The Florentine Opera

Face of Opera

The Florentine Opera; (Left to right) Maggey Oplinger, General Director and CEO and Francesco Milioto, Music Director; Photo by Linda Smallpage, Boutique Photographer

Step into a new artistic era as the leadership team at the Florentine Opera, a 90-year-old institution, breathes fresh life into classic works, reimagining them through translation, reinvention and relevant settings. Maggey Oplinger and Francesco Milioto, with their global connections, form the driving force behind the Florentine Opera’s new face in Milwaukee. Their visionary leadership and unwavering commitment to curating opera that Milwaukee will love infuse every aspect of the Florentine’s performances with fun.

“The joy of revisiting favorites and infusing them with a bit of Milwaukee and a bit of the world comes from creating something classic and new at the same time,” says Oplinger, the Florentine’s General Director and CEO. “Opera newbies and veterans should both experience surprise and delight at our performances. We build them that way.”

The 2023-24 season is fittingly titled “With a Twist.” Oplinger, along with the Florentine’s newly appointed Music Director, Milioto, are bringing top talent from around the world to Milwaukee to put on an exciting series of innovative productions. This season’s most anticipated performance is the culmination of a three-year partnership with the Bronzeville Community. Working with Bronzeville expert Sheri Williams Pannell, Milioto is conducting Bronzeville Bohème, the classic Puccini opera set in Milwaukee’s 1940s-era Bronzeville neighborhood, featuring the thriving African American “city within our city,” over the rich musicality of Puccini’s score.

Oplinger and Milioto have known each other for over 20 years, having studied around the world together, before finally joining forces at the Florentine. That breadth of experience and global perspective are clear influences on the Florentine’s upcoming season. For just one example: in May, they’re bringing María de Buenos Aires to Turner Hall. The sensual Spanish tango opera, set in the Argentinian capital, brings a new musical style to the Florentine’s stage.

“I am very excited to continue collaborating with world- class talent at the Florentine Opera and to keep pushing to surpass our loyal audience’s expectations and captivate new audiences alike,” says Milioto.

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