It’s no secret that opera in America is struggling. In 2008, only eight percent of adults said they liked opera, and only two percent had been to one in the past year, but here in Virginia that could be changing thanks to summer programs designed to build the base for opera.
It’s not unusual for opera goers to give long and enthusiastic ovations – for cast members to take bow after bow, but people who love this complex art form fear their audience may not always be there.
Pine forests were once common in this part of the world -- from New Jersey to Florida and west to Texas. It was a rich environment for a small and smart little woodpecker that is now endangered.
When settlers first arrived in what is now the American southeast, they found 90 million acres of mature pines – the perfect material for home and ship construction – and something that had to come down so the newcomers could farm. Today, only 3% of that ecosystem remains.