Our Mission:
To work with talented adults and aspiring young artists and musicians in presenting professional operas, accessible to diverse audiences in the Hudson Valley and beyond, and to provide a means for young people to experience professional caliber coaching through operatic performance.

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About the Opera Company
of the Highlands

Headed by soprano Claudia Cummings, the new non-profit Opera Company of the HIghlands is an outgrowth of the performances and works of Festival Theatre of New York, a performing arts organization Cummings co-founded with her husband, Shakespearean actor Jack Aranson, in 1999.


Opera Company of the Highlands – Reaching Out to Local Schools

Opera is a unique art form with something for everyone, especially those interested in theatre arts, and it presents some of the finest music ever written. But many young audiences have little exposure to opera. While performing for general audiences throughout the Hudson Valley, we are also building relationships with local school districts in the region.

To launch this opera education initiative, we invited middle and high school students from several local school districts to enjoy two dress rehearsal performances of our debut production, Die Fledermaus. This operetta was ideal for introducing young people to opera, with a highly entertaining comic plot and exquisite music, all performed in English. We will expand educational outreach in our 2006 season, inviting young people to Daughter of the Regiment (another humor-filled opera performance in English), La Bohème (arguably the most beloved of all operas), and our youth summer opera.

Welcoming students into our dress rehearsals exposes them not only to wonderful performances, but also brings them directly into the exciting inner workings of opera production from stage direction and acting to costuming, set design and musical accompaniment.

We believe that introducing children to professional opera stimulates their interest in the art form – both as listeners and performers – and helps to secure adult audiences for the future.

To find out more about school performances, click here. You can e-mail us at [email protected] for inquiries and interest.

Teachers and students applaud 2004 production of The Marriage of Figaro and 2003 performance of The Magic Flute.

“People any age will be able to follow and enjoy this performance. Its length was perfect for school aged children. They learned a lot. I know I will return next year!”
Peggy Guyett, 6-8th Grade Language Arts Teacher

“Claudia, most students really enjoyed the opera. It was a great choice for students that age (high school)… Thanks for the wonderful and accessible opportunity to introduce Newburgh kids to opera.”
Rachel Merrill, Newburgh Free Academy

“Students and teachers were thrilled with the professional quality of Festival Theatre’s The Magic Flute. The intimate setting and talented performers brought the story to life.”
Karen Bresnan, Music, and Cynthia Forrest, Art, Garrison Union Free Academy

Opera Company of the Highlands
PO Box 4606 | New Windsor, NY 12553 | Tel: 845/562-5381
[email protected] | OperaCompanyOfTheHighlands.org
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