The Independent Project Decade

"In the lifetime of an organization, there are one or two momentous occasions that are bigger than life and truly stretch your talents and confidence. The United States premiere of The Green Children is just such an occasion for the Guild ... may this performance be memorable, lasting, and open new windows on the joys of opera." - Jane Ford, President

1990 Cover of the Program.
The Green Children is sponsored by the Guild whose efforts took over a year of preparation. It was a project for children and the public and by children, who created the various "pocket operas" within the production.
The Snowmaiden cast and TCOG Board members Philip Brunell, Music Director; Cynthia Lohman; Janet Brackey, Board member; Vern Sutton; Maria Jette; Janis Hardy; Jan Schueppert, Board member; Jim Bohn.
Guild Board Member and Metropolitan Auditions Director Alvina O'Brien toasts her daughter Laura O'Brien, a new member of TCOG.
Tim O'Brien and Alvina O' Brien Hart's operetta, At the Blake, is performed at Ramsey International Fine Arts School in 1993.
James McKeel, Minnesota Opera, and Catherine Manlove, TCOG Education Chairwoman with members of the cast of The Magic Flute.

1991 - The Green Children enjoys its American premiere with a star-studded cast including Maria Jette, Tyler (age 6) and James McKeel, and Janis Hardy, under the direction of Philip Brunelle, Producer Lyman T. Smith, and Stage Director Myron Johnson. TCOG was proud to fund this year-long project that enabled students to perform and enjoy being in the audience.

TCOG's Cathy Manlove and Jan Schueppert present "Opera: A Fusion of the Arts, A Performance/Clinic" at the Minnesota Music Educators Association Conference.

1990s - Four Tim O' Brien operettas for middle school students become the centerpiece of the opera education efforts. The shows are offered for a royalty of $200 through TCOG and produced widely throughout Minnesota.

Roseville Middle School under the direction of Margot Olsen creates A Trunk Full of Opera Tales with TCOG support.

1993 - TCOG wins the Distinguished Service Award from the North Central Division Conference of Minnesota Music Educators Association. During the 1990's, TCOG begins evolving into an organization that functions like a foundation, gathering and distributing funds to producers of opera and opera education programs. The commitment to reach a maximum number of students each year remains as strong as always.

1995 - TCOG sponsors a mini-production of The Magic Flute with James McKeel, and The Heart of the Beast, which is produced and directed by Lyman Smith. Jim McKeel's original opera, The Song of Dragonheart, premieres at MITY's Opera Odyssey. Anoka Opera Ensemble's Puppet Opera delights elementary students in the north metro schools with support from TCOG.

1995 to 2008 - The Metropolitan Boys Choir receives funds when they agree to include opera songs in the repertoire, reaching 10,000 to 20,000 audience members per year.

1997 - The Guild initiates its first Annual Appeal letter which now generates a significant portion of the total funds raised for Opera Education.

1998 - Rimsky-Korsakov's fairy tale opera, The Snowmaiden, is presented by Philip Brunelle's Plymouth Music Series. TCOG arranges for students to attend the performance.

1999 - TCOG funds four scholarships for promising young singers to attend Elizabeth Mannion's Institute of Vocal Artistry in St. Paul.

Patrons enjoy Landmark Opera courtesy of the Bach Society and TCOG.

1999 to 2000 - North Star Opera produces the popular Let's Make an Opera school program. It evolves into Opera Demystified by the Baldwin Sisters of today's Skylark Opera. TCOG is pleased to fund this program which was still performed in 2010.