In September, Elisabeth Egel ’19 (Tallinn, Estonia/Armada, MI) used funds she was awarded by the FLEX Alumni Grant to help create programs with Braille subtitles for two operas being put on by the Estonian National Opera House, “La Traviata” and “Don Pasquale.” Both operas were performed in their native language, Italian, with Estonian and English subtitles projected above the stage, so sighted guests could understand the story being told. In collaboration with the opera house, she created programs that included subtitles in Braille so that blind guests could also understand the story of the opera.

In addition to creating programs for the show, Elisabeth worked with the theater’s cafe and restaurant to create Braille menus for customers with visual impairments.

Elisabeth is very excited to find ways to combine her musical experience and the languages she speaks to make such an impact. She added that, “I hope that this project will continue in the future after the grant period has ended. My dream is that similar programs and Braille subtitles will be available for all operas which premier in Estonia in the future.”

Written by Hanna Pool ‘19 (Tartu, Estonia/Johnstown, OH)