Our Mission:

To work with talented adults and aspiring young artists and musicians in presenting professional operas, accessible to diverse audiences in the Hudson Valley and beyond, and to provide a means for young people to experience professional caliber coaching through operatic performance.



About the Opera Company
of the Highlands

Headed by soprano Claudia Cummings, the new non-profit Opera Company of the Highlands is an outgrowth of the performances and works of Festival Theatre of New York, a performing arts organization Cummings co-founded with her husband, Shakespearean actor Jack Aranson, in 1999.


We thank you for your ongoing support

Great performances cannot be achieved without great support. Our cast and coordinators put their passion and talent into every note, step and verse. That's why we appreciate and rely on your contributions. Learn more about how you can help us bring culture, entertainment and the gift of opera to the Hudson Highlands region. >>


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About the Company

Our Mission
To work with talented adults and aspiring young artists and musicians in presenting professional operas, accessible to diverse audiences in the Hudson Valley and beyond, and provide a means for young people to experience professional caliber coaching through operatic performance.

Opera for Everyone
In spring 2005, the founding board for the Opera Company of the Highlands was established, and we are pleased to announce that the company will operate as an independent non-profit, professional performing arts company, taking organizational leave of Festival Theatre of New York, but never departing from its original spirit of excellence and service in the arts.

Opera for Performers
In 2006, the Opera Company of the Highlands will reach out to area performing artists through vocal, diction and acting workshops. To help potential performers develop a full range of skills, Opera Workshops for Adults and Opera Workshops for Young Performers will offer people with special interest in classical performing arts and opportunity to nurture their artistic expertise and gain practical performance experience.

Opera for the Future
Opera is a unique art form with something for everyone, especially those interested in theatre arts, and it presents some of the finest music ever written. But many young audiences have little exposure to opera. While performing for general audiences throughout the Hudson Valley, we are also establishing ongoing relationships with local school districts in the region.
We launched this opera education initiative by inviting middle and high school students from several local school districts to enjoy dress rehearsal performances of our debut creation, Die Fledermaus. We will continue and expand this educational outreach throughout our 2006 season and beyond.
We believe that introducing children to professional opera stimulates their interest in the art form – both as listeners and performers – and helps to secure adult audiences for the future.

To find out more about 2006-2007 school performances, click here.


About the Founders

Claudia Cummings

CLAUDIA CUMMINGS is an opera singer who has appeared all over the world singing the leading ladies in such operas as Lucia, La Traviata, Die Fledermaus, The Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni, Lulu, The Tales of Hoffman and Satyagraha, to name a few. In her twenty-five year opera career, Miss Cummings performed as a principal singer in the New York City Opera for ten years, and sang with the Chicago Lyric and San Francisco Opera among many others. She has sung regularly with symphony orchestras and chamber music groups. Miss Cummings has also starred in musicals, and played the Mother Abbess in The Sound of Music on Broadway, and in its tour of 60 cities of the United States and Canada.

In appreciation of her talents, Mount Saint Mary College has conferred upon her the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters. Miss Cummings is the Producing Director of Festival Theatre of New York, the Conductor of The Newburgh Symphony Chorale, and the Founder and Artistic Director of Opera Company of the Highlands, presenting Die Fledermaus in October and November, 2005.


Founding Board of Directors, 2005

President: Claudia Cummings
Treasurer: Karen Byers
Secretary: Kathy Lawrence
Lillie Mikesell
Terry Schommer
Sandi Scopteuolo

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Opera Company of the Highlands
PO Box 4606 | New Windsor, NY 12553 | Tel: 845/562-5381
info@OperaCompanyOfTheHighlands.org | OperaCompanyOfTheHighlands.org
Copyright � 2006 Opera Company of the Highlands. All rights reserved. :: Website by INERTIA, LLC >>