Chautauqua Opera Invades Southwestern School

The Chautauqua Opera Young Artists performed “The Bremen Town Musicians” with a little help from Southwestern students Thursday. Four students were selected to play a role during the performance. P-J photo by Jordan W. Patterson

The Chautauqua Institution bombarded Southwestern Elementary School as part of the Chautauqua Opera Invasion program on Thursday.

The Chautauqua Opera Young Artists performed “The Bremen Town Musicians” with a little help from Southwestern students. Four students were selected to play a role during the performance.

The Chautauqua Opera Invasion is part of the Institution’s Arts Education Initiatives to branch out to local schools and teach students about opera. Prior to the 45-minute performance, the artists worked directly with students in the classroom. Students learned specific musical, artistic, physical and social skills that are required for professional opera singers. The students who were selected to participate in the performance won an in-class competition.

The Chautauqua Institution is invading a total of 16 local schools as a part of its Opera Invasion program.

“We started our arts education efforts turning our summer season into a year-round program about four years ago,” said Deborah Sunya Moore, vice president of Chautauqua Arts Programming. “Four years later we are just thrilled because we now have the Chautauqua Opera Company in the schools.”

Moore said by visiting the 16 schools, the Institution’s opera program will impact about 4,000 students over the course of two weeks. She said additional students will be visiting the Chautauqua Institution’s grounds to enjoy a dance field trip featuring the Chautauqua Regional Youth Ballet. Visiting students will be able to visit additional art centers within the institution.

The Opera Invasion began on Monday and will continue over a two week span.

“We are absolutely thrilled,” Moore said. “Our mission is to explore the best in human values and we feel we can fulfill that even more when we’re able to help raise our community’s young people.”

COMMENTS