Opera Las Vegas

Opera Las Vegas was formed in 1999 by tenor Mark Thomsen, educator Paul Kreider, and soprano Gloria Marinacci Allen, to further the love of opera in the local area. Early years were marked largely by concerts, sometimes performed by renowned soloists like Marni Nixon, Kallen Esperian, and Erie Mills. The company’s first full opera was 2004’s Carmen, followed subsequently by such classics as Cavalleria Rusticana and La boheme.

In 2011, Puccini’s Tosca began a six-year relationship with Met conductor Gregory Buchalter, resulting in well-regarded annual productions that included Don Giovanni, The Barber of Seville, Madama Butterfly, and Rigoletto. In 2014, Opera Las Vegas appeared for the first time in the Smith Center’s Cabaret Jazz, with a sold-out performance of A Passion for Puccini. OLV was accepted and recognized as the only professional company member in Nevada in the prestigious organization Opera America in 2015.

A Partners in Excellence Grant from the Nevada Arts Council in 2017 facilitated a major re-branding and productive restructuring. Acknowledging that the focus on only one Main Stage classic a year was insufficient to build wider interest, OLV established the outreach umbrella programs Opera on Wheels and Opera with Class. The former brings thematic events like Opera Legends in Black, Latin Fiesta, and Opera Uncorked to localized venues, while the latter produces annual wide-reaching school and library tours with events like "Who’s Afraid of Opera?" and family-friendly fairy tale themed operas like "The Bremen Town Musicians."

Joshua Horsch conducted Cinderella in 2018, a year which also saw the establishment of the OLV Youth Chorus. Horsch was named Music Director and Principal Conductor in 2020. After the West Coast premiere of Gordon and Vavrek’s “27” in 2019, the company established its award-winning Living Composers and Librettists Initiative.