The Metropolitan Opera Guild is dedicated to fostering an active and educated audience for the operatic arts, through such activities as lectures, public interviews with artists, master classes, backstage tours of the Metropolitan Opera House, special events (such as the Guild's annual membership luncheon) that pay tribute to major opera figures, travel programs and the publication of OPERA NEWS magazine.
The Guild is also a leader in arts education, working with schools locally and nationally to provide in-class arts partnerships, professional development for teachers and administrators, and support for research initiatives. Through these activities the Metropolitan Opera Guild reaches a diverse community of learners of all ages.
Backstage Tours: Visitors ages 7 and older may take a backstage tour of the Met during opera season on select weekdays at 3:30 pm and Sundays at 10:30 am and 1:30 pm. The 90-minute hour tour explores this amazing ten-story structure, which stretches the length of an entire city block. Visitors see the shops where artisans create sets, costumes and wigs; rehearsal facilities; dressing rooms; and the vast stage complex with its revolving platform and side stages.
Opera Explorers: Opera Explorers introduces children aged 5-9 (with their parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles) to opera. By combining musical and historical background with hands-on experiential learning and physical and vocal activity, workshop participants learn to recognize characters by sight and sound, follow a complex operatic plot, and understand the power of music, acting, and design to tell a story. Its impact will be felt over years as children grow and become new opera lovers or, perhaps, are inspired to pursue their own dreams of performance.
Opera combines all the arts--drama, poetry, music, movement/dance, visual arts--and thus is a perfect vehicle for arts instruction. The Metropolitan Opera Guild is a pioneer and leader in arts education whose programs build the capacity of teachers and schools to make the arts a vital part of their classrooms. For more information, visit the Guild's education department on the web at www.operaed.org.
Met School Membership Program: For an annual membership fee, schools receive 44 tickets, which may be used at one or several events, including final dress rehearsals, director's rehearsals and discounted evening performances (for an additional nominal fee per ticket). Classroom materials, teacher workshops and backstage tours are also provided to member schools.
Urban Voices: A Choral Music Initiative: A high-touch choral-music program targeted to low-income public and parochial schools in New York City, Urban Voices provides once-a-week classroom choral instruction for the entire school year for grades K-12. Guild-trained choral artists collaborate with classroom teachers in devising lesson plans, choosing repertory that is age-appropriate and connected to the classroom curriculum, and conducting each class. Each class performs in a culminating concert, usually in the spring. Urban Voices follows the guidelines set forth in the New York City Department of Education's Blueprints for Teaching and Learning in the Arts.
In-Class Arts Partnerships: By pairing classroom teachers of all grades with Guild Teaching Artists, In-Class Arts Partnerships encourage students to explore the operatic art form through an authentic, tailored design that meets the needs of each class. Sutdents learn skills in meaningful ways that are connected to standards and study the art form, as well as create and perform their own works. Using opera as a vehicle for teaching and learning, students are able to make interdisciplinary curriculum connections, develop higher-order thinking skills, and deepen their understanding of what they are learning in all subjects.
Research and Professional Development Opera Institute: An ongoing research and professional develompent network, the Institute provides the tools necessary to integrate opera education into the classroom curriculum. Through a network structure designed for sharing best practices, the Institute fosters in teachers a long-term commitment to using the arts as a vehicle for teaching. The Metropolitan Opera Guild serves as a resource and guide in tailoring a unique and practical approach for each classroom, through an annual summer workshop, twice-yearly network meetings, monthly site visits, and embedded professional development by Guild teaching artists.
Professional Development for Teachers and Administrators: The Guild also facilitates special professional development sessions for teachers and other school leaders. In these sessions, the Guild offers strategies in skill-based instruction to general-education teachers who may be the sole provider of students' arts education, as well as strategies for collaborating with arts teachers and guest artists.