Opera in Dearborn

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A 1,201-seat auditorium that values acoustic excellence as much as visual grandeur, the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center houses ornate wooden accents and intricate wall panels that soar over a sweeping balcony peppered with plush red seats. Ample wheelchair seating and elevators to all levels abound, ensuring audience members seated in the balcony won’t need to rely on the creaky wooden catapults still in use at many theaters.

15801 Michigan Avenue
Dearborn,
MI
US

Located in Detroit's Cultural Center, the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History is one of the world's largest institutions dedicated to the African-American experience. Covering 120,000 square feet, the museum houses five rotating exhibitions, including Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing: How the Apollo Theater Shaped American Entertainment, and five permanent exhibitions, such as the 22,000-square-foot core exhibit And Still We Rise: Our Journey Through African American History and Culture. Also at the museum are the Louise Lovett Wright Library & Archives and the Ford Rotunda, which boasts a 55-foot-high glass dome that dumps artificial snow when shaken by giants.

13624 Michigan Ave
Dearborn,
MI
US

Music Authority's diverse and experienced team of instructors coaches students of all ages in their choice of eight instruments in one-on-one, 30-minute lessons held once a week. Music mavens teach students how to decipher sheet music and tones expressing Morse code messages as they usher in rehearsal compositions for piano, guitar, drums, violin, flute, accordion, trumpet, or voice. Musicians in training learn about music theory and technical elements such as finger placement and submission holds to wrestle tunes from a stubborn trumpet. After sharpening their skills in the lessons, all students may showcase their mastery in the annual spring and winter recitals.

24736 West Warren Street
Dearborn Heights,
MI
US

Although the Detroit Repertory Theatre packs plenty of laugh-grabbers and tear-jerkers into each season, its artists have more on their minds than just entertaining theatergoers. The actors, playwrights, producers, and directors of the Repertory want to unite all Metropolitan Detroit communities under a banner of creativity. It's a lofty ambition, but the theater hasn't lost focus on that goal since it first opened in 1957. As the oldest alternative professional theater company in the state, it prides itself on having weathered storms economic, social, and literal, and continues to produce four shows a year that remind audiences of the power of live performance.

Those shows often feature scripts from the most promising talents in the Midwest, and aim to be as thought-provoking as they are engaging. The theater follows practices of ethnicity- and gender-blind casting whenever possible, ensuring that the people on stage represent the range of people in the audience. And that dedication to community extends beyond the footlights?the theater welcomes play submissions from local writers, and displays pieces from Michigan artists in the lobby.

13103 Woodrow Wilson St.
Detroit,
MI
US

The nation's fourth-oldest orchestra, the DSO has been filling Detroit's music halls with top-notch euphony since 1887. By the 1920s, the orchestra came into its own, entering a golden age that saw them hosting such legends as Igor Stravinsky, Richard Strauss, and Sergei Rachmaninoff. After financial difficulties put the outfit's hall in jeopardy, a multi-decade fund-raising effort led to their triumphant return home in 1989. Today, the orchestra remains one of the most recorded symphonies in the country, bringing the classical canon to millions of listeners and giving orchestra members something to blast at family gatherings when their siblings start talking about their jobs.

3711 Woodward Ave.
Detroit,
MI
US

The Detroit Institute of Arts takes the “s” at the end of its name seriously. The immense Beaux Arts building on Woodward Avenue isn’t only a setting for a top-tier collection of visual works that include Diego Rivera’s Detroit Industry frescoes, a van Gogh self-portrait, and ancient sculptures from Africa and Asia. It also opens the doors of its lecture halls, event spaces, and auditoriums for craft workshops, wide-ranging talks from historians and people who know how to draw really good cubes, film, and music. The latter two art forms find a home in the Detroit Film Theatre, a gilded, neoclassical auditorium that preserves a sense of coziness amid the grandeur.

3011 W Grand Blvd
Detroit,
MI
US