Some members of the local business community ventured into the woods last week – but not for a leisurely autumn hike.
The latest event in Business & Arts NL’s “Scene First” series saw business members head behind the scenes at the St. John’s Arts and Culture Centre for a sneak preview of Opera on the Avalon’s production of “Into the Woods.” The celebrated musical from Stephen Sondheim and James Lapin (inspired by tales from the Brothers Grimm) takes a decidedly Newfoundland turn featuring local settings and some of Opera on the Avalon’s finest talent from the province and across the country.
“Scene First” strives to increase interaction and engagement between the local business and arts communities, while helping to reveal the work that goes on behind the scenes to make great art come to life. After enjoying some wine and conversation, business members, as well as Business & Arts NL’s board of directors, were invited into the rehearsal room to hear a few words from Jennifer Young, Executive Director of Business & Arts NL, and Cheryl Hickman, General and Artistic Director of Opera on the Avalon.
Guests were then treated to an exclusive preview as cast members performed several awe-inspiring numbers from the musical, which explores what happens after the fairytale you wish for actually comes true.
Business members also got a chance to delve deeper and learn more about the production thanks to a Q&A session featuring members of the creative team, including Director Donna Fletcher and Musical Director Jeffrey Huard. The evening proved to be as enlightening as it was entertaining as the team spoke about the quality of the local arts scene and how the business community can help ensure its success.
“The Business & Arts NL Scene First event was a great way to have our business community interact socially with our organization in an intimate venue that let them have a short glimpse into what goes into the making of a major production such as ‘Into the Woods,’” Hickman says.
“It was a wonderful opportunity to bring a diverse group of exceptionally talented singers and actors from both here and across Canada together to perform for members, and show them the level of quality we offer on our stage.”
Established in 2009, Opera on the Avalon has created works that rival that of any other major artistic centre, while providing opportunities for local performers to shine onstage – something which Hickman says they are proud to do.
“The ability to offer professional performing opportunities for our own emerging and established stars, as they are showcased alongside some of Canada’s most famous performers, is an opportunity that we are thankful to be able to provide – assistance which the business community has fostered and encouraged through their generous support.”
Catch Opera on the Avalon’s “Into the Woods” from November 23-25 (at 8pm) at the St. John’s Arts and Culture Centre. Tickets are available at the box office, or by calling 729-3900.