What to Learn

In keeping with Chautauqua County's reputation as "The World's Learning Center," the 1891 Fredonia Opera House offers various opportunities to learn something new, including tours, workshops and educational documentaries.  Even attending a concert often imparts new information as performers find an easy rapport with audiences in the Opera House's intimate setting.


Just passing through town?  Or entertaining visiting friends and relatives?  Opera House tours for individuals and small groups are free (although we'd never turn down a donation); and someone is always available to answer questions and point out significant details of the theatre.

Formal tours to larger groups last 45 minutes and take you behind-the-scenes of the restoration process that saved the theatre from deterioration as well as behind-the-curtains for a peek at the theatre from a performer's perspective.  There is a nominal fee and tours can be scheduled in advance by calling 716-679-1891.


The Opera House is a great facility for seminars and workshops with recently added multimedia equipment.  In addition, several of the Opera House's ongoing season events offer opportunities to learn.  For example, the Bach & Beyond Baroque Music Festival, held each year in early June, offers "Bach & Before," 30-minute educational pre-concert discussions with Festival Director/Conductor Grant Cooper and selected Festival musicians. 


In addition to first-run independent and foreign films, the Opera House Cinema Series regularly features award-winning documentaries designed to educate and entertain.  Past offerings have included: The Lottery, which profiles two NYC charter schools and explores the education reform movement; The Art of the Steal, which examines years of controversial legal wrangling over Philadelphia's The Barnes Foundation and whether the will of its founder can be negated in order to transfer ownership of its $28 billion in art holdings to the city of Philadelphia.