This curriculum-based program flourished for seven seasons, thanks to foundation, corporate and school district funding. Nine main stage adaptations have brought 26 middle and high school workshop presentations to over 7,500 students in Mercer, Burlington and Monmouth Counties. Funding partners have included: Frank and Lydia Bergen Foundation, Merrill Lynch, Janssen Pharmaceutica, Inc., Upper Freehold Regional School District and Mercer County’s Hamilton Township School District PTAs. We value these partnerships more than ever, at a time when young people need more focus and new outlets for learning and application. Through Inside Opera’s onsite program, students have experienced the opera art form for the first time, have applied its many disciplines to their daily lessons and have met young professionals to talk about career skills and options.
Inside Opera features Boheme Opera-generated materials and workshop performances in schools representing the public, parochial and private sectors. An important component of the program is teacher orientation focusing on objectives and activities addressing New Jersey Core Curriculum Standards in the Arts.
Boheme Opera Artistic Director Joseph Pucciatti creates student-level adaptations of great works for Inside Opera, to be presented onsite within a 60-minute timeframe, complete with traveling set pieces, costumes, wigs and makeup. His clever premise unfolds in a narrative delivered through the eyes of a pivotal character in each opera story, woven into significant scenes/arias from the original work: Spoletta in Tosca, Annina in La Traviata and Suzuki in Madama Butterfly, to name a few. Many workshop performances have been presented in English, with major arias being sung in the foreign language in which the opera was written. Depending upon the school, some workshops have been performed entirely in the original language to demonstrate the beauty and intention of the composer’s vernacular.
Inside Opera adaptations have been presented for L’Elisir d’Amore, Gianni Schicchi, Tosca, La Traviata, Madama Butterfly, Lucia di Lammermoor, I Pagliacci, Aida and Turandot. The program incorporates visits to Boheme’s main stage invited dress rehearsals. Inside Opera can be implemented only with necessary funding.
For information and inquiries about Inside Opera, please contact the Boheme Opera administrative office at (609) 581-9551.