Singers from Pensacola Opera sign autographs for a young audience member at Tyndall AFB. Photo courtesy of Pensacola Opera
Pensacola Opera's residency at Tyndall AFB is one of the most extensive that we've seen with Great American Voices, and staff at Pensacola Opera is to be applauded for their ambitious plans to connect on many levels with audiences at this base. Activities started out on February 8 with two performances of the children's opera The Three Little Pigs, one at a local elementary school and the other at the Tyndall Youth Center on base. Approximately 600 students enjoyed these performances.
Day two of the residency was performances of "Opera in a Trunk," an improvisational opera performance creating a plot based on audience suggestions and props in a trunk. The first performance took place at the Tyndall Family Camp, an RV site on base for military families and veterans vacationing in Florida. There were many retirees present. A second performance took place that the Tyndall Community Center. The Pentagon Channel television station was on site to tape some of these activities.
The primary performance took place the evening of February 10 at the Tyndall Officers' Club before an audience of approximately 200. There was evidence that the events that had taken place on the days preceding resulted in a ground swell for the final performance. Lesson learned: when the young performers are able to create a meaningful presence on the base, the potential to develop a greater awareness for the program is significantly enhanced.
Pensacola Opera is a relatively small company and considers community outreach as a significant part of their mission. This year marked the 2nd year of their Young Artists Program and the participating singers were aptly suited for this initiative.
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