LYRIC OPERA CLEVELAND was founded by Anthony Addison, head of the Opera Dept. at the CLEVELAND INSTITUTE OF MUSIC, in 1974. By the time of its 20th season in 1993, it was Cleveland's oldest ongoing opera company. It was founded as the Cleveland Opera Theatre Ensemble and became the Cleveland Opera Theatre in 1979. The name Lyric Opera Cleveland was adopted in 1984 in an effort to clarify the company's identity in the community and to correct the growing confusion between the group and the CLEVELAND OPERA. In addition to presenting quality opera entertainment to summer audiences, the company has conducted outreach programs to provide opera education and entertainment to the young, elderly, and infirm. Its main stage season was from June through early August in 1993, when 21 performances of 3 operas were sung in English, fully staged, employing a professional production staff and orchestra. Lyric Opera Cleveland has played to approx. 9,000 patrons during its regular summer season, and to about 10,000 more through year-round outreach programs. Formerly performing at Kulas Hall at the Cleveland Institute of Music, in 2002 the company moved to the Drury Theatre of the Cleveland Play House to take advantage of the theatre's improved acoustics and expanded technical capabilities. The new site also accommodates the company's traditional outdoor picnic dinners during a long intermission. The company has become noted for the diversity and innovation of its repertoire, including world and Ohio premieres.

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