photo creditfrom L.A. Opera's Carmen 2017
Perfect Pair Innitiative
Music lessons provide a unique opportunity to mentor children, teens, and young adults. Opera Susquehanna is highly focused on training young singers and pianists, thus our Perfect Pair initiative was born.
Pianists are taught both in weekly one-on-one lessons and periodic group classes. In addition to their scales, etudes, and piano repertoire, young pianists are given one to two vocal pieces to learn. At the group recitals, they are required to pair with a singer, receive ensemble coaching, and perform the work at a studio recital. This approach also benefits singers, as it teaches them how to work with an accompanist. Beyond musical skills, it teaches young people how to solve problems as a team, to listen to their partner’s needs, and to communicate their own demands in a professional and collaborative fashion. These skills will prove invaluable to young professionals in all areas of the work field, as well as in their educational years.
We want all kids to have a chance to participate in our program. Therefore, we offer full and partial scholarships to children, teens, and young adults who are in financial need.
Young Women in Leadership
Imagine being a teenaged girl in a high school with a low graduation rate. You see some of your friends dropping out to work very necessary jobs to support themselves. Some make immature decisions that have life long consequences. You are feeling like it is an uphill battle to finish your high school diploma, let alone apply to college. Life is tough, and the challenges that come up can be very distracting. You don’t have a strong mentor to show you what is possible, so it never crosses your mind that you could be a leader.
Now imagine that you are accepted in to a program that works with your school schedule, pays you something, gives you hands on experience, and is centered around music. There are classes on how to be an executive leader. You learn about non-profits, LLCs, soul proprietorships, and corporations. You learn how to create complex rehearsal schedules, the basics of tax law, how to keep track of receipts, and how to book artists. There is consistent one-on-one mentorship by professionals who hold your hand and open doors for you to really be something.
When we think of the performing arts, we usually picture practicing an instrument, reciting a monologue, learning to dance, or studying voice. While each one of these disciplines have value in and of themselves, it is the strategic blending of them that brings us musical theater, opera, and ballet. The best companies – the companies with longevity are run by dynamic executive directors who know how to delegate, manage schedules, understand the basics of good marketing and fundraising, and lead their artists and office staff assertively, clearly, and respectfully.
Young Women in Leadership will provide real experience in all areas of running a performing arts organization. We will also show the students how these skills are transferable to other professions. For example, one of our teachers is a top human resources executive for NASA. However, she got her start because of her love of the performing arts. She both performed with and served on the board for a community theater in her home town.
Young Women in Leadership will make lasting change to the young women who we mentor. We greatly improve their chances of graduating high school and attending college by providing professional experience, knowledge, and guidance. Each one of them will positively influence hundreds, maybe thousands of people: their future staff, faculty members, teachers, audiences, and students.
Opera for the Community
In addition to our fully staged performances with orchestra, Opera Susquehanna also brings free musical performances and workshops to Schools, Group Homes, Nursing Homes, Prisons, Community Events and more.
Music therapy is a big part of Opera for the Communty, with our guest teachers who use musical performance for the treatment of PTSD, depression, anxiety, and mental illness. Our guest therapists also offer periodic classes for kids and adults who have autism, and other learning differences.
Entertaining lectures on the stories and musical composition of operatic works are also offered at area colleges, churches, temples, high schools, and other learning centers.