Little Rock (ii)
- Derrick Henry
American city, capital of Arkansas. The first successful professional opera company in the state was the Arkansas Opera Theatre in Little Rock, founded in 1973 by Ann Chotard, who continues to serve as general director and artistic director. All performances are in English and leading roles are generally taken by singers from outside the area. The Arkansas Symphony, under a variety of conductors, provides orchestral support. The company has commissioned and given first performances of two full-length operas: Libby Larsen’s Clair de lune (22 February 1985) and Raymond Pannell’s As Long as a Child Remembers (10 April 1986).
The company has the fourth largest school touring programme among American opera companies, and under its auspices a one-act children’s opera by the Arkansas composer William Underwood, Jorinda and Joringle, was commissioned and given its première in 1977. The company’s productions have also included operetta and musicals, and until ...