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Our mission is to make exceptional opera accessible throughout the Chicago community while providing greater opportunities for professional artists of color, especially local black artists, in thrilling performances of classic and contemporary operas.  We will present works by composers from the operatic canon as well as spotlight music by important black composers whose work merits greater attention.  We will inspire and enhance the lives of youth by offering free educational programs and performances of the highest caliber.  




To be a springboard for new works by composers of color with a strong emphasis on opportunities for black composers, conductors, librettists and directors. To be recognized globally for our artistic excellence and to enrich, inspire, and innovate our audiences and artists alike. To provide our audiences with beautiful, relevant art, which engages, connects, and provides a heartfelt experience. 




SSOCC has proudly fulfilled our mission through these ten years, creating a lasting impact to serve our community. We have:

  • Presented ​6 original opera productions​ of 20th & 21st century composers: ​Dream Lovers, Troubled Island, Harriet Tubman: When I Crossed That Line to Freedom, Seven Deadly Sins, The Telephone, and ​The Poet

  • Provided ​17 Free Concerts ​for over 5​ ,000 people​ on the South Side of Chicago

  • Inspired over ​3,000 students​ in free educational programs

  • Provided ​opportunities for over 300 opera professionals​, including opera singers, instrumentalists, conductors, directors, dancers and designers

  • Presented ​3 productions of new works-in-progress ​to support living composers and librettists

  • And we will do much more! 

Music Director and Interim Artistic Director
Leslie P. Dunner
Board of Directors
Marsha Davis
Bobbie Greer
Secretary & Executive Director
Gary Ossewaarde
Director, Public Relations
Anne Marie Miles
Director, Community Relations
Chuck Smith
Director, Production
Administrative Directors
Dana Campbell
Artistic Advisor & Administrator
Amy Hutchison
Artistic Advisor & Administrator
Joelle Lamarre
Artistic Advisor & Administrator


Dr. Marvin Lynn 


Artistic Directors emeritus: 
Elizabeth Norman and Cornelius Johnson

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