A partnership between the City of McPherson, the McPherson Opera House Company and the Wichita Grand Opera, among others, drew the attention of the the Creative Arts Industries Commission of the state department of commerce.
The Opera Academy of the Midwest recently received a $75,000 grant from the commission to help with the creation of the program, which will bring aspiring opera performers of three different skill levels together to hone their craft.
“The Opera Academy of the Midwest will have its beginnings in McPherson in the month of July,” John Holecek, McPherson Opera House Company Executive Director, said. “At which time opera students will be trained by opera professionals in preparation for Wichita Grand Opera's season.”
The total cost for the program will be $240,000, though partnerships with the CVB, the Opera House Company, Central Christian College, the McPherson Arts Alliance and the McPherson Museum and Arts Foundation will help offset the cost. Central Christian College, for instance, is providing dormitory space for the estimated 30 students who will be attending the month-long academy.
“That's one thing that the Kansas Creative Arts Industry Commission was looking for in this particular category of grants,” Holecek said. “Ones that involve more than one unit. We've got the city CVB behind it, Central Christian College has been very generous in opening up their facilities and, of course the opera house. It's just a good thing for the town.”
The WGO will open its 2015 season at the McPherson Opera House July 17 with A Night at the Opera, in what has become a regular stop.