SOOP is the winner of the 2012-2013 Kentucky Music Education Association Friend of Music Award.
Under the direction of Dr. Everett McCorvey, in 2003 the University of Kentucky Opera Theatre and the Lexington Opera Society established an opera outreach and education program. Since 2007, under the new sponsorship of the William E. Schmidt Foundation, the arts have now become accessible to the children of Kentucky through the Schmidt Opera Outreach Program (SOOP). Using fairy tales, children’s stories, and American history, along with the music of Mozart, Rossini, Offenbach, Rodriquez and Malcolm Fox, SOOP has introduced over 290,000 Kentucky students in more than 270 schools and 77 counties to the fundamental components, basic terminology and the glorious melodies of opera and traditional American music. We are building tomorrow’s audiences and performers through this program.
SOOP has performed shows for schools, theaters and libraries across the state. We have worked with community groups such as local women’s clubs, arts councils and UK agriculture extension offices, all which help to provide funding and bring our show to their community.
SOOP casts are made up young professional singers and an accompanist. The shows, suited for grades K-5, typically run about 40 minutes and we offer a Question and Answer session after every show. Before we arrive, each school is supplied with an extensive study guide to help prepare the students and teachers for the group’s arrival. Tours generally run August-December and bookings begin in late spring.
The SOOP mission
To make the arts accessible to children of all ages.
To introduce students to the fundamental components of oper
To cultivate an understanding for and an appreciation of opera
To help students identify with fictional characters in human situations as a means of understanding themselves and others
To educate and entertain!