Although it’s the oldest continuously running theater in Michigan (and the third oldest in all of the United States), Croswell Opera House has more vibrancy than most venues half its age. Renovated over the last two decades with a new stage floor, an enlarged orchestra pit, and burgundy and gold medallions atop a fresh coat of paint, the historic venue has lost none of its old-fashioned charm as it continues through its second century.
Originally constructed in 1866, the downtown epicenter of Lenawee County arts and culture has played host to a rich timeline of American entertainment. The 1800s featured vaudeville acts, musicians, and orators such as Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass, and the early 1900s saw silent movies swallowed by the next wave of cinema: loudies. Although it was nearly demolished in 1967, the opera house persevered with the loving care of its staff and patrons, and today continues to host a wealth of musical acts, Broadway shows, and children’s theater.
The Lima Symphony Orchestra joins with the Lima Symphony Chorus and the Bowling Green State University Choral Society to perform Sergei Prokofiev's cantata Alexander Nevsky, a 13th-century tale of war, treason, and a hero that united a people. The concert concludes with Camille Saint-Saëns' Organ Symphony, which combines virtuosic piano passages with the reverent harmonies of a cathedral-size pipe organ and marches to a finale dramatic enough for a battle or a montage of karate training.