International opera singers take the stage for under-served Seattle communities

Sep 16, 2022, 7:10 AM | Updated: Sep 19, 2022, 2:19 pm

Tenor Michael Fabio is farthest left, Youth Opera alum Emily Morse to his right. (KIRO Newsradio)...

Tenor Michael Fabio is farthest left, Youth Opera alum Emily Morse to his right. (KIRO Newsradio)

(KIRO Newsradio)

An international opera singer took to the stage Thursday night with a chorus of Seattle area teenagers. Their goal? To make music more accessible to everyone.

KIRO Newsradio was there when members of Seattle Opera’s Youth Program practiced near McCaw Hall.

“Let’s just have my sopranos,” the conductor said as lilting young voices filled the room.

The sound blended with the full tenor voice of professional singer Michael Fabiano.

Thursday’s concert benefited both the Youth Opera Program and Fabiano’s charity Art Smart.

Art Smart pays local, professional musicians to provide free one-on-one music lessons to students in under-served communities.

The group already operates in several cities, including New York, Chicago, and San Francisco. It’s launching, now, in Seattle.

Songs of support: Artists in Seattle reach out to those who’ve fled war-ravaged Ukraine

“Everyone deserves a great music program,” said Youth Opera alum Emily Morse, who sang at the concert. Ninth grader Trinav Banerjee added, “Anybody who loves singing should have the chance.”

Fabiano says he founded Art Smart because while science, math, and other subjects – often referred to as “STEM” – are vital for students; he insists music is, too.

He points to studies that show when kids get involved in music programs, their school performance improves overall.

“They learn how to prioritize, they learn how to strategize, and they learn how to focus in different ways than they’re taught in the classroom,” he said.

For instance, a student who learns how to sing a complex piece of music is also learning how to tackle complicated problems.

Banerjee knows all about complicated problems. “I’m very math, science, and computer-oriented in school.” He says music actually gives him a break from what he calls crunching numbers.

“I think singing is a good way to give myself a refresher and have fun,” he said.

For Kimia Ardalan, singing is a confidence booster.

“Knowing that you’re able to send all that resonance across the room just makes you so powerful- just the opposite of insecure.”

Other students spoke about the universality of music and how it builds and connects communities.

Jay Houseworth-Barba put the importance of music education this way, “STEM offers the chance to figure out the world- to understand the world. But in the arts, you figure out who is discovering the world. You figure out you,” he said.

Local News

White Center shooting...

Colleen West

3 hurt after shooter opens fire at White Center bowling alley

KING COUNTY, Wash. — A shooter is on the loose after opening fire on three people at a White Center bowling alley and casino Saturday night.

23 hours ago

Eugene and Linda Lamie, of Homerville, Ga., sit by the grave of their son U.S. Army Sgt. Gene Lamie...

Associated Press

Biden on Memorial Day lauds generations of fallen US troops who ‘dared all and gave all’

President Joe Biden lauded the sacrifice of generations of U.S. troops who died fighting for their country as he marked Memorial Day with the traditional wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery.

23 hours ago

echo glen juvenile...

KTTH staff

7 juvenile Echo Glen inmates escape, 4 still on the loose

Seven juveniles escaped the Echo Glen Juvenile detention center early Sunday, according to the King County Sheriff's Office.

2 days ago

(Photo from KIRO 7)...

KIRO 7 News Staff

Crew shortages force WA State Ferries to cancel nearly a dozen trips

Crew shortages forced Washington State Ferries to cancel nearly a dozen trips on one of the busiest travel days KIRO 7 has seen so far this year.

2 days ago

OpenAI's CEO Sam Altman, the founder of ChatGPT and creator of OpenAI gestures while speaking at Un...

Associated Press

ChatGPT maker downplays fears they could leave Europe over AI rules

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman on Friday downplayed worries that the ChatGPT maker could exit the European Union

2 days ago

Woman stabbed Central District...

Julia Dallas, KIRO 7 News

Woman escapes through second-story window after man allegedly stabs her in Central District

A woman escaped through a second-story window after a man allegedly stabbed her on Saturday in the Central District.

3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Internet Washington...

Major Internet Upgrade and Expansion Planned This Year in Washington State

Comcast is investing $280 million this year to offer multi-gigabit Internet speeds to more than four million locations.

Compassion International...

Brock Huard and Friends Rally Around The Fight for First Campaign

Professional athletes are teaming up to prevent infant mortality and empower women at risk in communities facing severe poverty.

Emergency Preparedness...

Prepare for the next disaster at the Emergency Preparedness Conference

Being prepared before the next emergency arrives is key to preserving businesses and organizations of many kinds.

SHIBA volunteer...

Volunteer to help people understand their Medicare options!

If you’re retired or getting ready to retire and looking for new ways to stay active, becoming a SHIBA volunteer could be for you!

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.

Comcast Ready for Business Fund...

Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.

International opera singers take the stage for under-served Seattle communities