Fulton Opera House

Where Music Lives
3:47 pm
Mon February 18, 2013

Lancaster's Musical Theater Hub: Fulton Opera House

Music lives in Lancaster, Pa., at a theater that - over the course of its more than 160 years - has served as a vaudeville venue, a cinema, and today, a stage reserved for musical theater and plays. WRTI’s Jim Cotter takes us to a historic opera house…that has never really housed opera.

Since its opening in 1852, Fulton Opera House in Lancaster County has remained open – making it one of the oldest continuously operating theater buildings in the nation.  However, noted local playwright Barry Kornhauser, who also worked at the Fulton for over 30 years, says that despite its name it was never known as a place to hear your favorite arias. 

This was called an opera house in those days because theaters still had an iffy reputation.  “Opera House” sounded a little more impressive.  But it wasn’t strictly opera?  It was never really opera at all. That was tradition of the time.  People were railing against theater…so they thought, theater owners, that if they called the places opera houses, they could fool some of the people some of the time.

Now the building is better known to most as the Fulton Theater; a company that produces seven full productions and four family shows each season.  And despite the theater’s rich history, Managing Director Aaron Young says the company is committed to a contemporary mission.

We’re not a museum.  We honor what has been done in the past, but it’s all about, how do we move forward? How do we communicate with an audience now?  How do we remain relevant in an era that has a lot of different options for people’s leisure time?  We no longer have a monopoly like we did back in the 1800s when the theater was built.

In addition to their stage productions, the Fulton also engages in various community and accessibility programs.  Offering outreach to local schools, ASL Interpretation, Open Captioning, Audio Description, and our Assistive Listening devices for the hearing impaired, and their annual Pennsylvania High School theater Festival.  More than a century-and-a-half after it began, the Fulton Opera House continues to be a community focal point where theater blossoms and music lives.

The Ghosts Who Haunt The Fulton Opera House.

Creatively Speaking
10:13 am
Sat August 22, 2009

The Amish Cindy Woodsmall--SPECTACLES AND SKYSCRAPERS at the PMA--Fulton Opera House

Jim Cotter speaks with author Cindy Woodsmall, a preeminent writer of Amish fiction - one of the fastest growing literary genres.

Jason Peifer explores the rich history of the Fulton Opera House in Lancaster, Pennsylvania - the nation's oldest continuously operating theater.

Susan Lewis looks at skyscrapers and spectacles - the subjects of two summertime exhibitions drawn from the Philadelphia Museum of Art's collection of prints, photography, and works on paper.

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Creatively Speaking
10:59 am
Sat March 14, 2009

Joyce Lindorff--Woodmere Art Museum's Juried Show--Germantown "History Hunters"--Fulton Opera House

/u>More Perfect Union, by Elynne N. Rosenfeld, will be on display as part of the Woodmere Art Museum's 69th Annual Juried Exhibition

Jim Cotter speaks with harpsichordist and Temple University music professor Joyce Lindorff. A celebration of early keyboard music she's helped organize culminates with a concert featuring music from 18th-century Philadelphia this weekend.

Susan Lewis looks at the Woodmere Art Museum's Contemporary Voices: The 69th Annual Juried Exhibition in the Chestnut Hill section of Philadelphia.

Tom Keels explores the cooperation between Germantown's historic sites and the local school district that has made thousands of students into "History Hunters."

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Creatively Speaking
1:51 pm
Sat February 21, 2009

Benjamin Beilman--Cezanne and Beyond--Fulton Opera House--The Center for Emerging Visual Artists

Curtis Student and Astral Artistic Services National Audition Winner Benjamin Beilman

We speak with the promising young violinist Benjamin Beilman. A Curtis student, he is one of eight winners of Astral Artistic Service's National Auditions. Beilman also recently won the Il Milka/Astral Violin Prize.

Susan Lewis looks at Cezanne and Beyond, the Philadelphia Museum of Art's upcoming exhibition about the impact of the 19th century French artist, called the "Father of Modern Painting."

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