Delaware Public Media

Opera Delaware wins grant from National Endowment for the Arts

Dec 13, 2015

Opera Delaware has received a major financial boost.

The National Endowment for the Arts has awarded the company a $15,000 grant to support their spring production of Amleto.

Based on Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the opera premiered in Italy in 1865 but after a poorly received 1871 revival, it disappeared for almost 130 years.

After being rediscovered and retooled, Amleto will now get its East Coast premiere in the First State.

Opera Delaware General Director Brendan Cooke says the NEA grant means national validation for the company’s ambitious plans. Last year the arts organization announced they would forgo their regular season in favor of a festival format.

“We like to say that people want to bet on a winner so it has allowed us to open some other doors,” he says. “What we’re trying to do is pretty gargantuan, these are big undertakings and it's just a lot easier to make that happen when you’ve got some wind in your sails.”

Cooke adds the NEA grant process was very competitive.

“We view it as a good housekeeping seal of approval on our plan."

Scheduled for two weekends in May, the 2016 spring festival will feature Amleto as well as a fully staged production of Verdi’s Falstaff.

This piece is made possible, in part, by a grant from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency dedicated to nurturing and supporting the arts in Delaware, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts.