Chicago Folks Operetta (CFO) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit theater company devoted to the nurturing of live operetta through articulate and dynamic productions. In the belief that the arts serve to illuminate the human condition, we are dedicated to the revival and development of operetta, a popular and accessible form of music and theater for general audiences. In particular, the CFO concentrates on producing both Viennese and American operettas from the early 20th century.
The company was founded in 2006 by the husband and wife team of Gerald Frantzen and Alison Kelly. Both are accomplished stage performers with wide-ranging credits including performances with Santa Fe Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, Sarasota Opera, and the Lyric Opera of Chicago in addition to leading roles in The Phantom of the Opera. While living in Germany, the pair developed a love and appreciation for the cultural experience of the operetta genre, and they are committed to bringing this same experience to audiences in North America.