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Our History 

Opera NOVA's roots go back to 1962, when a group of volunteers sensing a cultural vacuum in Northern Virgini formed the Opera Theatre of N. VA (OTNV). In the early 1970's when Catherine Filene Shouse established Wolf Trap, the first national park for the performing arts, she contacted the young OTNV with her vision to break down the social barriers for access to America's cultural heritage.


The Opera Guild of Northern Virginia (OGNV) incorporated in 1991 in the Commonwealth of Virginia, is a volunteer-based non-profit charitable organization with IRS 501 (c) 3 status. It was formed as an independent organization, yet supporting of the Opera Theater of Northern Virginia (OTNV). OTNV began offering an annual theater performance of an age-appropriate opera for young school students in 1974. By 1992 the Guild immersed itself in all aspects for supporting this unique community offering to school children’s education. On July 1, 2011 the OTNV closed. By October 2011 the Guild was reorganized and had absorbed a small opera company, Zarsuela Di Ci and its Artistic Director, Jose Sacin, and performed the Children's "Opera Monkey See, Monkey Do" to over 3,000 school children in Arlington VA. 

Thus began the journey of Opera NOVA!

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Our Mission

Opera NOVA's mission is to promote, foster, sponsor, educate and develop the understanding, taste, and love of opera and its constituent arts throughout our diverse community.  Opera NOVA uses the arts to build a bridge linking people of  all socioeconomic levels, ethnicities , ages, races, and disabilities. Opera Nova believes in building universal appreciation for the arts, not only across, but, inclusive of ALL generations and ethnicities.
Opera NOVA reaches the youngest generation by introducing every student in every home to opera, and provides accessible lecture series and musical programs for senior citizens. A major part of Opera NOVA's mission is to garner an understanding of all cultures through the arts, and itself has become a venue to celebrate the different ethnicities and races in the D.C. area.

"Opera Nova gives real opportunities to local singers regardless of race or background. Opera has often been called an elitist art form and it is in this way - that those of all races bring their best and most disciplined gifts and talents to it. Opera is one of the culminations of Western artistic endeavor and it must be open to all. Opera Nova embodies that root and branch."

Michael Parker, Piano Accompianist, Washington  Ballet


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