Black Box Opera Theater is a group of professional singers who have seen the need for an ensemble-driven company. BBOT is unique among opera companies in the U.S. that are based on a guest-artist system, in which individual artists are brought in for a particular production, and then leave when the production is finished.

Black Box Opera Theater is based on a theater model: namely, an ensemble of artists – singers, directors, instrumentalists, and conductors – who work together on a regular basis. Each ensemble member brings individual strengths and experiences to the group, and the group works together to expand these skills.

As an ensemble, artists challenge each other to grow as performers in a safe, supportive artistic home where they don’t have that innate, but unspoken, sense of needing always to audition for each other and management.

An inherent problem with the guest-artist system is that each artist often does not know the other cast members – their training, their strengths, their willingness to collaborate. As a consequence, artists spend the first week or two of a rehearsal period trying to figure out a way to work together. Soon, it’s the production week, the show opens and closes, and everyone moves on.

BBOT believes that opera can truly be the pinnacle of the arts – music, theater, dance, visual art coming together to create a transcendent experience. But so often it fails to deliver on its promise. How often as an audience member have you gone to see a production where there is little or no chemistry between the people on stage, no sense of space – a “stand and sing” delivery?

The BBOT ensemble’s work is physically driven. Each member is a strong singer who strives to get past the technical requirements of vocalism to be free enough to be truly available onstage. The BBOT ensemble workshops with directors, movement coaches, and vocal technicians to continually grow this sense of ensemble.

Why BBOT is an Ensemble Company