Wisconsin is well known as a destination for camping, fishing, and all things winter, but it is perhaps a lesser-known fact that the cheese-loving state also offers a choice selection of operas and orchestras. Whether you are looking to explore something new or are a fan of the classics and want to see your favorite production, you can’t go wrong with a performance from any of the organizations below.
Operas in Madison and Milwaukee
Madison and Milwaukee are the proud homes of four opera and opera-theatre companies that offer both classic and modern productions.
- Madison Opera performs four shows a year ranging from European to modern American classics. A unique performance to try to catch is the annual, free Opera in the Park held each summer.
- Fresco Opera Theatre in Madison aims to build a new generation of opera lovers through creative, accessible opera performances that are presented in a modern perspective.
- With about eighty seasons under their belt, the Florentine Opera Company in Milwaukee is one of Wisconsin’s oldest performing arts organizations. The years of experience show in the high-quality musical and theatrical productions that feature both local, national, and international stars.
- Founded in 1998, the community-based Milwaukee Opera Theatre produces a full season of in-house and collaborative performances.
Orchestras in Madison
Orchestras in Milwaukee
The Milwaukee area boasts four orchestras.
- The Wisconsin Philharmonic is one of the most seasoned orchestras in southeast Wisconsin.
- The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra is one of the finest orchestras in the nation and has performed world and American premieres of internationally renowned composers.
- The Milwaukee Musaik is the only professional chamber orchestra in Milwaukee. It is smaller than the symphonies of course, but the quality is just as strong.
- Just south of Milwaukee you’ll find the Racine Symphony Orchestra. Between its free community concerts, summer pops, and season of masterworks, you’ll be sure to find something that suits you.
Central Wisconsin Orchestras
Madison and Milwaukee are not the only Wisconsin destinations that offer great music; central Wisconsin also holds its own orchestral magic.
- Fox Valley Symphony Orchestra in Appleton presents a regular season and two special events, the Holiday Pops and Rock the Classics.
- Chippewa Valley Symphony Orchestra performs a rounded season at Eau Claire’s historic State Theatre.
- Red Cedar Symphony Orchestra has been bringing high-quality performances to Rice Lake area since 1983.
- The Central Wisconsin Symphony Orchestra in Stevens Point is a combination of professional and semi-professional musicians that form a top-level ensemble.