Fort Worth may have been better known for cowboys and campfire songs than operas and arias. But when two former opera singers, Eloise Snyder and Betty Spain, met over coffee in 1946, they decided it was time to change all that. Seven months later, the Fort Worth Civic Opera Association opened with a production of La Traviata, and the songs haven’t stopped since.
Now known simply as the Fort Worth Opera, the group is the longest continually running opera company in Texas, staging more than 200 performances and hosting legendary singers such as Lily Pons, Placido Domingo, and Beverly Sills. Since 2006, the FWO has condensed its schedule to a short stretch in the spring. A typical season offers three operas from composers such as Mozart or Jorge Martin, with each show running for three to four weeks.