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Opera Delaware awarded largest foundation grant in 71-year history

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OperaDelaware has been awarded two years of production support totaling $450,000 from The Longwood Foundation, the largest grant to the arts organization in its 71-year history.

The grant will immediately help support OperaDelaware’s next spring festival, scheduled for the weekends of May 14 and 21, 2016.

The festival will feature performances of two mainstage operas at The Grand Opera House in Wilmington, including the East Coast premiere of Franco Faccio’s Amleto (Hamlet), and Giuseppe Verdi’s Falstaff. Both are adapted by librettist Arrigo Boito, from William Shakespeare’s plays.

“We are grateful for the Longwood Foundation’s generosity, and appreciate the confidence the organization has placed in the new strategic direction of OperaDelaware,” said General Director Brendan Cooke. “We’re demonstrating that embracing change and innovation works. We faced the financial headwinds that affected us beginning in 2008, re-imagined the opera company, and emerged with a successful 2015 opera festival.

In addition to Falstaff and a series of more intimate concert performances at OperaDelaware’s Riverfront studios starting in the fall, the company will produce the East Coast premiere of Amleto (Hamlet) on the stage of Wilmington’s Grand Opera House next May. Until Nov. 2014, the opera had not been performed since 1871.

Cooke predicted that next year’s festival, anchored by Amleto, will attract opera, classical music fans, and journalists from though out the world. He said the presentation is a coup for the state and the City of Wilmington.

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