Source: NMHS Newsletter, August 2012
Mary Chrastil, "Contemporary Opera Curtain Commissioned" 

We decided to commission a contemporary opera curtain and invite current businesses and organizations to be part of it.  The NMHS provided the materials and approached businesses for sponsorship and advertising.  We pointed out that the contemporary curtain will hang for many years in the Center for History, next to the restored curtain.  It will document current businesses and organizations 100 years from now, just as the 1910 curtain does. 

 We approached local businesses which had a business or function similar to the ones on the 1910 curtain.  Major sponsors for the “Year of the Opera Curtain” Beacon Credit Union, Manchester University, Poet Biorefining and Shepherd Chevrolet are featured prominently on the contemporary curtain.  Also appearing are the Fine Arts Club, Peabody Retirement Community, Timbercrest Senior Living Community, McKee Mortuary, Harting Furniture, and Riverbridge Electric.  Rounding out the advertisers are KenapocoMocha Coffee House, Fahs Brown Plumbing (representing the Manchester Early Learning Center on the curtain), First Financial Bank, Newmarket, Creative Stitch Quilt Shop, One World Handcrafts, the Main View Restaurant and the Firehouse Theater.

 Debra Kern, art teacher at Manchester High School, agreed to take on the project.  The curtain is big and heavy, a canvas square 14 feet by 14 feet, which made it a challenge to design and paint.  The colorful curtain reflects the modern use of logos and brighter colors, while still retaining the feel of the 1910 curtain.  Logos were projected on the curtain and transferred and painted by students.  The central medallion shows a scene of early 20th century people arriving at the opera house, with a casually dressed contemporary couple just outside the frame, watching the action but “with their feet in the future.” 

 Students who helped paint the curtain are Katie Durden, Hannah Lochner, Tawni Kincaid, Paige Blocher, Krisy Mize, Evan Wilcox, Treya Paquera, Katie Floor, Madison Isbell, Brittani Weimann, Marret Metzger, Bradley Miller, Mariah Mobley, Claire McLaughlin, Mick Avery, D.J. Norwood, Allissa Isley, Myra Long and Samantha Hall.

Contemporary Advertising on Opera Curtain, North Manchester