OPERAtion Imagination is a Festival educational outreach program that introduces schoolchildren, primarily K-8, to the world of opera. A small group of trained singers and a pianist prepare several opera scenes, explain the content to the students before each scene and perform them in the original language with minimal props and simple costuming. Scenes are selected from the standard opera repertoire and are chosen for age appropriateness, students' interests, curiosities, and attention spans. The 35-45 minute presentation includes scenes in which students participate, either as "opera chorus" or in other roles on stage. OPERAtion Imagination is offered to area schools at no charge.
As a follow-up to the in-school presentations, PMMF offers a "Create Your Own Opera Scene Workshop," geared for students grades 2-8. At the workshop, participants watch an opera scene performed live and then brainstorm an ending. Under the guidance of trained singers, students write a new libretto, compose melodies, learn arias, and stage the new scene. The workshop is limited to 20 participants.
Pine Mountain Music Festival feels that music education is important in a student's academic development. Classical music - in general, and opera - in particular, is not listened to in many homes. Michigan and national educational benchmarks require that children be exposed to classical music and have some guidance in the appreciation of it. The board and staff of Pine Mountain Music Festival are happy to bring OPERAtion Imagination to area students to introduce them to the vibrant world of opera.
The OPERAtion Imagination program in 2014 is supported in part by an award from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, the National Endowment for the Arts and Portage Health.