Allison experiences the joy of her first opera

Every once in a while we get the chance to take the youth in ROP on various outings.  A few months ago a donor generously donated some tickets to see the opera, “La Boheme”.  Allison, a young person I’ve been working with for a while, decided that she wanted to be part of the group that went with me to the opera. 

Allison’s life has been far from a fairy tale. Years of struggling with drugs and alcohol and abusive relationships had shattered her self-esteem to the point that she would constantly do things to harm herself.  She will often say to me that she doesn’t deserve anything good from people, so I was quite happy when she wanted to come to the opera with us.

As soon as we walked into the theatre, I could see her eyes glowing with excitement. Before the opera started, her and other youth went to see the orchestra. They then read the program over and over and took a lot of pictures. Her smile was priceless. She then decided to sit right beside me. 

During the intermission, Allison said to me in her very excited voice, “This is AMAZING! All the drama! It is like the Jersey Shore of the nineteenth century!”

As an opera lover myself, I would say that was the best review I have ever heard.  As simple as it sounds, it came from the heart of a homeless youth who had never been to the opera and was able to put all her struggles aside for at least one evening and enjoy herself.

la boheme poster