In 1972 a group of artists from the Annapolis Summer Garden Theater Youth Group got together and gave birth to the Annapolis Opera Company. The Annapolis community supported the company from the outset. For seven years the company used several performance spaces: the U.S. Naval Academy, St. John’s College, Annapolis High School and even the Hilton Hotel ballroom, which was the site of the first performance, before finding a permanent home in the Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts as a founding resident company in 1979, a relationship that continues today.
Annapolis Opera has benefited from the leadership of Artistic Director, Ron Gretz, and Stage Director, Braxton Peters, who have headed the artistic staff for many years, providing artistic continuity and integrity. The company has expanded into the community and provided educational programming for all ages including special operas for children and lectures on the art form to organizations and community groups. The Annual Vocal Competition, established in 1988, is a recognized stepping stone for young artists in the Mid-Atlantic region in their career development.