Summer Institute for Educators 2021

Shoulder to Shoulder into the Fray: The Resilient Women of Opera

A virtual arts and learning experience
Monday, July 19 – Thursday, July 22, 2021

Virtual Binder

Women have always had the courage to change the world. From The Merry Widow to Carmen, the irrepressible women of opera are no different! Alongside acclaimed teaching artists and presenters, educators will embark on an interdisciplinary study of operatic women and discover opera-based teaching strategies that improve literacy, problem solving, empathy and collaboration. Educators will also learn how female artists are bravely reimagining opera for our times.

Explore guiding questions that will frame the year’s professional development series:

  • Why opera? Why now?
  • How can opera provide a model for self-empowerment, collaboration and self-expression for our students?
  • What does opera reveal about the culture and time period in which it was created? What does opera reveal about our culture today?
  • How does opera teach us to remain courageous and resilient in the face of adversity?
  • In what ways does opera reflect and challenge important issues about the role of women in society?
  • How does opera’s heightened emotional language mirror our internal emotional landscapes?

As Muse has done in the past, institute artists will continue to offer year-round professional development for all teachers through curriculum development workshops. The Muse staff and teaching artists will support teachers as they bring opera-based and opera-inspired activities into their learning approaches and celebrate the creative spirit that lies within all students.

Teachers attending the institute can earn 20 seat hours and/or three University of Dayton credit hours.

Companion Book List

Muse is partnering with the downtown Dayton Metro Library to create a book list for students in grades 5 to 12. The books will be international in scope and appealing to teachers and their students and emphasize stories of dynamic women who challenged conventions and left their mark on the world.

This project is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Summer Institute 2021 Artist Bios

Brandon Anderson (he/him) is an award winning singer/songwriter, composer/lyricist, devised theatre creator and teaching artist living in New York City. His musical theater and solo works have been performed in NYC and across the country. He has released three albums and crossed the country on two national tours. Brandon also has extensive experience in arts education, teaching for the Metropolitan Opera Guild, Lincoln Center Theater and Tectonic Theater Project. Brandon is also the Artistic Director and Dramaturg for NYU’s Tisch New Musical Theatre Workshop, which produces readings and workshop productions of new musicals in collaboration with students across the university. He holds a BA in Theatre Arts from the University of Wisconsin and an MFA in Musical Theatre Writing from NYU.

Angela Marroy Boerger is the Schools and Partnerships Manager at Arts Every Day in Baltimore, where she works with Baltimore City Public Schools to ensure equitable access to the arts for all students in the district and leads the training program in arts integration. Boerger was formerly the Education Manager at the New York Metropolitan Opera, where she led the education curriculum for the Met’s HD Live in Schools. Boerger pursued PhD studies in music history at Yale University. She holds Master of Arts and Master of Philosophy degrees from Yale in music history, and also has degrees from Rice University in musicology and medieval studies.

Joel Esher is a composer and music educator currently living in New York City. Esher has worked as a teaching artist for The Metropolitan Opera Guild, The Trinity Church at Wall Street, The Little Orchestra Society, Carnegie Hall, Disney Theatrical Group, The Metropolitan Opera, Dreamyard and Playwrights Horizons Theater School. His musical background and educational approach are grounded in improvisational comedy, which he has taught and/or performed with The Second City, ComedySportz, Baby Wants Candy, The Magnet Theater, the Pit Theater and UCB. He holds a Bachelor of Music in music directing and vocal performance and opera from Northwestern University with a Certificate of Performance in Musical Theater.

As Founder and Artistic Director of the award-winning OperaCréole, Givonna Joseph has dedicated her career to researching and performing lost or rarely performed works by composers of African descent. Joseph’s research has been featured in The New Yorker, Southern Living magazine and on NPR. In 2018 she created an original opera, The Lions of Reconstruction: From Black Codes to the Ballot Box, in honor of New Orleans’ tricentennial. She teaches private voice and specializes in arts integration using the science of music and Creole culture. Accolades for her company’s cultural contributions include honors from The Gambit-affiliated Classical Arts Awards and the Coalition for African Americans in the Performing Arts (CAAPA) of Washington, D.C.

Joe Valone is an opera singer, teaching artist and arts administrator who is deeply committed to inspiring future opera lovers. He performed with Boston Lyric Opera, Sarasota Opera, Tulsa Opera, Opera North and Ohio Light Opera before relocating to New York City. An experienced educator, Valone has led numerous classroom residencies through the New York Metropolitan Opera and the Metropolitan Opera Guild, and he was a featured presenter at the Met’s National Educators’ Conference from 2015-2018. He was a Dean’s Scholar at Boston University where he received a Bachelor of Music and Master of Music in vocal performance. Currently, he is the Manager of Major Gifts team in the Development department at the Metropolitan Opera.

Bishop Chantel R. Wright is an internationally celebrated touring artist, choir director, choral conductor, teaching artist and youth advocate. Committed to the spiritual, intellectual and artistic growth of today’s youth, Wright established The Songs of Solomon Academy for the Arts and continues to work with Carnegie Hall’s Musical Connections project for youth in detention centers. She continues to lend her efforts to lift students and music teachers through her work with the New York Metropolitan Opera. Wright holds a Bachelor of Art in music education from Vander Cook College of Music.