Opera North in Lebanon has received a $50,000 grant from Timken Foundation for stabilizing and repairing the historic Charles Beaman farmhouse at Blow-Me-Down Farm in Cornish, parts of which date to the late 1700s. The funds will advance the project to preserve and renovate Blow-Me-Down Farm for future use as a base for Opera North’s activities.
The project is the result of a partnership agreement signed in 2016 by Opera North and the National Park Service at Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site, which owns the farm. Recognized as the place that launched the Cornish Colony, the 42-acre estate, overlooking the Connecticut River and Mt. Ascutney, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
“The Timken Foundation grant brings Opera North significantly closer to the estimated cost of renovations at the farmhouse,” says Evans Haile, Opera North executive director. “The funds allow us to begin work as soon as possible on stabilizing the building for the winter.”
The preservation and rehabilitation of the historic Beaman farmhouse is being directed by Architect R. Andrew Garthwaite. Phase one of realizing the “ON the Farm” vision was launched earlier this year with a $350,000 commitment from the Northern Border Regional Commission, a federal-state development partnership. Opera North has also received one of 20 Opera America Innovation grants.
Opera North demonstrated the concept of using Blow-Me-Down Farm as a creative space with this past summer’s innovative blending of “arias and aerialists” under a big top on the lawn. Summerfest 2018 Singers & Swingers delivered four sold-out performances.