Palm Springs Opera Guild Brings Opera Outreach To Over 15,000 Children In The Palm Springs Unified School District
Palm Springs Opera Guild, one of the longest-standing cultural institutions in the Coachella Valley, will conduct its annual Opera in Schools outreach program at eighteen Palm Springs Unified School District schools across the Coachella Valley. This innovative program, which runs May 16 - June 1 and will celebrate its 14th year, demystifies opera as an art form and positively inspires students by demonstrating that opera is an accessible, entertaining medium. Since 2005 the Opera Guild has made a positive impact on local students. Last year, the two-week program impacted more than 15,000 students grades K-12. While primarily directed at children, the program also educates teachers, administrators, and student's families.For two weeks, the Opera in the Schools program will combine four accomplished opera singers, and a piano accompanist, who will visit elementary, middle, and high schools to expose, engage and excite students with presentations of live opera. Young and vibrant, the Opera Guild troupe enthusiastically tells the story of opera in a relatable way that enchants and captivates students, and the program is eagerly anticipated year after year by children and teachers alike. This year, workshop leaders and singers Ben Lowe, Erin Gonzalez return to the program, joined by Bernardo Bermundez, and Katy Tang. "Music is a crucial component of a well-rounded education," said Andrew Eisenmann, Palm Springs Opera Guild artistic director and creator of the program. "The current minimal school budgets often force schools to dissolve their music programs, so the Opera Guild is delighted to offer a successful program that exposes children to music and impacts their lives and education choices. We know Opera in Schools inspires students and continues to foster their creativity." Opera in Schools delivers a unique musical arts program that positively impacts as many children in the school district as possible. By using the elements of opera, including singing, classical music, dance, performance, production and costume design, the Opera in Schools program captures the imagination of participating students. Through age-appropriate, interactive performances, the Opera Guild troupe delivers a valuable program not offered by the school district. "It has been such a privilege performing with the Opera in Schools program for the past two years," said Erin Gonzalez, classical singer and Opera in the Schools troupe member. "Opera in Schools brings opera to Coachella Valley students who might otherwise never experience it. It warms my heart when I hear returning students talk enthusiastically to those who are new and have never participated in the program before. Their faces light up and they cannot wait for their classmates to share in the experience." Fifty Years of Cultural Impact
Since 1968, Palm Springs Opera Guild of the Desert has made a significant impact on the cultural life of the Coachella Valley. Now in its 50th year, the organization is celebrating some significant milestones and is paying homage to its rich tradition of offering top-notch opera and other cultural events to its members and the entire community. Over the years, the organization sponsored or produced a variety of important, entertaining, and well-loved cultural and fundraising events, including the annual Palm Springs Vocal Competition (an annual program since 1983 that enables eight emerging young opera singers to compete for various prizes and have their performances judged by a distinguished panel of experts), Opera in the Schools (an annual program that educates youth in the greater Palm Springs area that last spring introduced operatic music to more than 15,000 students), the beloved Opera in the Park (since 1999, a free annual concert of opera arias that draws people from all over Southern California to celebrate great opera music) and the Prime Time Outreach series (a free program featuring compelling lectures and performances at the Rancho Mirage Public Library). Palm Springs Opera Guild of the Desert is a 501 (c)(3) cultural organization which works to encourage and support young singers with financial assistance and performance opportunities and to promote opera in the community through student and adult Outreach programs. Their significant community programming includes the annual Dorothy Nocita Memorial Vocal Competition, the Annual Gala, Opera in the Park, and the annual Opera in the Schools program. For more information about Palm Springs Opera Guild, visit palmspringsoperaguild.org.