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A Message from the President

Parvan Bakardiev, President/CEO

Dear Friends,


We’re very excited about our 2016 Season of Operatic Favorites. You have spoken, and we agree: it has been far too long since these operas have appeared on WGO’s stage. Music from these sensational hits, such as Rigoletto, La bohème, and The Pirates of Penzance, is everywhere. I invite you to join us for the very best of Opera, right here in Wichita.


We open the season in April at Century II, with two great ballets in a single night for the first time: Tchaikovsky’s Romeo & Juliet and Bizet’s Carmen, performed by the Russian National Ballet Theatre.


At WGO’s very first Opera on the Lake back in 2003, Carmen was a triumphant success, announcing to the world that the WGO had truly arrived. Now, in May 2016, for just the second time, Bradley Fair will be re-transformed into Wichita’s premiere amphitheater.


Opera on the Lake 2016, at Bradley Fair, will be a fully-staged production of Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance. The island, the floating stage, and even the lake itself will become a setting like nowhere else in the nation. Our hilarious pirates are sure to keep you entertained under the Kansas sky.


The Chairmen’s Opera Ball, this year titled “Pleasures of the Orient,” is WGO’s social event of the year, bringing artists, celebrities, patrons, and opera aficionados together for an evening of dancing, fun, and fine dining. For 2016, the Ball returns to the Hyatt Regency Wichita on Saturday, June 18.


In September, Rigoletto, one of Verdi’s most powerful dramas, takes the stage at Century II. The instantly-recognizable aria “La donna é mobile” is just a small part of the reason many opera lovers call Rigoletto Verdi’s best work.


And finally, we close our season in October with Puccini’s wildly popular La bohème, performed here at Century II and at the beautiful Carlsen Center in Overland Park. Puccini’s gorgeous opera, following the lives of four starving artists and their joys and sorrows over the course of a year, has inspired numerous movies and musicals.


We’re delighted to have given opportunities to so many young artists through our Opera Academy and Young Artist programs throughout the years. I’m excited to welcome many fresh, talented faces – as well as some familiar ones – to Wichita with our 2016 Opera Academy of the Midwest.


WGO’s season tickets are now on sale. Please feel free to stop by our offices at Century II or give us a call for any assistance you might need.


Operatically yours,

Parvan Bakardiev
President & CEO