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Success C ult ur e OPERA KIDS Young Patronesses Of The Opera, or YPO, is one of the oldest arts organizations in South Florida, celebrating 60 years of bringing opera to elementary school children of all walks of life. TEX T BY FR ANCESCA CRUZ YPO is the only organization in existence in South Florida that brings live opera right to the classroom. Every year, 30,000 school children partake in YPO’s opera programs. An artform that was contrived in 16th Century Italy, one doesn’t usually associate children with classical opera. Many of the kids who have taken part in the program have gone on to study the genre; others who saw the performances as children have become members of YPO in hopes of keeping the programs that are fostering the next generation of opera lovers and performers alive. The programs are funded through YPO’s annual gala, “Diamonds & Divas” with profits helping to procure grants. To get involved, contact Michele Reese at 305.394.3260 or visit YPO.org. 58