Palm Springs Unified students in elementary, middle and high schools throughout the District will have the opportunity to experience live opera when Palm Springs Opera Guild singers visit their sites as part of an upcoming two-week tour.

Now in its 14th year, the Opera in the Schools program will include visits to 18 PSUSD schools between May 16 and June 1. The troupe consisting of Ben Lowe, Erin Gonzalez, Bernardo Bermundez and Katy Tang will provide the age-appropriate, interactive lessons and performances for students in grades kindergarten through twelve.

“Music is a crucial component of a well-rounded education,” said Andrew Eisenmann, Guild artistic director and creator of the program. “The current minimal school budgets often force schools to dissolve their music programs, so the … Guild is delighted to offer a successful program that exposes children to music and impacts their lives and education choices. We know Opera in Schools inspires students and continues to foster their creativity.”

By using the elements of opera, including signing, classical music, dance, performance, production and costume design, Opera in the Schools provides a unique musical art program that captures the students’ imaginations. Presentations and performances are tailored to elementary, middle and high school audiences. Choir students at the high school level have the opportunity to actually work with the artists on operatic music performance techniques.

“It has been such a privilege performing with the Opera in the Schools program for the past two years,” said Erin Gonzalez, classical singer and Opera in the Schools troupe member. “Opera in Schools brings opera to Coachella Valley students who might otherwise never experience it. It warms my heart when I hear returning students talk enthusiastically to those who are new and have never participated in the program before. Their faces light up and they cannot wait for their classmates to share in the experience.”

Celebrating 50 years, the Palm Springs Opera Guild of the Desert has made a significant impact on the cultural life of the Coachella Valley. Since 1983, the organization has hosted the annual Palm Springs Vocal Competition, giving eight emerging young opera singers the opportunity to be judged by an expert panel and compete for prizes. The free aria concert Opera in the Park, is an annual event that began in 1999.

“We are honored to have the … Guild once again providing such a valuable educational outreach to our students,” said Palm Springs Unified Arts Coordinator Louisa Castrodale.  “Because of their tireless efforts, opera has achieved a true and lasting connection with valley students.”

For more information about the Palm Springs Guild, visit here.