Opera Orlando has always had a core mission of education, especially as the company continues to experience tremendous growth. As Opera Orlando grows, so will it’s educational programs. Opera Orlando begins its 2023-2024 All for Art season and it will be launching a new Apprentice Artists program in partnership with Stetson University School of Music. Additionally, Opera Orlando is adding a touring production of Frida Kahlo and the Bravest Girl in the World, which is catered to elementary schools around Central Florida. These programs are in conjunction with Opera Orlando’s current educational initiatives.
“The growth, impact, and success of our educational initiatives can all be attributed to the hard work, vision, and dedication of our education director Sarah Purser and her team,” says Opera Orlando general director Gabriel Preisser. “It is great to start this season with a complete and tiered education plan, and I am really looking forward to our Company sharing the power and gift of music not only on the stage but throughout the community.”
Mrs. Purser has been with Opera Orlando since 2016 as a singer and staff member. In 2021 she took on the role of full-time education director and oversees the following programs:
YOUTH COMPANY | ages 8-18
OPERA ON TOUR | ages 8-12
YOUNG PEOPLE’S CONCERTS with the ORLANDO PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA | ages 8-12
CITY OF ORLANDO SUMMER CAMPS | ages 8-12
BUILD-AN-OPERA with GIRLS SCOUTS CITRUS COUNCIL | ages 8-18
IN-SCHOOL PROGRAM with ORANGE and OSCEOLA COUNTY SCHOOLS | ages 12 -18
SINGS! (SUMMER INSTITUTE for the NEXT GENERATION of SINGERS) | ages 15-20
APPRENTICE PROGRAM | ages 20-24
STUDIO ARTISTS PROGRAM | ages 24 and up
MASTERCLASS with the MAESTRO SERIES | all ages
PRE-SHOW TALKS and TALKBACKS | all ages
RETIREMENT CENTER CONCERTS and LECTURE SERIES | ages 65 and over
SINGS! and Build an Opera Program
The SINGS! and Build an Opera programs were added to the Opera’s educational offerings in the past two seasons. Additionally, the Company will start an Apprentice Artists program this season. This provides undergraduate-aged music students the opportunity to receive professional operatic training and stage experience while concurrently earning college credit toward their vocal degree.
The inaugural program will include two singers from Stetson University School of Music this season, soprano Isabel Barbato and mezzo-soprano Nidia Guevara-Nolasco who will perform with the Company in Tosca at Steinmetz Hall in October. Opera Orlando will continue to expand this program to include more collegiate-level students in the following seasons from Stetson and other nearby universities.
The Apprentice Artist Program
The Apprentice Artist program also provides an important link between the Company’s well-established Youth Company, a professional training company for singers ages 8 through 18, and the Company’s Studio Artist program, designed for emerging, post-graduate singers. The Studio Artists program has also grown significantly over the past seven years with more than 500 applicants each year from across the U.S. competing for four program positions. This season’s Studio Artists include soprano Laura Corina Sanders, mezzo-soprano Linda Collazo, tenor David Soto Zambrana, and baritone Jose Cuartas.
About Opera Orlando
The 2023-24 season marks Opera Orlando’s eighth season producing high-quality operatic entertainment and educational programs that engage Central Florida audiences. Stay up to date with Opera Orlando’s season online at www.OperaOrlando.org, and follow and like the Opera’s Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Twitter accounts to share in all the Company has planned for 2023-24.