Arizona Opera Promotes Community Music Education

Lew McGinnis has created many financial opportunities for himself and others as a real estate investor. Active in charity, Lew McGinnis has served on the board of directors for the Arizona Opera.

As part of its community outreach, Arizona Opera offers several programs for students in some 150 public schools. Children in kindergarten through fifth grade are introduced to opera watching Rusalka, a short work based on the fairy tale of the little mermaid.

Middle schoolers are exposed to opera as an art form in Opera 101, which presents operatic highlights sung in their original language. This program is designed to reflect the ability of music to tell a story.

For high school pupils, the opera schedules student nights. Docents are available before the performance to acquaint them with performance details. At other times, specialized tours allow access to the music library, the costume shop, and (when applicable) rehearsals.

The Opera Zoom! initiative enables teachers to help customize presentations for their classrooms. Elements of these programs feature question-and-answer sessions and a reader’s theatre. In addition, the opera makes possible the writing and performing of original works based on students’ ideas. Student-written scripts are also the focus of the Find Your Voice workshop for children who are at risk of failing school.

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