Youngstown Foundation grant adds funds to Opera Western Reserve

Youngstown State University performing arts students will notice new additions to Stambaugh Auditorium this fall.

The Youngstown Foundation has awarded Opera Western Reserve a $1,600 grant for new equipment.

“Supporting the arts and culture keeps our community vibrant. Helping the opera is crucial because they operate on a shoestring budget,” said Jan Strasfeld, executive director of the Youngstown Foundation.

Opera Western Reserve has used the grant to purchase power tools, ladders and new stand lights to brighten performances in Stambaugh Auditorium this fall.

The new additions will increase Opera Western Reserve’s ability to build and loan scenery for YSU productions.

“New scenery and lights will bring performances to a higher caliber,” said Lauren Corcoran, a senior vocal education major. “We already have very talented singers, and a beautiful stage will really complete the art.”

The professionally produced scenery is offered to schools at no charge.

“It’s something we do for schools because they probably won’t have the time or ability to develop scenery on their own,” said David Vosburgh, general manager and production director of the Opera Western Reserve.

Opera Western Reserve has collaborated with the YSU Dana School of Music for the past five years.

Michael Crist, director of the Dana School of Music, said the school has had a great relationship with Opera Western Reserve and Stambaugh Auditorium. The collaboration is necessary for their projects.

“Performing and building shows becomes very expensive and takes quite a bit of energy,” Crist said.

Stambaugh Auditorium will host “The Barber of Seville” on Nov. 30. The student production begins at noon, and the main performance starts at 7:30 p.m.

Corcoran will perform as Rosina during the smaller student production of the opera. She will also sing in the ensemble during the main performance.

“I’m really excited to be working with world renowned artist Lawrence Brownlee,” Corcoran said. “This opera really will be the cream of the crop.”

For questions or ticket information, contact the box office at 330-480-0693, or visit