As a choral educator, I am actively involved in the MetHD program in my school district. This is my third year in the program and it has grown each year since we began attending. In order for me to take a group of students to the opera, I must attend an educator's training in the fall. This is required by the Metropolitan Opera in New York City, our parent organization, who provides training materials and a 4-day workshop to a cohort of teachers from our district. Our district sends several teachers to the workshop and they come back and share their insights with us. Teachers from all academic disciplines are invited to participate in this program.
Opera is a culminating art form which incorporates music (both vocal and instrumental), acting, movement/dance, theatrical aspects of lighting, sound and set design, puppetry, extravagant costuming and libretti that are far-reaching in their scope. When this program began 10 years ago, students were dropped off at a local movie theatre to watch the performance which was streamed "live" from the Metropolitan Opera House in New York. Several years ago, Mr. Lawrence J. DuBow provided funding for an upgrade to the theatre at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts so that we could take our students to DASOTA to watch the opera. The upgrade was approved by the Metropolitan Opera House and we are the only school district in the nation to have our own designated HD theatre for this purpose.
Bus transportation is costly, however, I wrote a grant which was funded by the Woman's Club of Jacksonville last year for $1,000 to help defray the cost of procuring transportation to the opera broadcasts. This year, my students will travel to DASOTA to see "Tosca" and "Cendrillon" (the French version of "Cinderella"). We completed our teacher training in early December and I am excited to be able to offer this opportunity to my students in January and in April, 2018.
My heartfelt appreciation goes out to the Arts Office of the Duval County School Board for their vision, OperaJax who coordinates our teacher training, LaVilla School of the Arts who hosts our training every year, Mr. Lawrence J. DuBow and his foundation, the team of teachers who traveled to NYC to bring the training back to us and to the Woman's Club of Jacksonville for helping us with transportation costs to travel to the opera broadcasts. It is such a collaborative effort on the parts of many and we are most grateful for this opportunity.
"Tosca" - MetHD - 2018
"Cendrillon" - MetHD - 2018