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THE SCOOP | Opera Atelier Doubles Down On Youth Education

By Michael Vincent on August 18, 2021

Opera Atelier Youth Programming

Toronto’s Opera Atelier have expanded their Making of an Opera (MOAO) education program thanks to an award of $83,000 from the Ontario Trillium Foundation’s Resilient Communities Fund in 2020.

Founded in 1995, Opera Atelier’s MOAO program exposes students to all parts of the production of opera. It allows students access to participate in an immersive, hands-on and full-day workshop experience. Pre-pandemic, 1,000+ participants attended each year, and demand for the program continues to grow.

“We are thrilled to have the generous support of the Resilient Communities Fund,” said Opera Atelier’s Artistic Director Marshall Pynkoski. “If we hope to ensure a vibrant and thriving cultural sector as part of Ontario’s future, it is our responsibility to provide zero barrier opportunities for youth to access the arts.”

How they did it

Opera Atelier hired a consultant to help guide the program’s transition to a digital platform. They also brought on a videographer to help create new content with the artistic team, stage management, and performing artists, resulting in engaging online learning modules for music, dance, movement, and set design. In addition, students were given free access to two streaming season shows of the company in 2020-21, and offered access to masterclass workshops held online by star soprano Measha Brueggergosman.

“The investment has not only helped Opera Atelier pivot online during the pandemic, developing a high-quality online learning platform that offers flexibility and greater accessibility to youth across the province,” said Suze Morrison, MPP for Toronto Centre, “it has also provided critical income to artists in one of the hardest-hit sectors in Ontario.”

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