Opera buffs raise funds to bring opera to Cape

About $5,000 still needed by end of September
September 25, 2013
"Eugene Onegin" is the first opera scheduled to be broadcast Saturday, Oct. 5, in the Cape Henlopen High School Theatre. COURTESY METROPOLITAN OPERA

Broadcasting live opera from New York City to Cape Henlopen High School may soon be some airwaves away, but before that happens, some serious fundraising is needed.

“It's exciting for the school district to have this, and also the public to have the venue,” said Rick Grier-Reynolds, president of Cape Henlopen Educational Foundation, which partnered with the Rehoboth Beach Film Society to bring live opera telecast to the school. The groups had lobbied to bring opera to the high school for the community to attend. In July, they received school board approval to offer live broadcasts in the high school theater.

In order to broadcast the classic arias of Puccini, Rossini and others, the group needs to purchase a high-definition screen, projector and satellites to beam the live shows into the school's state-of-the-art theater.

About $35,000 is needed - more than the original $25,000 estimate presented to the board in July.

So far, the group has raised about $30,000, said Sue Early, executive director of the Rehoboth Beach Film Society.

Funds have been raised through word-of-mouth contributions and a booth at the Historic Lewes Farmers Market, Early said.

“Opera lovers talk to opera lovers,” she said.

All money raised will go to upgrade current equipment, Grier-Reynolds said. Cape Henlopen High School will own the equipment, so the district could use it to receive broadcasts of other events.

Early said they will install two of everything to prevent glitches on performance days and help things run smoothly.

A test run of the equipment is scheduled Monday, Sept. 23. The first broadcast will be Saturday, Oct. 5, with Tchaikovsky's “Eugene Onegin.”

Early said the groups hope to raise about $5,000 by the end of the month; the film society fronted the money to purchase the equipment, and that's when the credit card bill is due.

“I've been so amazed how supportive the community has been,” Early said.

Anyone interested in donating can do so by going to the Rehoboth Beach Film Society's website at, where there is a place to donate as well as information on the opera.

Donations can also be made to RBFS, 107 Truitt Ave., Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971.

For more information, call 302-645-9095.

All shows will begin at 1 p.m. with the exception of "Prince Igor," which will start at noon.

The schedule is as follows: Oct. 5 “Eugene Onegin,” Oct. 26 “The Nose,” Nov. 9 “Tosca,” Dec. 14 “Falstaff,” Feb. 8 “Rusalka,” March 1 “Prince Igor,” March 15 “Werther,” April 19 “La Boheme,” April 26 “Cosi Fan Tutte,” May 10 “La Cenerentola.”

Tickets are $25 for adults, $22 for seniors and Met members, and $15 for students with ID and children 12 and younger.