OFFSTAGE: Community Outreach

The members of Lyric Opera Stage Artists (LOSA) have a wide variety of interests outside of our work onstage, and one of the most valuable and important is our commitment to giving back to the community. Which is why we are proud to announce the official launch of the LOSA Community Outreach Program. With this program, we hope to be able to offer our time and talents to the city of Chicago and our local communities, and maybe even have some fun in the process!

LOSA Members John Coleman and John Concepcion pose with Lyric Opera Orchestra Musicians during our joint community service project.

For one of our first official outings, 21 members of the LOSA and the Chicago Lyric Opera Orchestra joined together to help process meals for the Greater Chicago Food Depository. Chicago’s food bank distributes food to families, soup kitchens and shelters all over Cook County and also provides training and culinary skills to unemployed and under employed Chicagoans. Last year, they distributed 67 million pounds of food, equivalent to 154,000 meals every day! Needless to say, they are doing amazing work and we were excited to participate.

John Concepcion and Pamela Williams, two members of Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Regular Chorus

When we arrived, they gave us a short overview of their mission and work and then told us what we would be doing that day. We had one of the larger groups and so, quite naturally, they assigned us to the pasta room! What could be more appropriate for a group of Italian singing opera folks than PASTA? Once we’d washed our hands, we donned our gloves, aprons, hair (and beard) nets and got to work. We scooped, bagged, weighed, tied, labeled and boxed 960 bags of elbow macaroni (maccheroni in Italiano, per favore). Once we finished in the pasta room, we joined the other volunteers to help them finish bagging cabbage and sweet potatoes and by the days end, the group had packed 14,215 pounds of food equivalent to 11,846 meals for our neighbors throughout Cook County. Oh, and we gave our full operatic rendition of Happy Birthday to one of the other volunteers. We couldn’t possibly leave without singing something.

We are always on the lookout for more opportunities to engage with our local communities, so if you have a project or need volunteers for an upcoming event, let us know! Send us an email through our contact page on the website, or you can email our Community Outreach Contact, Pamela Williams directly at pamdwilliams@gmail.com.