Alabama,  Keeping it Local,  Lifestyle

Mobile Opera

One of our favorite places to visit is the Mobile Opera. Marty has gotten a group of girls together, and on Sunday afternoons, when there is an Opera, we all go. It is a fun girl’s day out, away from the family, to enjoy friends, music, art, and drama all at its finest. The Mobile Opera, located in Mobile, Alabama, was founded in 1946 by Madame Rose Palmai-Tenser, a Czechoslovakian refugee from Nazi Germany.  When Rose died in 1971, Katherine Willson was the person who stepped up to the task of leadership. Over the next 25 years, Katherine brought Mobile Opera to national recognition as one of the nation’s best regional Opera companies. Ms. Willson brought the Mobile Opera into the newly formed Opera America and achieved accreditation from The National Endowment for the Arts.

This created strong links to the community through education programs as well as audience development. Since then, the Mobile Opera has become a wonderful place for learning and discovery.  The Discover SCHOOL TOUR travels each year to elementary schools on the Gulf Coast to present a high-energy, fully staged, 35-minute adaptation of a classic or an original story.  Performances are presented in English, designed for K-5 audiences, and teach the basics of operatic storytelling. (Sponsored in part by The Alabama State Council on the Arts and the Alabama Support the Arts Tag.) The Mobile Opera also sponsors the Katherine Willson Voice Scholarship Program. This program is for students selected from area colleges and universities. These students participate in main stage productions, education, and outreach programs and act as musical ambassadors for Mobile Opera.  Young Artists work with internationally recognized soloists, directors, designers, and conductors. 

The MADAME ROSE PALMAI-TENSER DEVELOPING ARTIST PROGRAM is another way Mobile Opera fulfills its mission to promote the growth and development of young talent in the performing arts. Students can also experience Opera first-hand by attending a final dress rehearsal. This program offers a Student Preview performance of their mainstage Opera for Middle and High School Students. In conjunction with the Student Preview, a Mobile Opera Teaching Artist visits the participating schools prior to the performance to tell them the story of the Opera and to discuss their role as audience members. Marty and I cannot wait for the new season to begin. It begins with The Elixir of Love by Donizetti, a little comedy of life that needs a little sweetener to turn out right. Followed by Let Freedom Ring by Adolphe, the inspiring story of opera star Marian Anderson, followed by La Rondine by Puccini; when the heart is pulled in two directions, there comes a time to decide. For more information about Mobile Opera, you can visit their site here. For more ways to Savour your life, please follow our blog

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