New York City Opera held its summer gala at Central Park’s Boathouse on May 16 with a special performance by Deborah Voigt and Tony-winner Ted Sperling. Patrons such as Anna Wintour and Sue Carey helped to raise funds for NYCO’s educational programming, which brings its version of opera to New York City’s classrooms. Kids participate firsthand in special renditions of the high-quality art, enabling them the rare opportunity to expand upon their cultural side.
Despite harsh budget cuts at many city schools, NYC Opera Education worked with 5,000 students in over 40 schools across the five boroughs as well as Westchester, New Jersey, Long Island and Connecticut in 2010-11. The gala served as a major fundraiser to involve schools that may not be able to afford participation.
Scooter spoke with West Side Collaborative 7th grader Jessica Marty to learn more about her experience with NYC Opera Education. She starred as Violetta in her school’s production of La Traviata.
What was it like to be at this fancy party?
It was actually really cool! I’ve never been to one before.
Why are you here?
I came here to represent my school West Side Collaborative and talk about how we did La Traviata in school: We rewrote our own scripts and songs and I got to play the main role.
That’s a lot of work! Violetta is a very difficult role. How did you prepare for it?
We worked really hard on our lines and practiced almost everyday. We had a lot of dance moves and songs. We had to catch on really quickly. We all worked together very well.
Have you ever seen a production of La Traviata before?
Do you like Opera?
I’m not really an opera person…
Not yet! OK someday. What did you think about Deborah Voigt singing? She is one of the foremost sopranos out there.
She’s a really good singer!
What was your favorite part of the night?
Actually speaking to everybody and communicating about what we did.
Follow Benjamin-Emile Le Hay via RSS.