Jackson är huvudstad i Hinds County, Madison County och Rankin County i delstaten Mississippi i USA och är belägen vid Pearl River. Jackson Biloxi är administrativ huvudort i Harrison County tillsammans med orten Hinds County.
The Jackson Opera Guild was organized in 1945, spearheaded by the efforts of Marguerite Caldwell with the enthusiastic support of a rapidly growing group of vocal and instrumental performers and supporters. At the time of its organization, the Jackson Opera Guild was one of twelve organizations of its kind in the United States.
Incorporated in 1947, the Jackson Opera Guild had as its aim to promote and encourage the enjoyment, study and appreciation of Opera; to help in the development of operatic talent; and to provide cultural enrichment for the public through operatic performances.
The first performance — on November 27, 1945, in the Bailey School auditorium — of Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana, sung in Italian, featured some of Jackson’s most talented people in the cast including Mignonne Caldwell, Marion Giddens, Eugene Loper, Ouida Woody (Bass) and Magnolia Coullet.
The list of Mississippi and musical notables who have been involved since then in Mississippi Opera productions reads like a “Who’s Who of Opera.” A remarkable number of singers of major reputation have performed in Jackson — some early in their careers, others at the height of their fame and vocal prowess. Among them: Rene Fleming, John Alexander, Richard Torigi, Normal Treigle, Beverly Sills, Phyllis Curtin, Roberta Peters, Jan Peerce, Richard Tucker, Monserrat Caballe, Robert Merrill, James McCracken, Julian Patrick, Maralin Niska, Ellen Shade, Frank Guarrera, Gail Robinson, Cornell McNeil, Enrico di Giuseppe and Jerome Hines. Important conductors include Rudolf Kruger, Anton Guadagno, Anton Coppola and Barbara Silverstein. Carlo Menotti, Arthur Cosenza and Bodo Igesz are among the world-class directors who have staged works for MOA.
After a successful first quarter century, a long-considered reorganization took place in 1970 when the Jackson Opera Guild became the Mississippi Opera Association, Inc. with a statewide Board of Directors. The Jackson Opera Guild name was retained by the auxiliary support group which handled promotion, education projects, local fundraising and ticket sales. In 1977, this entity changed its name to Mississippi Opera Guild.
Mississippi Opera is the ninth oldest, continuously producing professional opera company in America.