Chautauqua Opera Invasion Ends Jamestown Tour

The Chautauqua Institution Opera Invasion finished up its tour of Jamestown elementary schools on Tuesday. The Chautauqua Opera Invasion is part of the Institution’s Arts Education Initiatives to branch out to local schools and teach students about opera. P-J photo by Jordan W. Patterson

The Chautauqua Institution Opera Invasion finished up its tour of Jamestown elementary schools on Tuesday.

The Institution visited Lincoln, Fletcher and Love elementary schools for a tour that began on June 6. The final performance was given at Love Elementary, which capped off the three-school Opera Invasion in Jamestown.

Students were gathered in the gymnasium at Love Elementary on Tuesday where the performers garnered laughs and cheers from the students.

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.

Bret Apthrope, Jamestown Public Schools superintendent, attended the closing performance and spoke highly of the collaboration between Jamestown and the Chautauqua Institution.

“I think its a very unique opportunity,” he said.

He emphasized just how prominent Chautauqua Institution is as an artistic center around the country and just how unique the experience was for the diverse group of students in the elementary schools.

“Most kids who live in poverty don’t have these opportunities so for Chautauqua to provide that is very special,” he said.

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

“We are absolutely thrilled,” Moore said recently during a performance at Southwestern Central School. “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.”

The Chautauqua Opera Young Artists performed “The Bremen Town Musicians,” and similar to shows at other schools, with a little help from Jamestown students as well. Several students at each school were selected to participate in the performance at the end of the school day. The students who were selected to participate in the performance won an in-class competition.

The Opera Invasion began on June 4 and is in the middle of the two week program.

The Institution’s opera program will impact about 4,000 students over the course of two weeks, according to Moore. She also said many more 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.

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