A Night at the Opera

The opera program first began 30 years ago by Jack and Margaret Wheaton of Tryon to help provide young people with cultural opportunities normally associated with larger cities. Over the last 5 years, the program has evolved into A Night at the Opera for area high school students.

Every other year, a group of choral students from area high schools is selected to attend dinner and a professional opera in the region. The next Night at the Opera will occur in 2020. Check back for more details or contact Executive Director Marianne Carruth by calling 828-859-8322 or via email

A Night at the Opera 2018

A Night at the Opera 2018 introduced students from Polk County and Spartanburg School District 1 to Tennessee William's Summer and Smoke at Converse College. The students’ tickets were purchased by Tryon Fine Arts Center. The group also enjoyed a nice dinner together and a lively discussion of the work.


A Night at the Opera 2016

Area high school students attended Rossini’s comic opera La Cenerentola at Bob Jones University’s Rodeheaver AuditoriumThis operatic take on the traditional Cinderella story was presented by a cast featuring six opera professionals, instructors and students of the University well known for their fine arts department.  The local students’ tickets were purchased by Tryon Fine Arts Center.

Chapman Chorus teacher Rebecca Rostron commented on the opportunity, "We really appreciate the opportunity to see a world class performance!"

Polk County students and teacher Matthew Guffey were joined in Greenville by chorus students and Ms. Rostron from Chapman High School.   The students had dinner together before the comic opera began.

Leading up to the evening at the Opera, the talented team of vocalist Brenda Quilling and pianist Dr. Elizabeth Child traveled to Polk County, Landrum and Chapman High School as well as Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy to present a program preparing the students for the performance at Bob Jones.  Ms. Quilling, whose 13-year operatic career spanned Europe and the United States, shared stories with the students as well as her thoughts on “Music (particularly classical music), as a companion for life”.