When Lawrence DuBow was fourteen, his mom got him a job as an usher at Chicago’s Civic Opera. Earlier this month, his name became attached to a Jacksonville venue where three-thousand area students annually will have their own first operatic experiences.
DuBow made it possible for the twenty-five-year-old auditorium at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts (DA) to receive $200,000 in technical upgrades needed to receive high-definition video live from New York’s Metropolitan Opera. The first signals came through on October 3, just in time for a crowd of about one-hundred and fifty invited guests to experience Verdi’s Il Trovatore.
“I was one of the lucky ones,” DuBow avers at a naming ceremony before the performance. “Now the students are the lucky ones. And it is really about the students—as it should be.”
The event was held jointly by Douglas Anderson School of the Arts; the Duval County Public Schools; Opera Jacksonville, a local nonprofit that partners with The Met to bring opera into schools; and the Community Foundation, which facilitates funding for the opera education program.
DA Principal Jackie Cornelius facilitated the use of the DA campus theatre, ensuring that the broadcasts would be a featured program among the performances and rehearsals of the eight DA Arts programs also using the space.
“DA will be hosting and overseeing all future opera telecasts,” says Cornelius, “and we will be financing the technical support necessary for this wonderful collaboration.”
Article written by Richard A. Salkin