Our History

Oak Park, Illinois, based Bellissima Opera was formed in 2006 to preserve and promote the tradition of the classically trained vocal artist and to expand public appreciation of both opera and classical music by presenting innovative concert events with professional musicians.  It then expanded to create an outreach program and to commission new works for voice.  

Bellissima Opera has performed dozens of innovative concerts and operas across Chicagoland, Indiana, and Michigan. In 2008, Bellissima collaborated with New York Times Bestseller Caroline Myss and Sounds True© to produce a CD of sacred music.  Since then, Bellissima Opera Outreach, Bellissima’s educational component, has brought music to more than 23,000 students, often at no cost to schools. Its latest project is the realization of The Tales of Transcendence Series.

In 2019, the non-for-profit Bellissima Opera joined with Claudia Hommel’s SongShop, the Chicago Paris Cabaret Connexion, Black Voices in Cabaret to become Working in Concert. Bellissima Opera’s projects remain a pillar of this new structure.

Bellissima Opera Founders: Franco Martorana, Christine Steyer and Paul Geiger
Working in Concert Founders: Claudia Hommel, Cappy Kidd ​and Christine Steyer
Bellissima Opera, transcending the human divide by creating new works and presenting unique programming.