MORE Opera Outreach

Music gives pleasure and inspires the soul, enabling us to express, emote and gain understanding. Opera is possibly the most complete art form, and participation in an opera chorus can have a transforming effect. “OPERA UNLIMITED” introduces amateur choristers and audiences to opera and bridges diverse communities. Verdi’s Aida is the perfect choice for our community outreach programming to pique curiosity and stimulate interest for opera with its fantastic storyline and Nubian themes. Few small-sized opera presenters have the aspiration or ability to produce this opera, in part due to the need for a large and effective chorus.

ADVANCE/MORE Opera’s niche is opera in concert, focusing on the composer’s music and the voices. MORE also has an innovative and successful model to attract community choristers from all backgrounds and musical levels. We utilize the talents of anyone interested in learning to sing opera, from untrained, non-music readers to college students and emerging artists. We partner a highly motivated, well trained community chorus with outstanding MET level professional soloists to create a grand night of music that is a fantastic experience for both performer and audience. ADVANCE/MORE Opera has given several successful productions using this formula.

ADVANCE/MORE Opera has presented opera themed outreach concerts throughout Manhattan to under-served audiences in Harlem, Manhattan Valley and Chinatown/Little Italy since 2000. We have diversified audiences, black, white, professional, working class, families and seniors. We have targeted and reached Manhattan Valley residents and seniors specifically and Harlem area residents who are interested in learning about the history and contributions of African-American opera singers and musicians. Our concerts provide a context for these communities to better understand their heritage from past accomplishments to the present day. Through the years, we have been successful in reaching our artistic goals, in targeting and reaching specific communities with our educational and inspirational messages about the musical contributions of African-American opera singers, and audience development via our community outreach projects.

Our AIDA Outreach Program was a tremendous success in Little Italy in the summer of 2013. Over 100 applicants expressed interest in participating in the community chorus training program, of which 50 participants from age 15 to 50+ and from diverse ethnic backgrounds performed in the opera. Most of the participants had never performed in an opera before, and many were untrained and could not read music. We successfully prepared each artist. The artists in turn invited their network of friends and family to the performance, resulting in a packed audience, many who were experiencing opera for the very first time.