A group of 500 high school students were invited to the LA Opera on Thursday to attend the west coast premiere and final dress rehearsal of “Omar”, the LA Opera’s first mainstage opera by Black composers.
The opera is about the life of Omar Ibn Said, whose 1831 autobiography is the only known American narrative of slavery written in Arabic.
According to the LA Opera, the night was held in spirit of their mission statement “To serve the public by producing world-class opera that preserves, promotes and advances the art form while embodying the diversity, pioneering spirit and artistic sensibility unique to Los Angeles.”
The students attended through the LA Opera’s Opera Prep program, which introduces local students to “the art form and prepares them for their experience at the opera,” according to a press release.
The program provides access for students, frequently from Title I schools, who might not otherwise be able to experience the performing arts.
For many of the students, it was their first time watching a live opera performance at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, the release stated.
Students from the Los Angeles, Long Beach, and Compton Unified School Districts were introduced to artists and behind-the-scenes production members as part of the pre-show program.
The casts’ first performance of “Omar” will be this Saturday Oct. 22 and run through November 13th.