events featuring an international mix of distinguished artists and emerging talent. The California Opera Festival strives to offer programs of the highest artistic caliber to a diverse and expanding regional, national, and worldwide audience; support experimental and innovative work; nurture exceptional young artists; present a variety of both new and traditional works; and encourage public appreciation of the arts by serving as a leader in the cultural life of the region.
California Opera’s Young Artists Program is an integral part of the company. Each summer more than 30 young singers in three levels – youth, collegiate and professional - are chosen to participate in the program, which offers training and performance experience. The Professional Development Program was established as an important component of the company's mission to promote an artistically challenging environment for International performers. Many artists in the professional development program already hold bachelor's and master's degrees from leading conservatories. The youth and collegiate programs provides training and performance experience for talented singers at the very beginning of their careers.
California Opera collaborates throughout the year with community arts, cultural, historical and educational organizations to present often free, family-friendly fully-staged operas and special events throughout the year. The California Opera Guild presents a series of free, educational seminars that delve into the history and details surrounding the upcoming productions.
COA collaborates with artists, managers, and companies of Armenia, Austria, Canada, China, France, Germany, Greece, Great Britain, Israel, Italy, Mexico, Romania, Russian, Taiwan, and the Ukraine with plans to extend International relationships globally. California Opera Association is in partnership with several countries throughout the world to encourage:
§ Artists and entertainers entering or leaving the U.S. who are performing in culturally unique and traditional opera programs.
§ Artists who represent, teach, or coach opera, cultural, musical, ethnic folk, artistic, or theatrical arts in the U.S. and abroad.
§ Artists entering or leaving the U.S. in order to enhance the development or understanding of opera and similar culturally unique art forms.
§ U.S. and international agents, managers and collaborative companies to assist artists and entertainers and to participate in cultural and international exchange programs.