Offices & Resources

"La Traviata" – 2020 Opera Trip a Success!
"La Traviata" – 2020 Opera Trip a Success!

On Monday, February 3, more than 150 members of the St. Mark's community traveled to New York City for the School's annual opera trip excursion. The large St. Mark's contingent had dinner and then saw Verdi's La Traviata at the Metropolitan Opera House.

The tradition of the St. Mark's opera trip goes back almost a quarter century. It was started in 1997 by Jay Engel, who taught English at St. Mark's for 43 years. His intention was that students would come to appreciate this timeless form of entertainment. At first, Engel caused disruption in the school schedule by taking 70 students out of class for the whole day. Now, the School accommodates the trip by changing the schedule and many students look forward to it each year. Since that time Barbara Putnam, longtime visual arts teacher at St. Mark's, has taken leadership of the trip. She hopes that every student will choose to go at least once and gain an appreciation for the artistry involved in the performance.

At all-school meeting on Wednesday, February 5, Ms. Putnam recognized those students who have gone on the opera trip each of the four years they have been at St. Mark's. VI Formers Truman Chamberlin, Jack Griffin, Will Lu, Sierra Petties, Rebecca Porter, Laura Sabino, and Naila Strong all received Metropolitan Opera t-shirts.

"I loved being one of the heads of the opera trip, along with Tommy Flathers," said Sierra Petties '20, a boarding student from Fayetteville, Georgia. "It is very interesting seeing all of the behind the scenes of how the opera trip works. Truthfully, it is a lot of work, but seeing the trip work perfectly makes it all worth it and more. Also, going to Ms. Putnam's house to do the ticket seating chart is a lot of fun, especially with hummus, pita, pizza, and ginger ale."

Petties continued in a more reflective vein. "The opera is a life-changing and a once-in-a-lifetime experience—or four if you are smart and go all four years," she said. "The opera is so much fun, but the trip is so much more than just the actual show. The ride over is a great time to spend talking to friends. You get to walk around New York and explore the places around you. Getting to take pictures by the fountain is a great memory and you can look back on the photos for years to come. The dinner is one of the best parts of the entire trip because the food is amazing and it Is a chance to have a really nice dinner with friends. The show is also amazing and there is never a dull moment. I recommend that every single student at St. Mark's go to the opera as many times as years that you attend the School."