Our shows on the road!

Did you know that Opera for the Young’s unique adaptations of kid-friendly operas are rented by opera companies throughout the US and Canada? From Ohio to Oklahoma, from Ottawa to Newfoundland, OFtY is an international hit! Our adapters’ carefully crafted shows offer opera companies a unique opportunity to connect with and involve their local communities in real, live opera performances. “The students and teachers were thrilled, have already asked us back for next year, and plan to spread the word among their teacher networks…I don’t need to tell you that your formula is successful, but I share this to let you know that we are taking great care to serve the material and do it justice.” says Susan Larson from the New England Gilbert and Sullivan Society.Cincinnati

We’re excited to see where our newest commission, Beauty and the Beast, will go! OFtY’s last addition to the catalogue in 2014, Cinderella, is currently in preparation by Opera Columbus for performances this fall, not to mention The Magic Flute, Hansel & Gretel, and Rusalka all “out on the road” in the capable hands of The Children’s Opera, Lyric Opera of the North, and Memorial University of Newfoundland. Six different companies performed OFtY’s adapations over 100 times this past year alone! Click here for more information about OFtY’s catologue of 9 original children’s operas.

Meet the cast of The Magic Flute!

You may have heard that Opera for the Young’s upcoming production of “The Magic Flute” (adapted by Jeffrey Sykes & Diane Garton Edie) is set in outer space, but did you know our cast of singers is OUT OF THIS WORLD? We have 12 singers and 3 pianists joining us for the 2015-2016 season, and for 9 of those artists, “Flute” will be their first OFtY tour! Singers Gillian Hollis,Rebecca Sorenson, Pedro Willis-Barbosa and Anthony Heinemann return for a second tour, and Steve Radtke (9 seasons) and Vince Fuh (10+) return once more as cast pianists.

Our cast has earned degrees from schools all over the country. They hold bachelors’, masters’, performing certificates, and doctorates’ from coast to coast, including (but not limited to) UW Madison, Indiana University, Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, Northwestern, DePaul, and even the Franz Liszt Academy! With experience performing all over the world, Opera for the Young’s newest cast will once again bring the best of professional opera to elementary students all over the Midwest. Check out the announcement below for artist details!Flute Cast 2015-2016

Good news comes in twos!

Opera for the Young’s touring cast will complete the in-school tour of Beauty and the Beast this Monday at Lodi Elementary. It’s sad to see this colorful production nearing its end, but exciting news from the NEA and the Ravinia Festival will help us get through it!

Through its grant-making to thousands of nonprofits each year, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) promotes opportunities for people in communities across America to experience the arts and exercise their creativity. In the second major grant announcement of fiscal year 2015, the NEA will make a $20,000 award to Opera for the Young for our 2015-2016 tour of OFtY’s The Magic Flute. The NEA will make 1,023 awards totaling $74.3 million nationwide in this funding round. NEA Chairman Jane Chu said, “The NEA is committed to advancing learning, fueling creativity, and celebrating the arts in cities and towns across the United States. Funding these new projects like the one from Opera for the Young represents an investment in both local communities and our nation’s creative vitality.”

But before we turn our focus to Flute, our production of Beauty and the Beast has been invited to perform for the Ravinia Festival’s Kids Concert Series! Join us at North American’s oldest music festival this summer on August 29th to celebrate this momentous accomplishment.

Community Conversations on The Avenue!

Welcome to the first edition of OFtY FYI! This informational newsletter by Opera for the Young, the Midwest’s premiere children’s opera outreach company, will share news and the latest tour updates from the cast on the road. Keep an eye out for our favorite moments in photo, video, and web links!
First up! Opera for the Young is the featured guest on Community Conversations, a weekly community affairs show airing Saturdays at 7 AM and again on Wednesdays at 7 PM on Northeastern Wisconsin’s 91.1 The Avenue. Tune in this Saturday, April 18th (or Wednesday, April 22) if you’re local, or listen online here. Host Tammy Williams sits down with OFtY’s touring artist, Adam Shelton and Development Coordinator, Saira Frank following Wilson Elementary’s performance of Beauty and the Beast in Neenah, WI. They discuss OFtY’s impact through our 23-show Fox Valley tour supported by the Community Foundation. Archived programs and resources are available anytime on this page.Tammy Williams with J. Adam Shelton and Saira Frank