Friday night I got to witness something amazing. My friend's nonprofit, Mssng Lnks, partnered with Opera Boston and got a grant from the Boston Foundation to create a two-week intensive workshop for urban kids, resulting in a performance at the end. That performance was on Friday (the 13th, no less).
Performances with kids are often sweet, cute, well-intentioned, good growth opportunities, important to support.... But with this performance, three professional opera singers were also involved, and the kids were good, so it was all those things you want to support, but also a fantastic performance.
Titled Bohemian Faces, the performance, loosely based on La Boheme, was held in a space renovated to build community and cultural opportunities in the heart of Roxbury. The cast was made up of 14- to 20-year-olds of varying ethnicities, and the three professional singers were black. In addition to being a great performance with powerful singing, you could feel what it might mean to the audience, perhaps seeing and hearing opera live for the first time, and almost certainly, witnessing for the first time amazing classical performers with voices that blew you away ... and who looked like them.
One of the things I loved so much was not only how good it was artistically, but that it concretely, specifically made our world better, simply for its happening. And who knows what it might ultimately yield, for the kids, for the singers, for the audience, for the community?