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BWLI Students and Committee

MCLA Students Experience the Metropolitan Opera in New York City

05/05/2010

Twenty-five MCLA students and five staff members recently were treated to an experience of a lifetime at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. The trip was hosted by Sandy Fisher, whose generous donation to the College made the students' visit to the Met possible. Fisher is on the board of the Metropolitan Opera and a former chairman of the board of the Berkshire Opera Company.

According to Jonathan Secor, director of special programs at MCLA, Fisher put together the program to open up the world of opera to students.  They saw "La Traviata" by Giuseppe Verdi.

"Sandy loves opera. He wants the next generation to love opera and he wanted to expose our students to opera at its very best," Secor said. "It truly was an experience that very few people could have offered."

Students were selected for the trip through an application process, which was open to all fine and performing arts majors, with consideration leaning toward those studying music, theater and arts management.

Upon their arrival on Amsterdam Avenue in New York City, MCLA students and staff were met by Fisher and brought directly back stage.

"He waved us right in. We then went to the staff canteen, where the musicians, the stage hands and the members of the orchestra all eat. He bought us all lunch and talked to the students about the opera," Secor said.

All of the students had excellent seats in the orchestra and grand tier sections.

During the first intermission, they met in the Grand Tier restaurant for dessert.

"After the opera, Sandy again took us back stage to the Green Room to meet all three leads. These are internationally known opera stars," said Secor. "He then took us onstage, where the head carpenter spent about a half hour talking to us about how the Metropolitan Opera works on the back stage end."

According to Kate Adams '10 of Dennis, Mass., "My experience on this trip was amazing! I've never seen an opera before in the United States, and to see one at the Metropolitan Opera is as good as it gets.

"As a music major, I'd been hearing about this venue for quite some time; however, I didn't have the means to actually see a performance. La Traviata is a fantastic opera, and I enjoyed every second of the show," she continued. "Words can't describe our back stage tour. As I stood on the Met stage, I definitely had some tears in my eyes, I felt so lucky to stand where the greatest productions of music, dance, and theater in the world happen."

Although the majority of the students had never been to the opera, "They all loved it," Secor said.

"The adventure to the MET with the students was wonderful," Fisher said. "I look forward to making this an annual outing and only hope that the experience and the exposure encouraged the students to seek out other opportunities to experience opera."