Founded in 1968 as Fargo-Moorhead Civic Opera Company, the first production was The Gondoliers in the spring of 1969. The name of the company was changed July 1, 2002, to reflect the professional direction the company would be taking in the upcoming years. The founders of the FMCO wanted to provide opera performances and opera education to audiences and students in Fargo-Moorhead. The FMO continues the earlier work of the company with a great deal of pride. Producing opera in this region has never been an easy task, but always a rewarding one. The company has produced seasons of two and three fully staged opera productions, featuring local and regional talent as well as national artists, since its inception. Educational programming for adults and students has also been an important element of the company's activities. A variety of programs have been implemented throughout the organization's history to acquaint young people and the public in general with the opera art form. Each production is chosen and produced to fit company resources from the most appropriate repertoire for the community. Casts are chosen from around the country and include established artists and emerging talent. The FMO is a somewhat unique organization in this community. There is no other theatrical producing organization that is fully professional and uses casts drawn from a national pool of talent. The current programs of the FMO include two fully-staged opera productions - one in the fall and one in the spring. The company also offers education and outreach activities geared to introduce the art form to K-12 students and adults in Fargo, West Fargo, and Moorhead as well as some outlying communities in both states ( ND and MN ). An opera performed entirely by youth was produced in February 2005. The FMO plans to produce a youth opera every other year. The FMO Board of Directors generally numbers between 12 and 15, with another four serving as advisory members. Directors include representatives from the local colleges/universities and members at large.