School children express their gratitude for Nashville Opera and TN Arts Commission

2015-04-21 12.49.09

By Grace Robinson, Communications Intern –

The Arts Commission recently received handwritten and colorfully-drawn thank you notes from children who had the opportunity to be enchanted and delighted by the talents of Nashville Opera through the Student Ticket Subsidy (STS) Grant program. View more photos.

Nashville Opera hosts an annual education tour that travels throughout Middle Tennessee to bring performances to schools and communities. The 2015 tour ran February through March and featured Jack and the Beanstalk and Opera OUT LOUD, performed by members of the Mary Ragland Young Artist Program.

The tour consisted of 69 performances between 45 schools and 13 community venues. Nearly 23,000 audience members enjoyed the shows, including students and seniors. Over half of the audience consisted of students from underserved populations, including those who qualify for free/reduced lunch.

The performances themselves were geared towards their audiences. Jack and the Bean Stalk is John Davies’ 40-minute adaptation of the classic children’s story, sung in English and featuring music from operettas by Gilbert and Sullivan. Students were encouraged to participate with cheers and singing, and learned a lesson on ‘the golden rule’ of treating others well.

Alternatively, Opera OUT LOUD was designed to reach older students and community organizations. This performance was a compilation of scenes from different operas; the variety introduced key elements and vocabulary related to the art form while also entertaining audiences.

The Opera also provided schools with curriculum guides including preparatory and post-performances learning tools for both productions. Overall, Nashville Opera gives students an avenue to learn through enjoyment and creativity. Arts education has proved its effectiveness time and again, and this is no exception.

Thank you, Nashville Opera, for passing along the letters and drawings, and for all you do for the arts in Tennessee.