Strange Inheritance is FOX Business Network’s hit primetime series which explores unusual stories of inheritance – this season the stories range from Abraham Lincoln’s rail splitter to dozens of gorillas (no joke), and of course, a puppet opera.
In its 3rd season – Strange Inheritance is one of the highest rated programs on the network and host Jamie Colby was on the road 300+ days last year filming the episodes.
In Monday’s episode, Jamie Colby heads to Rolling Meadows, Illinois where she meets brothers Justin and Shayne Synder, who in 2006 inherit the famous Opera in Focus from Chicago legend Bill Fosser. Fosser, a renowned stage designer for many Chicago theatres and Hollywood blockbusters like Home Alone, Backdraft and The Sting, never lost sight of his passion for puppet theatre, and uses the money he made from the movie business to build his own puppet opera in 1993, Opera in Focus. The brothers, who worked at the opera house, inherited it after Bill passes in 2006. The brother’s faced some problems right out the gate, with attendance plummeting and the opera house flooding after a horrible storm in 2011. After months of rebuilding the theatre from scratch, the brothers bring their beloved puppet opera back to life, and the Opera in Focus remains open and thriving to this day. Asked if they would ever be willing to sell what could amount to a small fortune, the brothers respond that the puppets are their family and the theatre their home for as long as they are alive.