Opera group forming

The South of Broadway Theatre has been quietly building momentum toward bringing opera to Charleston in between Spoleto Festivals.

So far, there has been a series of exploratory meetings to gauge the level of interest among the city’s classically trained singers. The goal is a workshop to provide area singers with experience performing the repertoire.

The move to build a “critical mass” of Charleston singers has been part of the business plan of South of Broadway Theatre since the organization formed in 2000, says Mary Gould, head of the nonprofit.

The workshop is part of the theater’s Opera Zone programming, which also includes lectures on the Metropolitan Opera’s high-definition broadcasts available free at the Charleston County Public Library on Calhoun Street.

This is not an opera company, but an informal and practice-oriented series of workshops, Gould stresses.

Something more formal would take longer to establish. Instead, Gould wanted to start something now: “I wanted to make this happen quick and dirty This is not for kids. This is for serious, serious singers.”

The level of interest is sufficient enough that a free debut concert of opera highlights is planned for Dec. 30 at 7 p.m. Donations are accepted. For more, call (843) 814-4451, or go to www.SouthofBroadway.com.

Write like you mean it

The S.C. Fiction Project, an annual contest, is calling for unpublished short stories of 2,500 words or less.

Applicants for the S.C. Fiction Project should submit an application form, along with four copies of the story by Jan. 15.

The contest, sponsored by The Post and Courier and the South Carolina Arts Commission, is open to any South Carolina resident 18 or older. Stories don’t need to be southern, nor do they need to be set in South Carolina. Stories are judged by a panel of professional writers; selection is based on literary quality and suitability for a general newspaper readership.

Up to 12 stories will be selected for publication; each selection will receive $500 from the P&C, which purchases first publication rights. Stories will also be published electronically on both the P&C‘s website (www.charleston.net) and the Arts Commission’s website (www.southcarolinaarts.com). Mail entries to S.C. Fiction Project, South Carolina Arts Commission, 1800 Gervais St., Columbia, S.C., 29201. For more information, call (803) 734-8694, or e-mail sgoldstein@arts.sc.gov. —John Stoehr

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