Windham Foundation Awards Opera Theatre of Weston

Windham Foundation Awards Opera Theatre of Weston

Windham Foundation Awards Opera Theatre of Weston

Children enjoying OTW’s recent talk about the opera, ‘The Secret Garden’ at Northshire Bookstore in Manchester.

Children enjoying OTW’s recent talk about the opera, ‘The Secret Garden’
at Northshire Bookstore in Manchester.

An award of $5000 was recently given to Opera Theatre of Weston (OTW) by the Windham Foundation, which joins other local corporate and grant sponsors to support outreach and to underwrite a student discount price for the special school matinee performances of ‘The Secret Garden’ in January 2015.

Opera Theatre of Weston’s outreach touring project, Storybook Opera, will visit approximately 30 schools throughout the southern Vermont area. About 1600 elementary, middle and high school students will be introduced to the story and music of the new opera by Nolan Gasser, and will be involved in a multi-disciplinary gardening, literacy and creative arts project based around the children’s classic by Frances Hodgson Burnett. Storybook Opera also features the development and implementation of a comprehensive study guide.  The project will be led by Harvard School of Education graduate, Ashley Hensel-Browning, who will choreograph OTW’s winter production of ‘The Secret Garden.’ Approximately 2,700 school children will attend the world-premiere of the condensed version of the opera in January, and there will also be three full-length public matinee performances at the Paramount Theatre in Rutland, Vt. on January 4 and at the Weston Playhouse Theatre on January 10 and 11.

Storybook Opera offers the chance for children to discover and make the important connection between the opera, the larger world and their own lives. This year, the focus is on the themes of triumph over tragedy and the healing power of nature. The Windham Foundation grant has enabled the opera company to offer area schools an exciting garden project whereby students will plant their own secret garden, mirroring the characters in the opera, and experience their potential as nurturing caretakers of the earth and the environment. For more information, visit operatheatreofweston.com, call 802-824-3821 or e-mail otw@sover.net.

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