According to the Florida Grand Opera's Brendan Glynn, "If Verdi says to put in 20 violins, we do." Such dedication to the details has kept patrons coming back to FGO for 73 seasons, making it the seventh oldest opera company in the U.S.?and garnering the seventh largest audiences in the country. Split between two waterfront venues in Miami and Fort Lauderdale, its world-class performances draw in tens of thousands of Florida residents each year. The box office has also logged ticket buyers from 39 states and 31 foreign countries, as well as Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and Washington, DC, signaling their reputation's international reach. In 2013-2014, FGO's talented casts will sound the notes of Marvin David Levy's Mourning Becomes Electra, Giuseppe Verdi's Nabucco, Giacomo Puccini's Tosca, and Jules Massenet's Thais.
As intimidating as grand opera can seem to the uninitiated, the FGO eases introductions with a lively Twitter feed, a candid Facebook wall, and even its own iPhone app, which helps newbies get up to speed on opera's lurid centuries of love, lust, murder, and suicide. The FGO's FAQ page similarly dispels common misconceptions, revealing that you may wear jeans to the opera and that wearing 3D glasses won't actually improve your experience.