• Opera Piccola Opera Piccola


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Mission Statement

Opera Piccola's mission is to serve people of all ages who have little or no access to the arts. Through classes and performances we collaborate to discover, express and celebrate the deep voices of community and diverse cultures.


Opera Piccola ('Small Works') was founded in 1989 with the mission of bringing the highest quality performing and visual arts to under-served populations of all ages and backgrounds. We are especially dedicated to facilitating creative experiences and expressions with those who have little or no access to the arts. To this end we have, over the past twenty years, incubated and hatched a number of highly successful community and school-based programs.

Our education programs address the critical need for access to the arts in our community's most under-served public schools. Through these programs -- ArtGate, I-Go and Summer Youth Institute -- youth have the opportunity to express their deepest ideas via the disciplines of dance, drama, improvisation, music, poetry, spoken word, and visual arts.

As educators, we have developed a unique, youth-driven methodology recognized by both the California Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts as a model in the field of arts education. In our programs, youth gain the experience of being seen and heard, of being valued, and valuing the creativity of others. Students also gain crucial skills that enable future success in both academic and workplace settings, such as focus, persistence, creative problem solving, assessing and revisiting, team work and leadership.

We are grateful to have successfully served over 2,000 public school youth in 15-25 schools annually, as well as in summer programs and year-round internship programs.

Since its premier in 1989, our educational theater company, "Small Works", has been creating new works and classic adaptations as the basis for fostering close community relationships. We serve youth and adults by bringing colorful sets and costumes, and the stage itself, to our audiences. We make art personal in unlikely places: from libraries, school auditoriums, homeless shelters and senior centers on weekdays to shopping malls and museums on weekends. Our evolving repertory of "interactive fusion operas", based on ethnic folktales and modern urban stories, feature original music and dance and combine improvisation and audience participation to engage performers and spectators alike. To date, our performances have reached more than 450,000 audience members at venues throughout Northern California.



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