Pop-up opera performances inspire hope in Delaware

Matteo Iadonisi Image
Friday, October 7, 2022
Pop-up opera performances inspire hope in Delaware
The Wilmington HOPE Commission is using forms of art like opera to engage individuals emerging out of the criminal justice system.

WILMINGTON, Delaware (WPVI) -- "A lot of people think that opera is for an older generation and a wealthy generation," said soprano Amanda Sheriff. "And so, I think something that, like, OperaDelaware does really well is these things where we come out in a van and we're just like, we're going to sing opera for you today!"

Sheriff, a principal artist with OperaDelaware, lended her voice to a special collaboration this morning. The Wilmington HOPE Commission invited their long-standing musical company to perform for its program participants today.

The HOPE Commission Achievement Center on Vandever Avenue serves as a hub for programs that help formerly incarcerated individuals re-enter society. Housing and job placement are just two examples of such programs. More topically, there is the Art and HOPE Outdoors initiative that incorporates OperaDelaware into engaging experiences.

The HOPE Commission's Executive Director, Darius Brown, hopes that exposure to the arts will open up one of many avenues for returning individuals to pursue either professionally or casually.

"Not only can they obtain tickets to take their children and family members to many of the theaters in the city of Wilmington, but also, we look forward to them being involved heavily in Delaware's emerging and growing arts community," said Brown.

Program participant Everette Curry enjoyed the performance, saying he'd think twice before flipping the channel on opera again. But more importantly, he appreciates the opportunities that the HOPE Commission has provided.

"Since I've been here, I got some structure. I got some help when I needed it. When I didn't think I was going to get it, I got it," he said. "If you need help with finding a job or you need help with getting your life back together, that's what they're here to do."

OperaDelaware continues to host pop-up performances across the area at school functions, festivals, and more. They are currently warming up for their newest performance, "Cos Fan Tutte," which can be seen live on October 28 & 30 at The Grand Opera House in Wilmington.

For more information about OperaDelaware and the Wilmington HOPE Commission, visit their websites.

RELATED: Philly Youth Strikers helps kids score athletically and academically

At Wynnewood Lanes, kids can pick up a bowling ball and learn how to score strikes and scholarships.