Yesterday was a pretty good day for Painted Sky Opera. Earlier today, we performed at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art on the ArtMoves series and got a standing ovation from the standing-room only crowd (okay, there weren't that many seats, but still - it was a great crowd). Then, I checked the mail and found out that we received a grant from Kirkpatrick Family Fund to fund our performance of Tosca for high schools on October 5! So, yeah, it was a good day.
Let me tell you a bit about this student performance so you know what this grant will fund. We know that there are a lot of people out there that love opera, but just don't know it yet. We think it is especially true for high school kids. Why? Well, a research project that I did in 2010 showed that 52% of students in high school choir classrooms in Oklahoma City had never seen opera in any medium - live or recorded. After viewing a performance, 65% said that they had a more positive impression of opera and 85% said they found opera more interesting than they expected. One of my favorite things (and I have had this experience many times since we started Painted Sky Opera) is to see someone have their first real experience with opera. So, we want to find that 52% of high school students who haven't seen opera, show them opera for the first time, and make them opera lovers.
We decided the best way to do that was to invite them to a performance. On Thursday, October 5, Freede Little Theatre at the Civic Center will be filled with high school kids to see Tosca on the day before it opens. Thanks to this grant, that performance will be provided to them free of charge. They'll get a pre-show talk about Tosca and opera and a post-show talkback with the singers from the show. All in all, we're pretty excited about it.
We still have seats available for this performance. If you are connected to high school students or a high school itself and you want your student(s) to attend this performance, please contact us and we will reserve your seats. The show is at 7 pm on October 5 and we recommend getting there by 6:30 to hear the pre-show talk. We should be done by 10 at the latest. Middle school kids might be okay too, but just look through a synopsis of Tosca first in case you are wondering.
Thank you once again to Kirkpatrick Family Fund for the grant. It is doubly exciting because it is the first grant we have received for a project and it's exciting that our first grant goes towards the education part of Painted Sky Opera's mission.