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Nickel City Opera


Eileen Breen-Executive Director 

Valerian Ruminski-Artistic Director & Founder

Suzanne Fatta-Managing Director

Steve Vaughan-Production Director

Nickel City Opera

Board of Directors

Fran Cirbus

Kevin Cornacchio

Michael Feeley, Esq.

David Granville

Anthony Grisanti

James Healy

John Kreuzer

Founded in 2004, Nickel City Opera is a 501 c3 nonprofit producing full-scale operas, complete with costumes, sets and full orchestra.


Founder and Artistic Director Valerian Ruminski utilizes his extensive network of friends and colleagues as well as his own experience as an opera and concert performer to cast NCO’s shows with talent Western New York audiences might not have the opportunity to see. 


“The one word that keeps coming up as I receive feedback on our productions is ‘value,’” said Ruminski.  Citing a region and era where dollars are tight, Ruminski says many different forms of entertainment compete to receive peoples’ hard earned money. “I’m proud to say we’re able to keep the ticket prices of our productions reasonable and still provide audiences with a quality show, including professional opera singers and musicians.”


Indeed, NCO’s productions have received favorable reviews from local media, which further underscore the surprise and delight in finding such a jewel amidst Western New York’s celebrated artistic organizations.


Rigoletto Poster


SHOT! Poster


NCO produced ‘The Barber of Seville’, its’ first opera in June of 2009 at the Riviera Theatre to great accolades in the Buffalo News. The following year ‘Rigoletto’ was presented and the Buffalo News trumpeted, ”Magnificent Rigoletto proves Nickel City Opera is For Real".


Since its inception, NCO has produced full scale opera productions including Rigoletto, Il Trovatore, La Boheme, Don Pasquale, Il Tabarro, Amahl and the Night Visitors, Tosca, The Marriage of Figaro and the World Premiere of SHOT! by Persis Vehar about the assassination of President McKinley produced at Shea’s Buffalo Theatre.

With the continued goal of producing high quality opera and quest to bring opera to audiences of all ages and backgrounds, NCO looks forward to building on its success through acclaimed performances, innovative fundraising and community outreach.

Celebrating its 15th year anniversary, NCO has garnered artistic praise and is grateful for the generous community support of Western New York.

Rigoletto NCO Poster.jpg
SHOT poster.jpg

Il Trovatore Poster


NCO-Trovatore poster.jpg
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