History of the Opera in the Ozarks:
Inspiration Point, poetically described as “a mountainous place not too many miles from Heaven” is located northwest of Eureka Springs, Arkansas, on Scenic U.S. Highway 62, overlooking the White River valley some 600 feet below. Creating one of the most idyllic scenes, the lowlands merge in the background into range after range of the incomparably beautiful Ozarks.
Dr. Henry HobartIn 1928 a German-born architectural engineer, Charles Mowers, purchased the land overlooking the valley and began construction of a castle patterned after those of the Rhine River valley. In 1932 the unfinished castle and the grounds were purchased by Rev. Charles Scoville, a Christian missionary who completed the castle and gave it its name, Inspiration Point. When he died in 1938 his wife gave the entire Inspiration Point estate to Phillips University, a Christian university in Enid, Oklahoma.
In 1950, Dr. Henry Hobart, former Dean of Fine Arts at Phillips University, was contacted with regard to starting a summer music camp on the grounds. With the support of Gertrude Stockard, Director of Music at Eureka Springs High School, Inspiration Point Fine Arts Colony came into being during that summer.
The first Fine Arts colony session was held in 1950 for four weeks. It was patterned after most any other camp across the country, with a little of everything in vocal and instrumental music and dramatic art. However, Dr. Hobart and Ms. Stockard wanted something different and distinctive, and decided to make Inspiration Point into an opera or music drama summer workshop conducted under the highest professional standards and carefully planned for the young voices of talented college, high school and outstanding junior high students. All opera roles would be performed in their entirety by the students; no lead singers would be brought in to sing the principal roles. The theme of Inspiration Point Fine Arts Colony would be “The students are the stars”.
For the first two years a major portion of the funds needed for operating expenses and capital expenditures were provided by Dr. and Mrs. Hobart and by loans from Phillips University. Some construction materials were donated by Eureka Springs businesses, but the financial needs quickly grew greater than the Hobarts and the handful of loyal supporters could continue to meet.
For a number of years Dr. Hobart had been state opera chairman for the Oklahoma State Federation of Music Clubs. He suggested to Leta Mae Smith of Lawton, the Federation president, that they sponsor the youth opera workshop. Miss Smith was quick to agree and invited the state federations of Arkansas, Kansas, and Missouri to become co-sponsors of the project. By 1993, Illinois, Texas, and Iowa had also joined the group.
Dr. Isaac Van GroveDr. Hobart’s philosophy with regard to the faculty for Inspiration Point was to try to get only the best. As a result, a number of eminent artists at the top of their professions have been associated with Inspiration Point. During the early years, the most outstanding of these was Dr. Isaac Van Grove. His accomplishments as an opera composer, conductor of leading opera companies, vocal coach and accompanist for several world famous singers qualified him as an opera director of the highest order. For twenty years, up to her death in 1976, Joan Woodruff, wife of Dr. Van Grove and an internationally known choreographer and ballet instructor, taught advanced ballet, stage action and stylized dance forms at Inspiration Point. Dr. Van Grove was the Artistic Director at Inspiration Point for 25 years. He died in 1979 at the age of 86.
The effectiveness of training received at Inspiration Point has been demonstrated many times over by the successes by alumni in their opera careers. Many are internationally famous. Many have sung on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera company as well as opera companies in Chicago, New York City, San Francisco, Houston, Switzerland, and Germany.
Inspiration Point continues to grow and flourish. What began in 1950 as a summer music camp, has evolved into a mecca where university students and graduates in Voice, Instrumental Music, and related arts come to prepare for professional careers, a place where opportunity, music, artist and audience meld with the beauty and splendor of the Ozark Mountains. Beginning in 1993, our strong focus on opera led to our Company name, OPERA IN THE OZARKS at INSPIRATION POINT.
A section will be unveiled at the dinner and concert featuring Gordon Mote on November 2!
Honoring all of those who protect and serve on Friday and Saturday, October 25 & 26, 2019.
Free Passion Play Tickets available for Police, Firefighters, EMT, first responders, and Military (Active and Vets) and for their immediate families. Must show ID or credentials at the box office or to the ticket taker.
If you are a donor, member of the cast/crew, a volunteer, or business/church sponsor, please call 800-882-7529 to RSVP. Tickets are available below to the general public!
A special unveiling of a section from the world's longest religious painting will take place as well during this event! Click here to learn more about the painting!
CMA is hosting a breakfast at 10:00am with a short service to follow at our buffet on the grounds of The Great Passion Play.
We hope to see you there!
ESSAY: 300 word contest. THEME: "What Christmas Means To Me”. Please submit this in printed form as a word document or pdf. (Ages 5-8 may use parental assistance for typing only, but an original in hand written form must be simultaneously submitted). Ages 12 to 18 should submit a word or pdf document.
