About Arbor Opera Theater


Since 1999, Arbor Opera Theater has served the community through thought-provoking productions, while training and promoting a new generation of operatic artists. Whether you are passionate about the arts, like to engage in dialogues about current issues, or believe (as we do) that it is necessary to expose children to the arts, we invite you to take a look at what Arbor Opera Theater is doing.


Arbor Opera Theater creates for both artists and our community uncommon encounters with lyric theater by presenting innovative programming of traditional and new repertoire.

In addition to outstanding performances, AOT is providing a platform for the operatic stars of tomorrow. We are dedicated to finding, nurturing and presenting artists who deserve to be seen and heard.

Arbor Opera Theater promises unhackneyed operatic performance of quality and variety capable of producing an artistic experience that is truly distinctive.
— George Shirley, World-Renowned Tenor, Teacher & National Medal of Arts Recipient


Arbor Opera Theater (AOT) was founded as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization in 1999 by three singers: Karin White, Katherine Whittington-Perkowski, and Shawn McDonald. Upon completion of their academic music programs, they realized there was little opportunity in Southeast Michigan for singers to practice and hone their craft. Arbor Opera Theater was created to fill this void by producing full operatic productions, chamber operas, educational programs, and vocal recitals utilizing emerging professional artists. Additionally, AOT provides exciting programming that generates enthusiasm for opera in the community and encourages community members of all backgrounds to become more deeply involved in opera through participation in productions, serving on a committee or the board, and volunteering in administrative or artistic capacities.


Dr. & Mrs. Felix Rogers

Richard LeSueur

Claudella Jones

Lynda Weston Berg


Victoria Bigelow, President

Kate MacEwen-Conti, Vice President

Guy Conti, Treasurer

Matasha Allen, Secretary

George Shirley

Isaac Droscha

B. Stephen Faulstick

Austin Stewart, ex-officio


Shirley Verrett (1931-2010)

James K. Berg (1930-2015)

Barbara & Dr. Thomas Hilbish (1918-2015)

Mary Fearnehough (1925-2015)

Joan Faulstick (1940-2019)

Leslie Austin

Judy Cohen

Elke Farris

Richard Knapp

Dorothy MacArthur

Shawn G. McDonald, co-founder

Stephanie Michaels

Christine Miller

Katherine Perkowski, co-founder

Angela Torres-Kutkuhn

Kristin Walukas Karin White, co-founder

Rev. & Mrs. Lawrence Woodruff

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