Guild Adopts a School
The Guild Adopts a School was a program developed in 2010 as part of Vancouver Opera’s 50th Anniversary celebrations. A Grade 5 student from a school in Prince George who had already begun writing operas had come to the attention of a member of the Vancouver Opera Board, and had been invited to attend the celebrations to represent the future of opera in B.C. When it was discovered that the school in question had a very limited budget, the Guild decided to pay the costs for two teachers from the school to come to Vancouver to attend VO’s Music! Words! Opera! teacher-training program, and also to donate a performance of Jack Pine, VO’s then-current Opera In Schools production, to the Prince George school. Thereafter, the Guild chose one or two B.C. schools each year to receive the same benefits—i.e. training costs for two teachers plus an Opera In Schools performance– until the Music! Words! Opera! program was discontinued by VO in favour of Project Opera and Opera Camp.
The Guild received a Project of Special Merit award from Opera Volunteers International in 2010 in recognition of the inception of this program.
Project Opera and Opera Camp
Project Opera and Opera Camp, begun in the 2013-14 season, are initiatives of Vancouver Opera’s education program.
Project Opera is a highly interactive program for elementary students that brings the magic of opera into the classroom over a period of six weeks. Students and teachers work in collaboration with Teaching Artists from Vancouver Opera to write, stage, and perform their own opera based on source material from the classroom.
Opera Camp is a program operated during school holidays. Children and youth learn about all aspects of producing an opera, from writing the libretto and score to designing costumes to performing on stage. It is currently offered in the summer months both as a week-long Junior Camp and as a two-week-long Teen Intensive, and in some years has been offered for at-risk youth during Spring Break.
Since 2014, the Vancouver Opera Guild has provided financial assistance to Vancouver Opera for the operating costs of Project Opera and has funded a number of tuition bursaries each year to enable disadvantaged youth to participate in Opera Camp.