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Michigan Opera Theatre's mission is "To be one of the most outstanding opera companies in the United States and to serve as a major cultural resource to the State of Michigan. It is committed to presenting a broad repertoire of opera and dance of the highest artistic standards, to making its work accessible to all segments of the population in a variety of ways, to providing opportunities for all types of emerging operatic and dance talent, and to ensuring its long-term financial stability through broad-based support." It is the goal of Michigan Opera Theatre to present the finest opera and dance to the broadest possible Michigan audience within the parameters of artistic excellence and fiscal responsibility.
The roots of the MOT date back to 1963 as an opera touring and educational outreach organization. Officially, Michigan Opera Theatre was founded in 1971 due to the vision and leadership of Dr. David DiChiera. Since that first season, in which MOT staged its first full-length opera season at Detroit's Music Hall, opera has continued to be performed in venues throughout Detroit for 35 seasons. During its history, over 2,500,000 Michigan residents have benefited from the MOT experience. Other major MOT milestones include the creation of the Department of Community Programs in 1978, which greatly expanded the accessibility of the arts and opera throughout Michigan and beyond. In 1996, renovation was completed on a permanent venue for MOT, the magnificent Detroit Opera House (DOH). The DOH has become a catalyst in the revitalization of Detroit and a centerpiece of the new downtown entertainment district. MOT is proud about the growth of dance and the 10 th very successful dance season currently at the DOH. MOT's most recent achievement was the completion of our capital campaign, the New Century Fund: The Crowning Achievement. This completion of the campaign resulted in the completion of the Ford Center for Arts and Learning, a new dedicated parking garage for MOT patrons, and the completion of the restoration of the Detroit Opera House. MOT is ranked as an Anchor III organization by the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs (MCACA). Only ten other arts or cultural organizations in Michigan share this top honor.
Since its founding, Michigan Opera Theatre has grown from a modest regional company to one of the ten largest opera companies in the United States and the third largest to own its own opera house. The Detroit Opera House has one of the largest stages for opera in the U.S., an orchestra pit that accommodates 100 musicians and an acoustically superb 2,700-seat theater.
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