Opera Theatre of Weston to stage ‘The Secret Garden’ in Rutland, Weston

Members of the Opera Theatre of Weston creative team recently visited a class of pre-K children at The Little School in Weston with its school outreach project, “Storybook Opera: The Secret Garden.” The event is in preparation of East Coast premiere of the new opera The Secret Garden, which the OTW is staging in Weston and Rutland in January.

Back row from left, Ashley Hensel Browning, Diane Stugger and Lise Messier of the Opera Theatre of Weston with tots from the Little School

Back row from left, Ashley Hensel Browning, Diana Stugger and Lise Messier of the Opera Theatre of Weston with tots from the Little School

Choreographer and educator Ashley Hensel-Browning worked with the 4-year-olds to create human sculptures of plants and trees and inspired them to move as robins, flying and hopping around a garden.

OTW stage director Diana Stugger joined Lise Messier, co-producer and artistic director, during the workshop to meet the children and answer their questions. The class listened intently to descriptions of  The Secret Garden opera, based on the classic novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett. The opera will receive its East Coast premiere at the Paramount Theatre at 30 Center St., Rutland and at the Weston Playhouse at 703 Main St. in Weston on Jan. 4 through 11.

The Little School of Weston was one of many southern Vermont schools where students were introduced to the plot, characters, music and stage action of The Secret Garden before attending narrated school matinees held during the performance week. Five local children will perform with the professional cast members at each performance: Mary Anderson of Chester will dance the role of the Robin; Evangeline Bulick of Dorset, Morgan Wallace, Kelsey McCullough and Ariel Chase-Parry of Rutland will play the animals that appear in the garden: Squirrel, Fox, Faun and Crow.

The first public matinee takes place at 2 p.m. on Sunday Jan. 4, 2015 at the Paramount Theatre in Rutland. Then sets, props, costumes and lights will be transferred to the Weston Playhouse for the rest of the run.

Ticket prices are $30/$15 for the Paramount Theatre, Rutland and may be purchased by visiting http://www.paramountvt.org/tickets.php or by calling 802-775-0903. For the Weston Playhouse, ticket prices are $30/$22/$15 and may be purchased by visiting http://operatheatreofweston.com/Tickets.php or calling 802-824-3821.


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About the Author: This item was edited from one or more press releases submitted to The Chester Telegraph.

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