A Very Brief History of Major Twin Cities Opera Organizations

Twin Cities Opera Company is formed and premieres its first show in 1922.

St. Paul Civic Opera "rose during the Depression from the ashes of a Minneapolis-based organization known as the Twin Cities Opera Company." Opera News/September, 1971

The "Men's Board" of the St. Paul Civic Opera requests the formation of a "women's auxiliary" to sell tickets. The first meeting was held at the home of Mr. and Mrs. W. Homer Sweney.
Metropolitan Opera Auditions begins planning to make Auditions of the Air more accessible to singers nationwide. The first Met Auditions were held in the Twin Cities in 1954.

Women's Guild of the St. Paul Civic Opera, Inc. incorporates on February 3.
The pilot program of the Metropolitan Opera Auditions is held in Minnesota thanks to the involvement of Mrs. F. K. Weyerhaeuser in both New York and St. Paul.

St. Paul Civic Opera initiates "new and dynamic program in order to present a completely professional production." Production Manager Glenn Jordan.

St. Paul Civic Opera joins the St. Paul Arts & Science Council and discontinues independent fundraising.

The first Women's Guild "Candlelight Dinner" is held as a fundraising event.

Walker Art Center launches its American composers performing arts program, Center Opera, with the commissioned work The Masque of Angels by Dominic Argento.

The St. Paul Opera was born when the name "Civic" was dropped as new leadership focused on "total professionalism."

Center Opera becomes an independent entity from Walker Arts Center.

Center Opera changes its name to Minnesota Opera.

The Women's Guild auditions singers at the Metropolitan Opera and creates the Artists-In-Residence Quartet which reaches 75 schools in its peak year and many thousands of students over the next 10 years.

St. Paul Opera merges with Minnesota Opera.

The Women's Guild votes to incorporate the Twin Cities Opera Guild, Inc. (TCOG) as a 501 c3 independent organization. The name becomes official in 1977. The current logo is designed.

Ovation Opera Tours begins a program of opera tours nationwide.

Minnesota Opera begins Midwest Opera Theater as its touring and educational program, based in St. Paul.

Opera St. Paul is founded by Virginia Hardin Olson and Irma Wachtler.

The TCOG Board raises $13,000 to become a charter supporter of Ordway Music Theater.

The TCOG agrees to serve as the fiscal agent for the Metropolitan Opera Auditions.

Opera St. Paul is renamed North Star Opera.

North Star Opera becomes Skylark Opera with assistance from the Bush Foundation.

Twin Cities Opera Guild and Metropolitan Opera Auditions celebrate 60th Anniversaries.
Minnesota Opera celebrates 50 years as a leading opera company world-wide.

This brief historical perspective on the Twin Cities Opera Guild was compiled by
Board Members Kathryn Keefer, Jan Schueppert, and Wendy Wustenberg.