Summer Walters wears a special outfit each time she attends an LA Opera production and shares pictures on Facebook. “My friends see the excitement that envelops me in each photo, so I have introduced quite a few friends to the world [of opera] that I hold so dear,” explains Ms. Walters. “Each time I attend with someone who has never experienced opera, it’s like watching the performance through the wide-eyed wonder of a child. It makes my heart so happy.”
Ms. Walters has been attending LA Opera for many years and recently became a member of Friends of LA Opera.
It is that wide-eyed wonder that inspires Ms. Walters to support LA Opera’s Education and Community Engagement Programs by making tax-deductible donations. Growing up as one of seven children in a home where both parents sang opera, Ms. Walters was introduced to the arts at an early age. She recalls, “We were at every opening night, all seven of us kids dressed in our finest.”
Ms. Walters especially credits her late father, Theodore Jackson, for passing along his love of opera. Mr. Jackson was an active member of opera companies in the Detroit area, appearing as a baritone and tenor soloist.
In addition to her exposure to opera at home, she also learned music in school. “When I was growing up in the 50s and 60s, music education was part of the curriculum, but now it has been cut from so many schools. I jump at any chance I get to introduce children to the beauty of music,” she says.
As an adult, Ms. Walters has continued her family’s tradition of sharing performing arts experiences with her own children, and even her grandchildren. However, she is acutely aware that not all families have the opportunity or means to do so. “I give for the students. I don’t want children to miss out on the wonder that is music.”
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