Program areas at Opera Philadelphia
During this fiscal year, Opera Philadelphia produced 28 staged and concert Opera performances for approximately 13,600 attendees. The september 2019 festival featured 5 Opera events produced concurrently, including two world premieres, and a concert series featuring emerging artists, at venues across the city. The company also held the free-to-the-public event Opera on the mall, a broadcast performance of "la boheme" at independence national historical park for 4,000 attendees. In lieu of a spring production due to the covid-19 pandemic, Opera Philadelphia produced a free-to-watch digital festival on youtube in may consisting of 5 past operas, including 4 new works, that received 39,000 collective views from across the united states and around the world.
Tyshawn sorey, an acclaimed composer and multi-intrumentalist, was named the new composer in residence in 2019 and participated in two workshops with musicians at Opera Philadelphia in fy20. Two operas by former composers in residence - "sky on swings" by lembit beecher and "breaking the waves" by missy mazzoli - were presented as part of the free-to-watch digital festival in may 2020.
Education programs: the Opera continued to partner with the school district of Philadelphia in fy20 both in person and later virtually, due to the covid-19 pandemic, for sounds of learning, an art-integration program. The program uses Opera to enhance the core curriculum through music, language arts, social studies, and more. In fy20, the program reached 1,490 students and teachers through dress rehearsal attendance and classroom programming. The Opera also offered a residency program in schools, until it was halted due to covid-19, that reached 721 students. Backstage pass, the Opera's technical theater workforce readiness program that allows students to gain hands-on skills and exposure to building trades, make-up, and lighting design, including one-on-one mentorship, engaged 5 students and was able to continue throughout fy20. The teen voices of the city ensemble (t-voce), which provides space for students to develop vocal technique and self-expression through spoken word, weekly rehearsals and voice lessons, had 17 participants, most of whom continued with the program during the pandemic through virtual rehearsals, and held 4 pre-pandemic public concerts. Opera Philadelphia also offered lectures before performances that reached 1,600 people in-person, and an additional audience over facebook live.