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Experience opera in an intimate and authentic atmosphere.

Share the magic we make.
The experience will touch your heart!



Chelsea Opera was formed in April 2004 by Leonarda Priore and Lynne Hayden-Findlay, both singers, who felt that performance opportunities within the tri-state area were few and far between. They believed the market would sustain a small-sized opera company and envisioned creating one which offered singers the opportunity to perform in fully staged operas with orchestra in a professional, respectful and encouraging environment. In only six weeks, all of the production elements were pulled together, sometimes it seemed, almost miraculously.

A fully-staged production of Puccini's Suor Angelica opened on June 3, 2004 and was successful in achieving its goal of bringing the essentials of fine opera to the stage: great singing in a moving performance led by a talented young maestro, Carmine Aufiero, who was the first to serve the company as Music Director/Conductor.

At that point, Chelsea Opera actually existed in name only. Following Suor Angelica many inquiries were received asking what Chelsea Opera was planning to present next. Deciding to advance the company, a corporation was formed and shortly thereafter, not-for-profit status was granted.

Chelsea Opera now produces two main stage productions each season with the addition if its thematically based concert series,"Chelsea Opera presents..." which provides additional supportive and unencumbered performance opportunities for singers and instrumentalists. These concerts are designed to compliment main stage productions and represent supplemental occasions to present the genre to first-time audiences. 

Chelsea Opera’s reputation has been recognized by the industry for the quality of its work and has received favorable reviews and commentary by The New York Times, Opera America, America Oggi (see press links) to name a few, and by those involved in and attending each production at every level.


Chelsea Opera (and Chelsea Arts Live) is a professional not-for-profit arts company that produces fully staged operas with Chamber orchestra, concerts, jazz and other musical and dramatic endeavors.

Founded in 2004 by professional singers Lynne Hayden-Findlay and Leonarda Priore, Chelsea Opera serves singers, instrumentalists, performers, artists and audiences. Chelsea Opera has given hundreds of artists the opportunity to practice and further develop their craft in a supportive professional setting in both New York City and Upstate New York venues with chamber orchestra or instrumental accompaniment. Chelsea Opera produces new and classic repertoire that provides enthusiasts and newcomers the chance to experience high quality performances at prices that are affordable, and often free. Performances take place in intimate, welcoming locations where the superior acoustics make the experience exceedingly attractive for all involved.


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