Friday, September 21, 2012

Young Artists sing at New Trier High School

Jessica Lane, COT Education Intern

Hello blog readers, I first want to introduce myself.  My name is Jessica and I am the Fall Education Intern here at COT.  I have been here for about a month and am loving it!  How lucky I am to not only work with the Opera for All program and COT for Teens, but I also get to tag along with the Young Artists.

Yesterday we went to New Trier High School's Freshman Campus to work with their choirs.  Many of them had never been to an opera, and were far from calling themselves opera fans. Their director, Tim Estberg, wants to change that.  He invited the Young Artists to perform (a slightly shortened, 1 act, version of) The Magic Flute for his choirs and the choir and Young Artists sang the finale together!  The Freshman Choir only had a couple weeks to prepare, but they sounded amazing.  If they sound this great at the beginning of the school year, I cannot wait to hear their concert in the Spring. 

The students loved the performance and the Young Artists are so talented, the entire group watched in silence.  When Papageno was looking for Papagena at the end there were some Freshman students who wanted to volunteer to be his Papagena if the real one didn't show up!  They were just so funny, and really enjoying themselves.

The Queen of the Night tries to win Tamino over.
Sarastro comforts Pamina after his guard threatens her.
After the finale, students were given a chance to ask the Young Artists questions.  Instead of the silly questions I was expecting, the students really wanted to know what it was like to be an Opera singer.  I could tell some of them were considering it for their future.  Having a great choir director like Tim is a step in the right direction!

COT Young Artists answer the student's questions.

Being in a school and seeing how students view the experiences COT offers them reminds me of why music and arts education is so important.  All of the students are going to see The Magic Flute at the Harris Theater on Sunday with their teachers and families and I can remember what it was like for me to be at the opera for the first time.  They will see the stars of COT's Magic Flute as well as the Young Artists they met Thursday on stage.  For some of them, like it was for me, it could be the moment they decide to be an opera singer.  How exciting!


PS: You still have two more performances left to see COT's Magic Flute, so don't miss out on this really awesome re-imagining!

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