Visualizing the Performing Arts for People who are Blind or Partially Sighted

By Guest Blogger, Lauren Wu

Opera and the performing arts may seem daunting for anyone who is blind or partially sighted. Theatres may seem large and dark, the problems of viewing what is on stage, as well as navigation within the theater may seem insurmountable. With our new partnership with Opera Atelier we aim to change the opera experience for persons with limited or no sight. Opera doesn’t have to be entirely visual; engagement of other senses, such as sound, smell and touch can also be used as a means to explore the narrative and give meaning to opera.

Our partnership with Opera Atelier aims to introduce the blind and partially sighted to opera and other forms of performance. We will explore their upcoming opera – The Return of Ulysses –  which is about the emotional life of Ulysses, the protagonist, after the Greek Trojan war. This opera will be such a wonderful introduction to opera for anyone. Mythic elements from the Odyssey will engage the creative senses of participants.

The Details:

BALANCE, in partnership with Opera Atelier, will run a four-part opera workshop series in the month of March to introduce clients to the wonderful world of opera. Weekly classes of 90 minutes will be held at CNIB on Bayview Avenue, to introduce clients to singing, dancing, acting and stage design. Besides describing singing, elaborate dancing, and staging from the opera, we will also explore the dynamics of opera, and participants will be able to participate directly in all the performance related activities. Throughout the workshop we will discuss ways of making opera more accessible and navigating the performing arts scene. Participants will then have an opportunity (paid for by BALANCE) to attend the opera performed by Opera Atelier, The Return of Ulysses, in April.

Dates: Thursdays, March 8, 15, 22, 29

Time: 1:30-3:00 p.m.

Location: CNIB Bayview Avenue building

Registration: will open on January 8. Stay tuned.

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Posted by: Lauren Wu, Opera Atelier