Steven Osgood, Artistic and General Director of Chautauqua Opera Company, addresses members of the Opera Guild at the Opera Guild Picnic at noon on July 21, 2016, on the lawn outside Norton Hall. Osgood thanked the Opera Guild for their support and talked about the Chautauqua Opera Company's 2017 season. Photo by Carolyn Brown.

 

The Chautauqua Opera Guild held its annual picnic Thursday at Norton Hall, as violet tablecloths and hydrangeas in mason jars adorned the tables where Guild members ate sandwiches and pasta salad.

“We have lots of gatherings for the opera and the opera guild, but the picnic is the traditional, informal gathering of the entire membership,” said Linda Steckley, a sixth-year Guild member and 12-year Chautauquan. “It’s essentially a wonderful way to have a business meeting under these beautiful trees out in the sunshine.”

Loretta Bower, left, and Penny Kurtz, right, enjoy the food at the Opera Guild Picnic at noon on July 21, 2016, on the lawn outside Norton Hall. Steven Osgood, Artistic and General Director of Chautauqua Opera Company, addressed the Opera Guild during the picnic, thanking them for their support and discussing the Chautauqua Opera Company's 2017 season. Photos by Carolyn Brown.
Loretta Bower, left, and Penny Kurtz, right, enjoy the food at the Opera Guild Picnic at noon on July 21, 2016, on the lawn outside Norton Hall. Steven Osgood, Artistic and General Director of Chautauqua Opera Company, addressed the Opera Guild during the picnic, thanking them for their support and discussing the Chautauqua Opera Company’s 2017 season. Photos by Carolyn Brown.

The primary function of the Guild is to support the Young Artists, several of whom also attended the picnic. Guild members volunteer at all opera events and participate in the “Adopt-an-Artist” program.

“We want to help make Chautauqua Opera Company known as the premier summer opera program,” Steckley said. “Anything the Guild can do to enhance that is important.”

Once everyone had settled down to eat, Artistic and General Director of the company Steven Osgood addressed the gathering. He mentioned the upcoming performances of The Mikado and Song From the Uproar, and said that as the director of an opera company, he is in an enviable position to work within the Chautauqua community.

“The people who come to the Chautauqua Institution have self-selected themselves already as curious people. I think here, we have 100 percent potential community involvement in this art form,” he said. “I love the fact that ‘opera’ is a buzzword around the Institution right now.”