In March 1994, by unanimous vote of the Virginia General Assembly, Virginia Opera was named The Official Opera Company of the Commonwealth of Virginia in recognition of the organization's contribution to the Commonwealth, and to the world of opera.
Virginia Opera currently presents four productions a year at three different Virginia venues – Norfolk's Harrison Opera House, Richmond's Carpenter Theatre at Richmond CenterStage, and George Mason University's Center for the Arts in Fairfax.
The company's first three seasons were limited to Norfolk. Expansion to Richmond began in 1977 with the encouragement of then-Governor Mills Godwin and Mrs. T. Fleetwood Garner, under whose leadership The Richmond Friends of Opera was formed to present Virginia Opera productions annually in Richmond. By 1983, the Richmond and Central Virginia Board of Virginia Opera was formed and a Richmond office was opened. In November 1992, the company presented its first mainstage performance at the Center for the Arts at George Mason University in Fairfax.
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