Photo: Students at Windham Elementary School holding spring bulbs for OTW garden project
Students from the Windham County school system participated last week in a spring bulb planting project organized by the Opera Theatre of Weston and generously funded by Windham Foundation. The schools taking part were Chester Andover Elementary, Westminster Central and Windham Elementary. The OTW outreach program included a talk about the new opera The Secret Garden to be performed in Rutland and Weston in January.
In addition to a DVD screening of the San Francisco Opera debut production and a reading from the classic children’s novel The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, the children, mostly between the ages of 5 and 8, were given instruction about how to plant tulip and daffodil bulbs and garlic cloves in their school garden. Mirroring the characters in the opera, the children discovered the positive benefits of nurturing their environment. They look forward to seeing the rewards of their endeavors in the spring and had many creative ideas for their future garlic crop. A total of more than 2,000 southern Vermont schoolchildren will attend six school matinees ofThe Secret Garden at the Weston Playhouse and at the Paramount Theatre in January.
During November and December, teaching artist and OTW choreographer Ashley Hensel-Browning will tour area schools with Storybook Opera: The Secret Garden Project. Through music and movement, students will develop an understanding of opera as a form and experience aspects of being in an opera. They will also explore the symbolic themes of The Secret Garden, including resilience of the human spirit and the healing power of nature. The Storybook Opera Project is funded by Windham Foundation, Vermont Humanities Council, Vermont Country Store, Berkshire Foundation and Trust Company of Vermont.
Opera Theatre of Weston presents The Secret Garden by Nolan Gasser, January 2015
SCHEDULE OF PERFORMANCES
Sunday January 4 2:00 pm Public matinee Paramount Theatre, Rutland, VT
Monday January 5 10:00 am School matinee Paramount Theatre, Rutland, VT
Wednesday January 7 9:00 & 10:45 School matinees Weston Playhouse, Weston, VT
Thursday January 8 9:00 & 10:45 School matinees Weston Playhouse, Weston, VT
Friday, January 9 10:00 am School matinee Weston Playhouse, Weston, VT
Saturday January 10 2:00 pm Public matinee Weston Playhouse, Weston, VT
Sunday January 11 2:00 pm Public matinee Weston Playhouse, Weston, VT