Marion chosen to host opera workshop later this summer

Symphony in the Flint Hills and International Opera Workshop will partner for a second year to host Opera Workshop in the Flint Hills from July 24 to Aug. 5.

The two-week-long Master Class will bring advanced students and young professional singers from points throughout the nation to the rural Flint Hills community of Marion.

Following a rigorous audition process, artistic director Martha Sharp will select 10 to 15 singers to participate. Sharp, professor of voice at the “Mozarteum” University for Music and Performing Arts in Salzburg, Austria, for more than two decades, will be joined by acclaimed pianist Margaret Singer, as well as instructors Leanne Hilmer and Bridget Hille.

International Opera Workshop was founded in 1999 with a focus on helping opera singers find their acting talents and execute them in a natural and logical way while maintaining the disciplines that are necessary for the body to optimally function as a singing “instrument.”

Since then, the group has organized workshops in Austria, Iceland and, in 2017, Cottonwood Falls.

“Rural locations are ideal for creating an atmosphere where participants can live, breathe and sleep opera for the duration of the workshop,” Sharp said.

With its Elgin Hotel, historic Municipal Auditorium and arts culture, Marion will be a great host community for Opera Workshop in the Flint Hills,” added Christy Davis, executive director of Symphony in the Flint Hills.

Marion Mayor Todd Heitschmidt said, “We are truly enthused for the opportunity to match our community with these students from all over the United States, while at the same time showcasing Marion’s place in the Flint Hills.”

Workshop participants will give public performances on Aug. 3-4 at the Marion Municipal Auditor­ium. For more information about Opera Workshop in the Flint Hills, contact project director Abby Triemer at 620-366-3581.

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