Chautauqua Opera invades Old First Night Run/Walk with song

These ain’t your grandmother’s opera singers.

No spears here. No pointy helmets or togas, either. Instead, these opera singers are outfitted in cross trainers and racing bibs.

At 8 a.m. Saturday, in a continuation of its Opera Invasion events, the Chautauqua Opera Company invades the Old First Night Run/Walk. General and Artistic Director Steven Osgood will lead Chautauqua Opera Young Artists in the race, halting the group at various points to serenade watchers and runners alike with operatic song.

Osgood introduced Opera Invasion events last season, his first at the helm of Chautauqua Opera, as a way to pique community members’ curiosity about opera. Osgood said Chautauqua Opera can’t expect people to come into their house — Norton Hall — if Chautauqua Opera isn’t willing to go to their houses as well.

“That’s why we’re out doing what we are, showing them who we are,” Osgood told the Daily earlier this season.

Included in “them” are young Chautauquans who may have never experienced opera before.

In addition to the “So You Think You’re Louder Than an Opera Singer?” competition held earlier this month at Boys’ and Girls’ Club, the “invasion” of Old First Night Run/Walk, according to Osgood, shows the younger community that an opera singer is someone having a good time.

“The world of opera is extraordinarily broad,” Osgood said. “I want to make sure that, when someone comes to Chautauqua, they understand that opera is fun and accessible and young.”

Running nearly three miles and singing a handful of songs is certainly a young person’s game. No spears needed.

Tags : Chautauqua Opera CompanyChautauqua Opera Young ArtistsOld First Night Run/WalkOpera InvasionSteven Osgood

The author Nathan Healy

Nathan Healy is a second-year graduate student at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. He is pursuing his M.A. in professional writing. Following his undergraduate studies, he spent eight-plus years teaching at an all-boys private school for court-adjudicated youth. In addition to writing and reading, Nathan enjoys traveling, eating at new restaurants, spending time with his niece and nephews, and being physically active.