Chicago Opera Theater Mourns The Loss Of Founder Alan Stone

Classic Arts Features   Chicago Opera Theater Mourns The Loss Of Founder Alan Stone
In a statement released today, the Second City's "Second Opera Company" announced that their upcoming 2009 Spring Festival Season will be dedicated to Stone, who passed away Wednesday at the age of 79.

According to the statement:

"Stone founded Chicago Opera Studio, Inc. [COSI], which later became Chicago Opera Theater. Chicago Opera Studio, Inc. premiered with what would become the company's "calling-card" opera Mozart's CosÐ fan tutte in 1974." This inaugural production of CosÐ was mounted for $7,000 at Jones Commercial High School and was met with enough critical and commercial success to warrant a staging the following year.

Stone served as Artistic Director until 1984, and remained with the company as an advisor until 1993. Some of the Chicago premieres presented under Stone's tenure: Virgil Thomson's The Mother of Us All, Marc Blitzstein's Regina, Carlisle Floyd's Susannah and Of Mice and Men, Robert Ward's The Crucible and Dominick Argento's Postcard from Morocco.

"There simply would be no Chicago Opera Theater without Alan Stone," said current COT General Director Brian Dickie who began his tenure in 1999. "COT was his dream, his baby, and his vision."

"In my early years here in Chicago, I relied much on Alan's great advice, and cherished our times swapping amusing antidotes over champagne," Dickie continued. "Alan will be greatly missed and the whole of Chicago's opera-loving audience, including myself, will always be immensely grateful for his life's work."

Chicago Opera Theater's board of directors, staff, and artists extend their deepest sympathy to Alan Stone's family.

While no funeral services are planned, a celebration of Stone's life has been set for Aug. 30 at Monastero's Ristorante in Chicago.


Founded in 1974 by Alan Stone, Chicago Opera Theater has carved a significant place for itself in the operatic life of Chicago and has reached an audience of hundreds of thousands through its main stage performances, outreach, education and young artist programs.

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