We were so happy to see the Fletcher Fellows of the AJ Fletcher Opera Institute at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) perform at the Fletcher Academy this week! It’s always fun to bring together the Fletcher family.
We enjoyed a production of Dr. Siggy’s Fantastic Plan: Eat Wise and Exercise, an interactive performance that had everyone of all ages laughing while we learned about the importance of eating healthy and exercising.
This performance is part of the Opera Institute’s outreach program, where the Fletcher Fellows pack their things into a van (props, costumes, stage make-up, and all) and tour North Carolina elementary schools.
AJ Fletcher was committed to making opera accessible to everyday people and communities at a time when it was reserved for the elite. He advocated for opera to be sung in English and started bringing opera into schools around North Carolina, beginning with the Grassroots Opera Company in 1948.
The Fletcher Opera Institute continues this tradition by performing in over 30 elementary schools each year. These performances introduce opera to children, many for the first time, in a fun and educational way. Each opera promotes its own important message, ranging from telling the truth to the dangers of bullying to healthy living habits.
It provides an opportunity for kids to enjoy opera related to their lives, participate in interactive parts of the show, and ask questions about the performers. This year, Fletcher Academy students (and Fletcher Foundation staff) took a pledge to eat healthy and exercise every day (it’s the thought that counts, right?).
We had a great time bringing the Fletcher family together and are thankful to work with such inspiring young people at the Opera Institute and Fletcher Academy. Bravo everyone!
The opera was written and directed by Steven Lacosse, managing and stage director at the Fletcher Opera Institute. It was performed by Fletcher Fellows Cody Monta, Jenny Schuler, Alicia Reid, and Matt Arnold.