After seeing Broadway’s Aladdin and Come From Away on our stage, Chijioke Oparaji decided he wanted to be part of the Dr. Phillips Center, too.
So he got started last fall by singing in the choir ensemble for our youth production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame—followed by acting in our production of West Side Story—both supported by AdventHealth.
“My favorite experience has to be West Side Story that I was a part of this past summer,” the 17-year-old said. “It was a very fast process and very intense, but the friendships that I gained from that experience are going to last forever.”
This fall, Chijioke was also named a company member of The Four Counts, a group that represents the arts center by performing around Central Florida.
“My favorite part about the school of the arts is the feeling of community and love,” he said. “We are all at the school to better our art and to hone our skills as performers and as people—and the school allows us to do it perfectly. It is just so nice to be in a place of shared interests with tons of other talented people that push you to work harder and improve.”
Now a Lake Nona High School senior, Chijioke added that he’s eager to learn as much as he can about singing, dancing and acting—especially with auditions coming up. And we’re excited to be part of his journey.
“I love the atmosphere of the performing arts,” he said. “There’s that feeling when you’re on stage and you look out into the house—and it could even be empty—but the feeling of joy is just amazing. I can’t get enough of it.”
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