Madison Opera in the Community

The start of the 2008-2009 season is approaching, and as Madison Opera has expanded to present three full productions, our community outreach efforts have expanded as well. Here is a rundown of our current offerings:

  • HIGH SCHOOL APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAM: This new program will give six juniors from local high schools the opportunity to attend Madison Opera rehearsals and productions, shadow guest artists, participate in coaching sessions with guest artists, and prepare a recital in our effort to provide talented students early exposure to opera and careers in the performing arts. The application period is ending this week; contact the office for any last minute inquiries!
  • A NIGHT AT THE OPERA: General Director Allan Naplan started A Night at the Opera in 2006 in partnership with Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Dane County. The program brings local youth to the final dress rehearsal of our fall production and includes a pre-opera dinner and educational session. Rigoletto was such a big hit with the kids that this year for Butterfly we’ve aligned with the Goodman Atwood Community Center and the Boys and Girls Club in addition to Big Brothers/Big Sisters in an effort to expand our reach. Other local youth groups are welcome to join us for the Nov. 19 event, just give a me a call or e-mail in the office to receive an invitation and further details (that’s Brian at 238-8085 or
  • COMMUNITY BUTTERFLY DRIVE: We’re calling upon local centers of arts and education for the young to create butterflies to go on display in the Overture Center lobby during our opening weekend, Nov. 21-23. The idea is to engage diverse communities in Madison in a collective, creative project for all to share pride in. Again, interested schools and groups are welcome to contact me in the office if we haven’t already contacted you, and we’ll get you the Butterfly templates needed!

And don’t forget these ongoing and future community outreach events at Madison Opera:

  • OPERA UP CLOSE: For each season production, Allan Naplan hosts this two hour event at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art to offer an engaging behind-the-scenes look at the opera. The series is exciting and informative for both the opera beginner and weathered fan. For Madama Butterfly, Sunday, Nov. 16 is the date, from 4-6 pm. Be sure to get your tickets in advance by calling the office at 238-8085 and speaking with Natalie.
  • PRE-OPERA TALKS: One hour before every performance, hear Allan Naplan discuss the production for free! The perfect way to kick off an evening or afternoon of opera.
  • STUDENT MATINEE: May 13, 2009, schools from around Wisconsin will come to Madison for the final dress rehearsal of Gounod’s Faust. The Badger High School music department in Lake Geneva says of the program, “Once again, Madison Opera has done a sparkling job of bringing our young people and the world of opera together. As we headed home, many students wanted to sign up for next year.

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Benjamin Taylor

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