Schmidt Opera Outreach Program

Promotional flyer for Billy Goats Gruff. All details in the image are reproduced in text on the page.Spring 2020 Show:

The Billy Goats Gruff
A One Act Opera For Children

For the health and safety of students and families, there will be no Fall 2020 SOOP Tour.
Contact Kelsey Loeslie with any questions, 859-257-4584,
Download the Study Guide

Bullies! Every school has them. They taunt, tease, shove, and beat up other kids. Indirect bullying, where kids are ignored or excluded, can be just as devastating as a physical assault. According to a report the national advocacy group Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, bullying can spawn loneliness, depression and suicidal tendencies among its victims and foreshadows crime and violence by perpetrators. Each year, children in grades six through ten, one in six or 3.2 million, are victims of bullying; and 3.7 million are bullies. Bullying Prevention is Crime Prevention. In the Commonwealth of Kentucky Bullying Prevention is the LAW. The Schmidt Opera Outreach Program (SOOP) and the University of Kentucky Opera Theatre proudly present a touring production of Billy Goats Gruff an adaptation and lyrics by John Davies of the children’s story “The Three Billy Goats Gruff” set to the music of Mozart, Rossini, and Donizetti. This opera depicts the taunting and teasing, loneliness and depression can lead to. Students will watch three youngsters face a bully and try different ways of dealing with him. The goal is the entertain and begin a dialogue among children and adults about this growing problem. The accompanying study guide contains a wealth of information, lesson plans, and activities to help maximize your students experience. This production satisfies Kentucky’s Core Content in Arts and Humanities. 

2005 Pinocchio
2005 Pinocchio

Our mission

  • To make the arts accessible to children of all ages.
  • To introduce students to the fundamental components of opera
  • To cultivate an understanding for and an appreciation of opera
  • To help students identify with fictional characters in human situations as a means of understanding themselves and others
  • To educate and entertain!
  • Who we are & What we do

  • Winner of the 2012-2013 KMEA Friend of Music Award

    Under the direction of Dr. Everett McCorvey, in 2003 the University of Kentucky Opera Theatre and the Lexington Opera Society established an opera outreach and education program. Since 2007, under the new sponsorship of the William E. Schmidt Foundation, the arts have now become accessible to the children of Kentucky through the Schmidt Opera Outreach Program (SOOP). Using fairy tales, children's stories, and American history, along with the music of Mozart, Rossini, Offenbach, Rodriquez and Malcolm Fox, SOOP has introduced over 290,000 Kentucky students in more than 270 schools and 77 counties to the fundamental components, basic terminology and the glorious melodies of opera and traditional American music. We are building tomorrow's audiences and performers through this program.

    SOOP has performed shows for schools, theaters and libraries across the state. We have worked with community groups such as local women's clubs, arts councils and UK agriculture extension offices, all which help to provide funding and bring our show to their community.

    SOOP casts are made up young professional singers and an accompanist. The shows, suited for grades K-5, typically run about 40 minutes and we offer a Question and Answer session after every show. Before we arrive, each school is supplied with an extensive study guide to help prepare the students and teachers for the group's arrival. Tours generally run August-December and bookings begin in late spring.


Schools Where SOOP Has Performed