In Seats and On Stage: Opera Tampa League Donors Help Kids Discover Opera

Sure, it’s great to get to watch a live opera performance. But what about actually having a role in an Opera Tampa production? This idea became a reality for 16 talented students from the Patel Conservatory’s Young Singers Chorus.

The kids landed roles in Opera Tampa’s production of Carmen this February as the children’s chorus, which meant they learned all their vocal parts in French, memorized blocking and choreography and got fitted for wigs and costumes. Fully-fledged cast members of the show, they also enjoyed the pre-show jitters, backstage beehive and friendship-forming camaraderie of a professional production.

The opportunity for these young singers to be onstage, at a very impressionable age, alongside industry professionals gives them unforgettable memories and instills an appreciation for the art form that most kids would not seek on their own. Our opera programs encourage students in the Patel Conservatory Young Singers Chorus to audition for grand opera products ensure another generation of opera lovers.

Plus, what made these performances even more special was that they were able to perform with some of their friends, family and schoolteachers in the audience. Many people don’t know that Opera Tampa open a dress rehearsal for educators and students to attend for free. Because we’re able to open our doors in this way, many of the classmates and teachers of the singers in the children’s chorus were able to cheer on these budding performers.

Opera Tampa League donors make incredible experiences like this possible.

But don’t take our word on the profound impact donors have on the people attending opera at The Straz. Here is a fourth grade teacher gushing about their evening:

“I just wanted to share with you that my fourth graders loved going to the opera. For all of the fourth graders I took, this was their first time attending the opera. And the Grady Elementary students performing in the opera loved having their friends there. We are planning on attending the other two operas with a bigger group. Thanks for providing us with this wonderful opportunity. Bravissimo!”

Grady Elementary students and teachers attending the dress rehearsal for Carmen.

These young singers and the classmates who saw them perform are the future of opera. Thank you so much, Opera Tampa League donors, for the generosity it takes to launch successful programs like the Opera Tampa Children’s Chorus and the free, invited dress rehearsals for educators and students.

Bravi tutti!