It has been a couple weeks since I started working for Chicago Opera Theater's "Opera for All" program and I am still amazed at how the students react to the various aspects of putting together an opera! Not only have they had opportunities to watch opera performances, but they also know musical terms, sing out in class and have opinions on how the text/poetry they have written will affect the story of their opera! I am so excited for the plans I have made with Linden Christ for Chase Elementary and for the ideas Mandy Compton and I have discussed for Reilly Elementary, but I'm getting ahead of myself. Who am I and why am I so excited to work with these kids?!
My name is Jennifer D'Agostino. I grew up in Lockport, NY and attended Baldwin-Wallace Conservatory for undergraduate college, The University of Tennessee-Knoxville for graduate school and The University of Wisconsin-Madison for my doctoral degree. All of my degrees are in voice performance with specification on classical music and opera. I have performed in many musicals and operas, have programmed about 10 different song recitals and have even directed, assistant directed and produced shows. A lot of my time in college was spent working in outreach, either for organized groups like the Knoxville Opera Company, "Opera for the Young" which is based in Madison, WI, or as part of a class. I have worked (not in music) in various YMCA after-school programs and church school programs. I feel like my entire life has led me to this job!
Based on what I've seen so far, I can't wait to hear the students gain more confidence as they audition for parts in the operas they've created. I am excited to see the different props and sets the students will create as well as how much fun we'll all have on choreographer day! I am so psyched to see the final performance!