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In programming our 2016-2017 season our staff spent a lot of time reflecting on who we are as a company and what we can bring to the artistic community in Connecticut. Our slogan for several years has been "Opera for everyone" and this season we are putting our money where our proverbial mouth is. Our 16-17 season is about inclusion, community, freedom, communication, and giving a voice to those who cannot speak for themselves. The idea behind our blog is to bring our audiences into the fold and help us promote love, understanding and action in Hartford and throughout the state. Each show has been selected and conceptualized to highlight different parts of the diverse community in Hartford and reflect the most beautiful parts of our capital city on stage. This is why we have decided to focus our season around the concept of "opera without borders". We are looking to breakdown walls and bring everyone into the fold. We want to stretch operatic production conventions and challenge the stereotypes associated with a classical music audience. We believe every audience can be provoked by experiencing these works and most importantly leave our performances with a different perspective on the piece.

Art is about asking difficult questions. Keeping this in mind we asked our staff to respond to the following - What does "opera without borders" mean to you? Here were some of their responses:

• It is about challenging what we know

• It is opera for any audience and every audience

• It is opera that doesn't just tell a story, it tells YOUR story

• Opera which connects people from all walks of life

• Opera that breaks down the preconceptions of what opera can be

• Blurs the lines between the performers and the audience

We are interested in hearing your responses to this same question. Please post your answers on social media using #operawithoutborders and we will share your posts. We want to know what this concept means to you.

This season, you will see blog posts featuring artists who are joining us both on stage and off, more about our community outreach projects and behind the scenes sneak peeks of the productions. There will be posts from different authors on staff as well as some guest bloggers who will be stopping by. Keep an eye on our social media accounts for more updates as we move closer to our next production -- the world premiere of The Faith Operas this April.

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