O.P.E.R.A. fund drive raises $50,000 for future restoration work at Ellendale Opera House

For immediate release: Thursday, January 25, 2024


Ellendale Opera House supporters donated more than $50,000 to the 2023 "Future Now Fund Drive" to continue restoration work on the historic Main Street landmark.


The fund drive ended Dec. 31 with $25,037 in individual contributions, matched dollar-for-dollar by anonymous supporters, for a total of $50,074 for O.P.E.R.A., Inc. – the non-profit group that owns and operates the opera house.


The opera house early last year also received a major contribution from anonymous supporters to help pay a portion of the unplanned repairs of the building's west wall and foundation.


Excavation last July uncovered an old stairwell to the basement with seven windows and a door below ground level that had not been properly sealed or supported when the stairwell was filled in 40 years ago. That led to deterioration of the foundation and the shifting of the west wall.


Temporary shoring of the building had to be installed before rebuilding of the foundation or west wall could begin this fall.


Eventually, the entire west wall and foundation were restored in addition to cleaning and restoration work on the brick front of the building. Total cost of the wall and foundation repair and restoration work was more than $550,000.


A $250,000 allocation received this spring from the N.D. State Historical Society, along with the organization's renovation reserve account, paid for the restoration projects.


If you would like to help with the ongoing restoration of the opera house, mail your donation to O.P.E.R.A., Inc. at P.O. Box 334, Ellendale, ND 58436, or donate online by clicking on the "donate" on the top menu of this page.

O.P.E.R.A. is a charitable non-profit organization so all donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. In addition to cash, O.P.E.R.A. can accept donation of appreciated securities and grain from farm operators.

Donors will have their names listed on a display in the Opera House Lobby & Gallery. Contributions can be made to honor other individuals or family members and have their names listed on the display.

Work on the building – listed on the National Register of Historic Places – has been ongoing for more than 25 years.