The Bronx Opera is a community organization which defines communities in a number of different ways. The main two definitions of “community” for BxO are the greater community of operatic artists in the New York City area, and our home borough. BxO has existed for 52 years; this has taken us through many different generations of performing artists (as well as many different generations of Bronxites). We have graduated many singers to the great stages of the world (over 200 on the MET roster over the years); that defines us. However, we are no less defined by the way in which we bring operatic artists to interact with, and teach, the people who live with us in The Bronx. We are in The Bronx, and we are also of The Bronx.
BxO’s Community Concerts & Collaborations
Bronx Opera presents concerts throughout the NYC area; venues have included Hofstra University, the Huntington Free Library and Bartow-Pell Mansion in The Bronx, the St. Paul’s National Historic Site in Mount Vernon, and the historic Walton Theatre in Delaware County (NY). BxO has also collaborated with Long Island’s North Shore Music Festival and the Pocono Mountains Music Festival, and our chorus joins forces with the Orchestra of The Bronx for an annual performance of The Messiah.
BxO brings opera to Bronx schools through our Opera-in-the-Schools program, working with 4-5 schools each year since 1997. Our cast members introduce students to opera and to each of our productions, before students see a one-hour abridgement of the show during the school day, full performances at Lehman, get a backstage tour forty-five minutes before each performance, and a return visit at which we take questions and help the kids process their experience. In its first 22 years, OitS has worked with an average of 975 kids each year, for a total of over 21,000 Bronx students served. Among those students are many who have returned as audience members over the years, in addition to several who have worked with us behind the scenes.
After School Work In Bronx Public Schools
From 2010 through 2014, BxO received funds from New York’s City Council to work with JHS/MS 80. In each year, between 5 and 10 BxO Teaching Artists lent their expertise to the students, teachers and staff. These artists (who included BxO staging, music and stage management staff, as well as performing artists) facilitated the preparation and presentation of five years of After-School musical theater productions.
Since 2016, BxO 2018-2019 marks the fourth year in which Bronx Opera has used NYC Cultural Immigramt Initiative funds to work with the Kingsbridge Heights Community Center (KHCC), a settlement house in the northwest Bronx. BxO’s teaching artists work with KHCC staff to create music, dance and theatre classes with KHCC constituents ages 5-60. These groups all perform at KHCC’s school year ending events at KHCC’s outdoor amphitheater.
Senior Citizen Choruses
Bronx Opera teaching artists have been leading choruses at senior centers all over The Bronx since 2015. The flagship of this program is Hudson River Voices at the Riverdale YM-YWHA; in recent years this chorus has been joined by choruses at the Mosholu-Montefiore and Van Cortlandt JASA Senior Centers. At each Center, our artists work with singing groups of over 20 people, combining singers with previous musical experience (some of it 30 and 40 years ago) with people who are singing for the first time.
OUR COMMUNITY PARTNER ORGANIZATIONS
Academy of Mount Saint Ursula Bold Soul Design Intuitive Production Management Kingsbridge Heights Community Center Mosholu-Montefiore Senior Center Nails for Queens NYC Public School 81x Public School 153x Public School 160x Riverdale YM-YWHA Senior Center Van Cortlandt JASA Senior Center