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Opera In The Ozarks!


No matter the season or time of day one visits, Inspiration Point is a place to refresh and renew as you gaze over the White River and its valley 500 feet below the Point.

Inspiration Point's panoramic view is located just five scenic miles west of Eureka Springs on Highway 62. This part of town is referred to as Eureka Springs West.


Here in the Natural State, places like this are all around us and they are free to enjoy. People have been known to soak up the beauty offered here at all hours of the day. On any cloud-free night, with the big sky above you, Inspiration Point becomes something altogether different as you bask in the exceptional, broad expanse above you to see the glimmer of thousands of beautiful stars overhead dotting up the sky.

This favorite overlook sits on a cliff 550 steep feet above the twisting White River. The river forms a horseshoe curve below. The horseshoe can also be seen as a perfect omega shape which, as the story goes, was a sacred symbol for the Osage Indians.


Charles Mowers, a German-born engineer and inventor, came from Texas to the Ozark Mountains around 1900 to hunt wild game. He bought the land known as the Big Rock Candy Mountain in 1928 and began construction of a “castle” based on his memories of buildings along the Rhine River. Using stone quarried on the property, he incorporated an unusual building method he called Egyptian Rock Work. After the stock market crash of 1929, Mowers abandoned his castle and returned to Texas.


The castle was finished in 1932 by Reverend Charles Scoville (1869–1938), a renowned preacher of the Disciples of Christ, who planned to use it as a retreat.


He named the site Inspiration Point.



Inspiring Emerging Artists

After the passing of Reverend Scoville, his widow gave the property (to be used as a conference and retreat center) to Phillips University based in Enid, Oklahoma. Ten years later, however, this project was abandoned, and Henry Hobart, formerly dean of fine arts at Phillips, joined with Gertrude Stockard, director of music at Eureka Springs High School, to organize a music camp, initially known as Inspiration Point Fine Arts Colony (IPFAC), which held its first session in the summer of 1950.

OIO Artists

Hobart and his wife financed extensive repairs to the buildings with loans and donations from Eureka Springs businesses. Some furnishings were obtained from government surplus stores. Practice pianos were donated by area churches and schools. Today, IPFAC is what we now know as Opera in the Ozarks at Inspiration Point - an annual summer opera festival and opera training program right here in Eureka Springs, Arkansas.


This festival serves as a rich training ground for young, up-and-coming opera professionals.


 

B R E A K I N G N E W S !

 

The New Opera House - coming in 2025 to Eureka Springs West.

The Walton Family Foundation recently announced that it will be providing a $34 million grant to support a new theater building for Opera in the Ozarks, funding the design and construction of a facility to attract the best of a new generation of aspiring singers and musicians.

“For seven decades, artists have traveled to Opera in the Ozarks on their music education journey,” said Jim and Lynne Walton. “A new theater continues this legacy by offering generations of future musicians and singers a new stage to showcase their talents.”

Opera in the Ozarks, located near Route 62 in Eureka Springs, is one of the nation’s foremost opera training programs. It began as a summer camp in 1950, providing students from a variety of backgrounds access to music education. The program has since evolved into a music mecca, attracting students from across the globe.

Opera In The Ozarks

Alumni of Opera in the Ozarks include notable stars Latonia Moore, Leona Mitchell and Mark Delavan, all of whom have performed at the prestigious Metropolitan Opera House. Other alumni have performed on international stages in Vienna, Paris, and Rio de Janeiro.




The new theater will seat 300 occupants, preserving the intimate audience experience of the existing facility. The design is meant to maintain a strong connection to the natural surroundings, and it is hoped that the new facility will enhance both patron comfort and improve production capabilities for artists and designers.


“A new theater will be transformational for our artists and audiences,” said Nancy J. Preis, general director of Opera in the Ozarks. “It will offer artists a stage worthy of their talents. Our new home will also be a welcoming space for audiences to enjoy an intimate and high-quality performance.”❤️


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