In 2006, Andrea Anelli took on the challenge of making professional opera accessible and affordable by founding Opera Per Tutti/Opera for All, now known as Cleveland Opera Theater. Having performed with such organizations as Cleveland Opera, Cain Park, Porthouse Theater and the Beck Center, she combined her intimate knowledge of repertoire and performance styles with determination to bring opera to Northeast Ohio’s diverse communities while also providing opportunities for professional artists who have made this area their home.
She led the company from its first performance of a semi-staged La Boheme accompanied by piano in the auditorium of Beachwood Middle School in May 2007 to a residency at Cleveland Public Theater in the Gordon Square Arts District and on to the premiere performance in 2015 of a fully staged and orchestrated Tosca at the Cleveland Performance Arts Center with sets designed by renowned architect Richard Fleischman. In 2008, Andrea launched Cleveland’s largest annual operatic event, Opera in the Italian Cultural Garden, growing the audience attendance from 250 to over 2,000 .
In June 2016, she founded a new company, ContempOpera/Cleveland, with the mission of giving a voice to the composers of our time through concert performances showcasing new and unique operatic and vocal works.
In addition to acting as Director of ContempOpera Cleveland, Andrea also maintains a full performance schedule. Roles of note include Mary Chesnut in a premiere performance of Steven Mark Kohn's Mary Chesnut: A Civil War Diary, Blanche in the Midwest premiere of Andre Previn’s A Streetcar Named Desire, Mimi in La Boheme, Nedda in I Pagliacci, Giorgetta in Il Tabarro, Magda in La Rondine, Dinah in Leonard Bernstein's Trouble in Tahiti and the title roles in Marguerite: A World Premiere Adaptation of Gounod’s Faust, Suor Angelica and Tosca. Concert appearances include Puccini: The Man and His Music and On Ma Journey: A Celebration of the Negro Spiritual at Severance Hall.
She has been featured as the cover story for Cleveland Business Connects Magazine and was awarded the Cleveland Italian American Heritage Award for her contribution to the Arts.