What exactly is a Civic Light Opera? (People see the word “Opera” and often assume it is a group that performs Opera, as in “grand opera,” a theatrical genre established as an art form in the late 1500’s.) However, in the words of George and Ira Gershwin, “It Ain’t Necessarily So!”
A Civic Light Opera is a theatre company typically presenting what is referred to as "Musical Theatre;" productions that tell story through a combination of song, dance and dialogue (ex: A Chorus Line, 42nd Street, Annie). Though some productions may place a heavier emphasis on one aspect or another - (ex: LES MISERABLES has very little dialogue, minimal dance, and tells story primarily through music and vocals) - all Musical Theatre productions incorporate all three elements.
Civic Light Opera's are usually named for, and affiliated with, the city or region they call home. (i.e.: Fullerton Civic Light Opera, Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera...)
So, how did Diane come up with the name?
Shakespeare posed an infamous question: “What’s In A name?” When CCLO was created, Diane honored that question. Not only did she want the name to represent CCLO's unique Identity, she wanted it to embody the essence of CCLO's work with young people. And, young people are, and always will be, in cities and regions all over the world! The name had to behold something special, something significant, something that could honor the past, present and future. Diane also wanted the name to pay homage to the world’s most revered storytelling tradition: Theatre! Thus...the name was born.
Children's Civic Light Opera Theatre Company (CCLO): a home for young people anywhere and everywhere who want to explore, experience, learn, grow, connect, evolve, transform and tell stories through the inimitable craft of the Performing Arts.
*Civic Light Operas are not limited to Musical Theatre productions. Many companies, including Children’s Civic Light Opera, produce a variety of theatrical genres.