Opera Company of Middlebury opts for online


“EAST MEETS WEST,” photo by Andrew J. Russell. Also called “the Champagne Photo.” May 10, 1869. Taken to commemorate the completion of the transcontinental railroad.

As a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, Opera Company of Middlebury has suspended its fall production of “Candide,” opting instead for a new online production. For the health and wellbeing of all concerned, OCM has rescheduled its live production of “Candide” for fall 2021. Instead, OCM will debut a short opera this November that speaks to the current conversation about race in America. Written by noted composer Michael Ching, “Completing the Picture” uses the story of Chinese workers who completed the transcontinental railroad to explore questions of immigration, exclusion and who gets their rightful place in history. Douglas Anderson is adapting the 10-minute work into a rich video experience, featuring some favorite singers from past OCM productions. The company is extremely excited about this important little opera and OCM’s first foray into video production. “Completing the Picture” will be available online through OCM’s website in November. Stay tuned for more information. 

For the second year in a row, the Opera Company of Middlebury has received an Arts Works Grant from the National Endowment of the Arts. By receiving the Arts Works Grant, OCM has been recognized as “meeting high standards of excellence” on a national level. Money from the grant will go towards supporting a fully mounted production of “Candide” in October 2021. OCM is one of nine NEA Arts Work II grant recipients in Vermont. OCM also received a Cultural Relief Grant from the Vermont Arts Council. In support of “Completing the Picture,” OCM also received a Walter Cerf Community Fund grant from the Vermont Community Foundation.

“It is an honor to receive funding from these organizations,” said OCM’s board president James Malcolm. “They are highly competitive, and receiving one speaks to the high caliber of work we do at OCM. These grants were instrumental in making that possible.”

Founded in 2004, Opera Company Middlebury is in its 17th season. Using a mix of Vermont talent and professional singers from across the country, it has been nationally recognized as one of the most important small opera companies in the nation. OCM traditionally mounts two full productions each year at Town Hall Theater in Middlebury. For the past two years, OCM has toured its fall productions to venues in Vermont and New York. 

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