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Opera Carolina Academy Makes A Dynamic Debut

July 27, 2010

  • date
    July 27, 2010
  • article type
    Press
  • category
    Opera Carolina News

Opera Carolina Academy Makes A Dynamic Debut

After months of planning, receiving almost sixty student inquires and conducting four rounds of auditions, the Opera Carolina Academy held its inaugural event, a Music-Drama Workshop, for middle and high school students June 21-25 at Spirit Square. Young singing-actors from six counties across the Carolinas were treated to exceptional instruction from the Academy staff which was comprised of area university music faculty and accomplished opera artists.

“We had been searching for a program that included vocal instruction and would include middle school-aged students. We figured Opera Carolina would uphold high musical standards, and the Academy did not disappoint,” said Susan Harrison, a parent from Raleigh, NC. The students’ talents were eclipsed only by their enthusiasm. Workshop participant Mary Kathryn Evans said, “It’s really awesome because everybody here is extremely good.”

The Music-Drama workshop, made possible in part by a grant from the Mary Duke Biddle Foundation, and presented in cooperation with the Community School of the Arts, included classes in stage combat, theater exercises, sung and orchestral improv, vocal instruction, music theory and movement. The week culminated in a public master class conducted by Metropolitan Opera Artist Victoria Livengood, and a Skills & Exercises Demonstration by the students for their parents.

The Academy, a new initiative by Opera Carolina, will continue to develop over the months and years ahead. “I could not be more proud of our students, faculty and partner organizations,” said program creator and Academy Director Kristopher Irmiter. “We’re pleased with this initial success and feel the workshop has helped to identify a genuine thirst for music-drama instruction of this caliber. Our charge now is to secure sufficient funding and move this project forward in order that we may provide opportunities to quench that thirst.” Look for future Academy developments and keep your ears open... several years from now, you might just find some of these talented young artists on the Opera Carolina mainstage!

By: Kristopher Irmiter