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Opera for the Young receives National Endowment for the Arts grant to support a new production of The Barber of Seville.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  April 23, 2013

Grant one of 817 NEA Art Works grants
totaling $26.3 million in funding nationwide

Madison, WI - National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Acting Chairman Joan Shigekawa announced today that Opera for the Young is one of 817 nonprofit organizations nationwide to receive an NEA Art Works grant. Opera for the Young is recommended for a $17,000 grant to support a multi-state tour of a new production of The Barber of Seville (Il barbiere di Siviglia) by composer Gioachino Rossini.

Opera for the Young’s new production of Rossini’s The Barber of Seville will be an introduction to opera for more than 75,000 elementary school children throughout the upper Midwest. Opera for the Young productions are designed to showcase opera’s musical storytelling in a way that is accessible and appealing to young audience members. Each performance will feature professionally designed sets, costumes, and props, as well as professional musicians who are joined on stage by children from the host school who will appear as the featured chorus and in secondary acting roles. Opera for the Young’s original adaptation of The Barber of Seville will bring Rossini’s opera alive for young children through a compelling story, exciting music, as well as the active participation of children.
Acting Chairman Shigekawa said, "The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support these exciting and diverse arts projects that will take place throughout the United States. Whether it is through a focus on education, engagement, or innovation, these projects all contribute to vibrant communities and memorable opportunities for the public to engage with the arts."

Opera for the Young Artistic Director Diane Garton Edie said, “The Barber of Seville is the comic cornerstone of Opera for the Young’s repertoire of eight operas, and it furthers our mission to ignite enthusiasm for opera by making artistically excellent productions accessible and engaging. This regional tour will demonstrate Opera for the Young’s mission and method to their fullest extent: excellent music-making, vivid production values and rich student involvement in an accessible, in-school performance format.  Effective and affecting musical-storytelling is Opera for the Young’s goal, and this Barber of Seville will be an ideal vehicle.  We are honored that the National Endowment for the Arts has selected our work for this recognition.”

In August 2012, the NEA received 1,547 eligible applications for Art Works grants requesting more than $80 million in funding. Art Works grants support the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts, and the strengthening of communities through the arts. The 817 recommended NEA grants total $26.3 million and span 13 artistic disciplines and fields. Applications were reviewed by panels of outside experts convened by NEA staff and each project was judged on its artistic excellence and artistic merit.

For a complete list of projects recommended for Art Works grant support, please visit the NEA website at arts.gov.

About Opera for the Young: Opera for the Young is a leading provider of arts-in education services in the Midwest, as well as a pre-eminent producer of opera for children in the United States. Each year OFTY brings opera to more than 75,000 children. Opera for the Young’s award winning programming focuses on arts education (educating children about the value and beauty of the arts) and also arts-in-education (using the arts as a springboard to teach other core curriculum subjects).

Founded in 1970, Opera for the Young’s mission is to: Ignite enthusiasm for opera.

The organization’s artistic vision, in support of that mission: 

  • To engage and educate people about opera
  • To enhance and preserve accessibility of the art form
  • To grow the profession through opportunities for emerging artists
  • To foster the creation of new operatic work expressly intended for young audiences
  • To broaden access to opera for the entire community

Since its founding Opera for the Young has performed to more than 2 million children throughout the Midwest and it is the only opera company in the United States, funded by the National Endowment of the Arts that deals strictly with educational outreach and opera for children.

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To help bring a performance of Opera for the Young's Barber of Seville to a school in your area, or for information about sponsoring a touring performer for a season, please contact:

OFTY offices: 608.277.9560
www.operafortheyoung.org

UPDATE: 8/27/15

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