The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

July 4, 2014

Opera in Agency

AGENCY — The American Gothic Performing Arts Festival brought opera to Agency Friday afternoon.

While most area residents were just getting home from the Agency parade and firing up grills for lunch, a group of talented performers prepared for a show.

The festival brings the story of Billy Goats Gruff to life for families. This version of the story tells the story in a new and unique way and touches on the issue of bullying in today's society.

"It's usually about goats trying to cross the bridge," explained Director Michael Peitz. "But they have to go home and he won't let them cross the bridge. It deals with bullying because he the bad goat is a bully and Lucy stands up to him."

The performers were hand selected for the festival because of their talent and interest in the performing arts.

"The big thing here is that three of us are budding opera singers, and Grant is musical theater," said performer David Schoonover, who plays Osmin.

Participating in the American Gothic Performing Arts festival gives the singers needed experience in performing and in children's outreach programs.

Preparation for the show started Sunday, and the performers have been working daily to ensure a quality show Friday afternoon.

The festival will continue as Peitz directs "The Wong Kids in the Secret of the Cupacabra, Go!" The show is targeted toward both kids and teens and will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday at Bridge View Center in Ottumwa.

— Follow reporter Danielle Lunsford on Twitter @CourierDanielle

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