Young Portuguese Inmates Sing Mozart Opera On Way To Freedom | 7/11/2018 | Staff
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Members of the Opera in Prison project perform during a rehearsal at Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon, Portugal July 11, 2018. Picture taken July 11, 2018. REUTERS/Rafael Marchante?

LISBON (Reuters) – Inmates from one of Portugal’s biggest youth prisons took to the stage at a prominent Lisbon music venue this week to perform Mozart’s ‘Così fan tutte’ – a unique initiative using opera to reintegrate prisoners back into society and reduce reoffences.

Performance - Prison - Years - Project - Inmate

This was the second performance outside of the prison in as many years for the four-year old project, which has helped a former inmate land a job in the Gulbenkian Foundation’s concert hall. Others hope to follow suit and launch a music career.

“That’s the best social reintegration we can do,” said Carla Pragosa, a director of the Leiria prison for young offenders.

Project - Officers - Inmates - Families - Friends

The project brings together officers and inmates as well as their families and friends, who sing or work on scenic design.

Tiago Silva was among the 19 young inmates who got up on stage to sing in front of hundreds of people at the foundation’s concert hall, while accompanied by the acclaimed Gulbenkian Orchestra – an experience the 23-year-old will never forget.

“I don’t see my...
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