Inland Northwest Opera (formerly Opera CDA) is the only professional opera company serving Northern Idaho and Eastern Washington with world-renowned talent and emerging artists in the opera world, often rivaling other larger companies in the northwest with our productions. We create opera to be a part of life in the region whether we’re in the theater, at the lake or in accessible community venues. Along with our Mainstage opera, the company brings Opera on the Lake and the Opera-tunities program into area schools and community venues open to the public. We seek to instill a personal appreciation for opera among all ages and backgrounds. Our discounted ticket programs reach students, seniors, military and educators to allow this powerful and transforming art form to be accessible to a wide audience.
To produce exceptional opera that inspires, enriches, and expands the hearts and minds of the Inland Northwest Community.
To become an internationally recognized company that is integral to the cultural fabric and economic development of the Inland Northwest, engendering a love for opera among people of all ages and backgrounds.
Personal Growth – We believe the arts are critical to personal happiness through the enrichment of one’s life and community.
Accessibility – We believe that everyone deserves access to affordable, high-quality opera.
Education – We believe a life-long appreciation for the Arts can be cultivated at all ages.
Commitment – We believe in nurturing the careers of emerging artists, providing them a venue for performance, along with weaving the fabric of our communities together through music.
General & Artistic Director
Denise Leonard – President
Joan Woodard – Treasurer
Nate Jolley – Secretary
North Idaho Friends of the Opera and the Arts was incorporated in 2000 by a group of opera lovers bent on bringing great artists and beautiful music to the Inland Northwest. INO began as a grassroots effort called Opera Plus! producing one Mainstage event per year at the Schuler Auditorium of North Idaho College, along with a yearly Sunset Cruise on Lake Coeur d’Alene. In 2009, Opera Plus! expanded its season and became Opera Coeur d’Alene.
In 2012, Aaron St. Clair Nicholson became Artistic and General Director, quickly establishing a new trajectory for Opera Coeur d’Alene and her loyal supporters by raising the artistic bar to a whole new level and expanding our season with a second, semi-staged opera in Spokane. Highlights include the sellout production of La Boheme in 2016.
Under the direction of Dawn Wolski in 2018, Opera Coeur d’Alene evolved into Inland Northwest Opera (INO). After nearly twenty years of bringing spectacular performances as Opera Coeur d’Alene, it was time to unite opera lovers from the entire region under a new and all-inclusive name. The Marriage of Figaro, fully staged at Spokane’s historic Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox, created such a buzz that it was the best attended opera in our company’s history.
Inland Northwest Opera (INO) is now garnering attention on the national stage for its acclaimed casts and beautiful productions. Not only is it the only professional Opera company in the Inland Northwest, but it is also the only performing arts organization in the entire region whose mission is to serve both Spokane, Coeur d’Alene, and the surrounding metro areas equally.