The Ohio Light Opera

Start Date
End Date
7:30 PM evening, 2 PM matinee
College of Wooster, Freedlander Theatre, 329 East University Street, Wooster, OH 44691

For forty-one seasons, The Ohio Light Opera has dedicated itself to the exploration and production of the best of traditional operetta and musical theater. Founded by James Stuart as a Gilbert and Sullivan repertory summer festival, the company has grown to encompass all forms in the light opera canon. This includes the complete Gilbert and Sullivan repertoire, as well as the recognized treasures from the Viennese, French, Hungarian, German, British, and American repertoire. In recent years, the company has expanded its offerings to include traditional musical theater—rare musical gems as well as popular works that are nevertheless being produced less often today. Composers represented include Adler and Ross, Berlin, Bernstein, Bock and Harnick, Gershwin, Kern, Leigh, Lerner and Loewe, Loesser, Porter, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Rodgers and Hart, Styne, Sondheim, and Willson. Along with this unique mission, the company also reconstructs and produces those rare operetta titles of artistic value that were popular in their own times but have long since been forgotten. The historical performance practices of each work premiered are delicately balanced with the resources of a state-of-the-art theater and engaging and entertaining performance values. Each summer, between seven and nine titles are presented in a revolving format of approximately 60 performances over an eight-week period. Nearly 20,000 patrons each season see productions in The College of Wooster’s intimate Freedlander Theatre.

Over 120 company members from around the United States are selected each year to become a part of our residency program. The 40 performing artists who make up the vocal ensemble are chosen for their abilities to perform and work at the highest level in all disciplines demanded by the company’s specialized repertoire: singing, acting, and dancing. With 150 titles produced, over 300 productions, and over 750,000 patrons watching, The Ohio Light Opera has become the forerunner in promoting the lyric theater genre. The company’s contribution to the preservation and promotion of traditional lyric theater has received recognition in prominent national and international publications and its work is frequently cited by leading scholars of operetta and light opera. In residency on The College of Wooster campus, the summer festival offers a country setting with an inviting community that is proud of the unique service this company has given to its many patrons and to the art form.