Enabling local communities to access and participate in the production and performance of opera

Opera in the Community
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REQUESTED DONATION:

$276,000

STATUS:

FOR DONATION

AREA:

PROGRAMS / CULTURE

PROJECT 

The Opera in the Community project is designed to make opera more accessible by engaging entire communities from the periphery in this spectacular art form. Together with Israeli Opera, members of the community participate in a year-long creative process, culminating in the production and performance of an opera.  The first community productions were successfully staged in Tel Aviv 18 years ago: “Carmen in Tel Aviv” in the Neve Eliezer neighborhood, and “The Barber from Ha’Tikva” in the Hatikva neighborhood. The project then extended to other places in Israel, from Eilat in the south to Nahariya in the north.

Each community opera production involves some 200 local residents, from age 3 to age 80, as well as their family and friends. Israeli Opera also runs programs in the local schools. As a result, thousands of residents are exposed to and are engaged by the community production. The productions are abridged and translated into Hebrew. The artistic and production team at Israeli Opera works with members of the community throughout the creative process, including costume and set design and production.

A special feature of the production is the way it incorporates local artistic talent. Community singing groups will sing Mozart’s music in a way that expresses their own style while local musicians combine the original score with surprising arrangements suited to their own musical style. Each performance includes dance numbers in a variety of styles from classical to modern, hip-hop, and even breakdancing or belly dancing. Participants enjoy ‘behind the scenes’ access too. Initially, each local group rehearses separately; later everyone is brought together for dress rehearsals at the theater with all the production elements. This culminates in opening night and several performances. For the thousands of people who participate in these productions, Opera in the Community is the moment they begin their magical journey into the world of opera. Over the years, special connections have been established with the opera participants in the community: many children and youth who participated in the project continue to develop their musical education, with some becoming professional musicians and opera performers in Israel and abroad.

THE INVESTMENT

While the Israel Ministry of Culture and Sport provide financial assistance for opera productions in the geographic periphery of the country, this does not extend to Tel Aviv-Yafo, despite the city’s significant ‘social periphery’. Indeed, Opera in the Community will target one of the low socioeconomic neighborhoods in south Tel Aviv.

The requested donation extends over three years to support the growth and continuity of this powerful program.

Total Annual Cost $138,000
Contribution from Israeli Opera $46,000
Balance $92,000

REQUESTED DONATION for three years $276,000

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