Anchorage Opera (AO) announces an opportunity for area schools to spend ‘A Day at the Opera’ for a behind the scenes look at all that goes into the production of a mainstage show. “Educational outreach is a high priority for us, so we’re excited to join in this national celebration,” said General Director, Reed Smith. “Our Scene Shop is busy building the sets for our first production of our 55th Anniversary Season, and we’re extending a special invitation to schools to come see first-hand all that goes into the creation of grand opera.” Designated by Congress in 2010, House Resolution 275 names the week beginning with the second Sunday in September as National Arts in Education Week. During this week, the field of arts education and its supporters join together in communities across the country in celebration of the transformative power of the arts in education. Tours of the opera facility located in the Ship Creek district at 1507 Spar Ave, Anchorage, AK 99501, will include the Scene and Costume Shops and give students a chance to ask questions of Smith as well as his technical team. “There are so many elements involved in opera production that students can be inspired by”, Smith elaborated, “and we love the chance to do so. Set design and construction, scenic painting, costume creation, there’s something for everyone and every interest, from the mathematically inclined to the budding singing star of the future.”

Anchorage Opera expanded their educational outreach programming last season with the launch of the touring arm of their non-profit company, ‘AO2Go’, and their production of “Aklaq and Nayak (An Alaska Native Adaptation of Hansel and Gretel)” is once again available for schools and community organizations to book this season. Final dress rehearsals of Anchorage Opera main stage productions are open to area schoolchildren free of charge and teachers are encouraged to reserve seats for the 2016-17 Season. “We especially hope that students who spent time with us learning about the opera behind the scenes during National Arts in Education Week will have the chance to experience the finished product in all its glory,” said Smith “and gain a true appreciation of what a ‘team sport’ opera truly is.”

Schools in the Anchorage area wishing to schedule ‘A Day at the Opera’ for their students (Mon, September 12 – Friday, Sept 16), to find out more about bringing ‘AO2Go’ to their schools, or to reserve seats for the free final dress rehearsals at the Alaska Center for the Performing Arts should contact Anchorage Opera at 907-279-2557 or email Judy Berry, Marketing & Development Director at

Anchorage Opera’s 55th Anniversary Season includes “Rigoletto” (October 28, 29 and 30, 2016), “Glory Denied” (February 10, 12, 16 & 18, 2017) and “Opera Extravaganza” (April 7, 8 and 9, 2017). Anchorage Opera is one of the largest producers of the performing arts in Alaska. Founded in 1962, it was the first North American opera company in the circumpolar North. For more about Anchorage Opera visit