ART CONTEST: ages 5 to 18 may enter. THEME: “The Meaning of Christmas”. The media should be in one of or a combination of: pencil, charcoal, pastels, watercolors, acrylic on a canvas 18 x 24 max and 11x8 min. A photo in 300 dpi or higher, edge to edge, in color, should be submitted by email. All winners will bring the original to the November 30th event no later than 3 pm. _________________________________________
APPLICATION for CONTEST
Fill this in and email it to us or copy paste into email to:
I am Entering this CONTEST for: “What Christmas Means To Me”
As an Artist __ or As an Essay Author __
My Piece is entitled: __________________________________
Size Canvas is _____x_____inches on __Canvas or __Paper or _________
Media is __ Watercolor __Pencil __Charcoal __Pastel __Acrylic or _________
I have an easel to exhibit this if asked to bring my work to the exhibit. __yes
FOR ESSAY AUTHOR:
Word Count ________
Word Doc Format: ___________
I give permission for my art to be exhibited at the Great Passion Play and a copy for publicity to be published for no cost to them as media tell the story of the contest and it's winners and judges or any related subjects. ____yes
I am understanding that I must be present to win on November 30th to Win at 8:30 pm Friday __yes
My name is First Name ___________ Last Name ___________
My Age ______
My phone number is: _________________
My email is _________@_________.______
My address is: ___________________ City_____ State_____ Zip _________
My parent or guardian's name is; ___________________
their phone is: _________________
Their email is: ___________@_______________.__________
I have their permission to enter this contest ___yes.
Signature of contestant _____________________
Signature of Parent or Guardian _______________
I submit this art in a pdf or jpeg file of _____resolution.
The Great Passion Play, “America’s #1 Attended Outdoor Drama,” opens on Friday and Saturday, May 4 and 5, to start its 50th year in performance.
"Our 50th year anniversary looks to be very exciting,” shared Randall Christy, Executive Director of The Great Passion Play. “The Play runs May through October, but the Christ of the Ozarks, Bible Museum and gift shop are open year-round. We also have Holy Land Tours by advanced reservation every day but Sunday at 10:00am and 2:00pm.” Christy continued, “Last year, the New York Times named the Christ of the Ozarks the 4th most popular statue in the USA only behind the Lincoln Memorial, followed by Mt. Rushmore, and the Statue of Liberty; and we hope to welcome several hundreds of thousands more visitors this year.”
“We have been very busy this year in preparation for our 50th year anniversary,” said Kent Butler, an actor and marketing director for the production. “We have worked with mission groups like Team Effort, the World Mission Team, and Youth with a Mission, and in 2017 we started hosting our own mission trips with groups coming from
Arkansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Tennessee, Kansas, Texas, Illinois and Mississippi. This year, we will welcome even more groups to make the 50th year anniversary very special."
Featuring a cast of over 150 actors and actresses, the Play is performed amid a 550ft historically accurate stage and brings to life the thrilling epic drama surrounding Christ’s last days on earth, including his death, resurrection and ascension. The Great Passion Play runs 1 hour and 45 minutes, featuring an original musical score composed by Phil Perkins and performed by the world-renowned National Philharmonic Orchestra of London. This year’s performance also features horses, donkeys, camels, a Pharaoh Hound, and dozens of birds.
While on the grounds, walk through Jerusalem’s Eastern Gate, experience a Biblical Marketplace, and journey through recreations of the Holy Land including the Tabernacle in the Wilderness. See the Sacred Arts Museum with hundreds of pieces of rare works in 64 different forms, the Bible Museum with 6,000 Bibles (including an original 1611 King James Version of the Bible) and artifacts dating back to 2,000 B.C., and the History Museum which provides a biblical perspective of history. Experience the popular free performances of David the Shepherd and the Parables of the Potter. Eat the buffet dinner that is served on nights the Play is performed. New attractions on the Passion Play grounds include the Noah’s Ark Park Petting Zoo at the beginning of the Holy Land area, a special showing of the musical movie “God with Us: New Testament” in the Jerusalem Chapel, and a bomb shelter similar to ones used in Israel today. Christy said, “The cinematic footage within the musical God with Us was filmed onsite here in Eureka Springs, then they filmed the stage performance. It’s a very neat storytelling concept.”
The Great Passion Play’s 2018 50th year anniversary season will run from the first weekend of May through the last weekend of October. For reservations, performance schedules, volunteer opportunities, or special event information, go to GreatPassionPlay.org or call toll free 800-882-7529. Join the 7.8 million who have seen “The Greatest Story Ever Told” at The Great Passion Play in Eureka Springs, Arkansas.
The Great Passion Play is devoted to making the Scriptures come alive!