The Outreach Decade

TCOG's 1981 Statement of Purpose: to promote public interest in music, music education, and culture; to assist groups and organizations in the promotion and production of opera, musical entertainment, and other activities authorized by this organization; and to do all things reasonable necessary to accomplish these purposes. - Article 2, Bylaws

The Andrews Family Opera Company at their resort on Lake Tetonka in southern Minnesota in about 1893.
1980Mary and Michael Schueppert dancing.

The First Tier, the young adult branch of TCOG, party at the Minnesota Zoo.

1980Left to Right: Susan Brewster, Priscilla Brewster, Christine Hansen and Cindy Werner, Committee of Jardin Botanico.
The Minnesota Opera Studio presents Four Nights at the Opera, sponsored by TCOG.
Princess in Tim O' Brien and Alvina O'Brien Hart's operetta, The Sultan's Portrait. This brother and sister team wrote several other operettas. They are performed in schools today.
Ruddigore or Witch's Curse, the 1989 All-City Opera was co-sponsored by TCOG and the Minneapolis Public Schools Fine Arts Department and North Community High School.

1980 - Personal letters to vocal directors invites their students to see Lehar's The Merry Widow, Susa's Black River, or Bizet's Carmen at O'Shaughnessy Auditorium at no charge. Synopses of the plots are enclosed as an educational tool for the teachers.

1981 - May 25 -The Minneapolis Tribune covers the Minneapolis Lyndale Elementary School performance of Carmen with enthusiasm. TCOG Board Members persuade Met Opera Basso Richard Fleck to attend while he is in town.

An Opera Scenes series with Minnesota Opera Studio in "Four Nights at the Opera" features The Barber of Seville, The Turn of the Screw, The Elixir of Love, and The Ballad of Baby Doe at the Breck Cargill Theater.

1981 to 1982 - TCOG funds Minnesota Public Radio's broadcasts of Chicago Lyric Opera. Continuing Education and Extension offered "Opera Classes" in cooperation with the Twin Cities Opera Guild.

1982 - TCOG grants $6,300 for Minnesota Opera's quartet to visit 20 Junior High Schools. First Tier, the Guild's young adult branch for ages 21 to 40, is established with the assistance of Susan Brewster and Cindy Werner. Their first party was held at the new Minnesota Zoo and the evening was called "Jardin Botanico." The First Tier also held "Backstage Soirees" in conjunction with The Minnesota Opera. They created their own logo which was a black diamond behind the TCOG logo.

1983 - MN Institute for Talented Youth (MITY) at Macalester College begins its Guild-sponsored opera class for ages 12-17. Director Lyman Smith is succeeded by Jim and Melinda McKeel, who still run the program. Some of the MITY productions are the original works of James McKeel.

1984 - The 12th annual Opera Day previews the Metropolitan Opera Spring Festival by Vern Sutton, Director of the U of M Opera Workshop.

1985 - The world premiere of Belisa is performed by TCOG's Five-College Interim Opera Project. The Guild created this Project which celebrates its 1Oth year.

1986 - An innovative partnership between Minneapolis Public Schools and Twin Cities Opera Guild results in the All-City Opera Project. They perform two opera, Cinderella and Bastien Bastienna in 16 schools for over 9,000 students and adults. The Mikado, sponsored by the Guild receives an official City of Minneapolis Award. Throughout the 1980s, thousands of students attend dress rehearsals thanks to TCOG funding. For example, in 1987, students attend two dress rehearsal s of Midwest Opera Theater's Carmen. By December, 17,554 students participate in TCOG-sponsored activities.

1989 - TCOG commissions The Andrews Family at the Turn of the Century, featuring the innovative family that
entertained southern Minnesota opera patrons from 1884 to 1901. It was written by Steve Sandell and directed by Lyman Smith. This historical and operatic production is presented in many schools. A performance was presented to Guild members and guests at a "dinner theatre" event at the Minnesota Club.

All-City Opera produces Ruddigore by Gilbert & Sullivan to rave reviews.

TCOG's Jan Schueppert elected North Central Regional Director of Opera Guilds International, OGI.