Partnership Announcement: Spotlight Education


Spotlight Education is thrilled to partner with Mill City Summer Opera to introduce high schoolers to opera performance and production as MCSO gears up for its 2019 season. You will learn about the careers of the opera and theatre industry from working professionals, dive into the world of Mozart’s Così fan tutte, and collaborate to create your own opera. This two hour interactive and fun workshop will help you reach operatic proportions! Visit Hennepin Theatre' Trust’s website to sign up for this special event on May 7th, 2019.

Hennepin Theatre Trust drives cultural and economic vitality in Minnesota through leadership of the dynamic Hennepin Theatre District in downtown Minneapolis and educational programming that reaches every area of the state. The Trust’s Spotlight Education program is an essential part of arts education in many Minnesota schools. We help thousands of students every year build confidence, critical thinking, empathy, sense of community and knowledge of musical theater. The program supplements and enhances arts curricula through production assessments, masterclasses, and theater review writing, increasing equitable access to quality musical theater education. Hennepin Theatre Trust is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization.


Our outreach program, Opera is Epic, in conjunction with our 2019 production of Così fan Tutte provides youth from diverse communities across the Twin Cities with access to opera. Students from Minneapolis public schools and community programs ages 4 to 18 participate in a series of interactive, hands-on learning workshops that examine the essential components of opera and opera production, with the kids designing and performing their own opera. The workshops culminate with the opportunity for youth to attend a live opera dress rehearsal, with free tickets for themselves and their family members.



Opera is Epic workshops are led by members of our core group of teaching artists and artistic team, giving youth a chance to learn about opera from highly accomplished directors, singers, conductors and designers. Through these workshops, our teaching artists and artistic production team present:

  • History, origins and significance of opera and theatre and how they relate to other art forms
  • Safe and effective stage movement, combat, and dance
  • Demonstration of operatic-style vocal performance
  • Design and construction of an opera
  • Career opportunities that exist in an opera company, on-stage and behind-the-scenes
  • Development of mini-operas to be designed, rehearsed and performed by the students with musical accompaniment
  • Examination of the music and story of the current Mill City Summer Opera production


Our program partners with Project Success, Lundstrum Center, Northside Child Development Center, and is expanding with each season to deliver Opera is Epic. Through the workshop series, youth see themselves—usually for the first time—as part of a broader artistic community. This exposure has the potential to diversify future opera companies, inspires participants to pursue careers as artists, and instills an appreciation and understanding of opera and theatre from a young age.

We invite students and their family members from all three of these incredible organizations to attend our final dress rehearsal performance and experience live opera under the stars. Sharing this cultural experience together serves as a starting point for rich conversations about how opera relates to their lives.

With these partnerships, our teaching artists help students from a variety of cultures and backgrounds make connections on how theatre and opera can help build empathy, foster self-confidence, and build vital skills in their daily lives. This approach allows us to go beyond the workshops and performances, and provide a basis for building community around arts.



In addition to our workshops, 2018 marked the commencement of our Young Audience performance series. Returning for the second year, Mill City Summer Opera is pleased to announce our production of Così for Young Audiences! Join us for a special shortened day-time performance of Così fan Tutte geared for young audiences, performed in the ruins on our main stage. This special adaptation of Mozart’s Così introduces the concept of opera and theatre practices to youth ages K -12, and includes audience participation. The performance will last one hour and conclude with a cast Q&A.

Additional information regarding ticket reservations will be announced soon.

A huge thanks to our donors and sponsors that also make this possible; Twin Cities Opera Guild and RBC Foundation!

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.