Friday, January 29, 2016

: An Exposé on the Life and Times of Hot Dog Zilla

Erin Moll, Opera for All Teaching Artist

Disclaimer: I thought it would be fun to share a little bit of the story creations the OFA students came up with this year.  This particular gem “Hot Dog Zilla” is the creation of Ms. Rhodes Fourth Grade Blue Team at Disney II Magnet Elementary.  The students were very much inspired by the hot dog exhibit at the Chicago History Museum and decided to turn the hot dog into the antagonist for their class’s opera.  Here’s a little of what they came up with! 

Once upon a time in Chicago, there was a supervillain by the name of Al Capone.  You may have heard of him.  On one of Al’s many capers, we find him at the Willis Tower!  On this particular occasion, he has stolen a laser beam from famous architect, Daniel Burnham, and is using it to wreak havoc on the city of Chicago.  Using the laser beam, he zaps a Chicago style hot dog and creates the scariest monster you have ever seen: HOT DOG ZILLA!    Hot Dog Zilla has one mission and one mission only… To Destroy the Willis Tower!  

“Hot Dog Zilla, he’s the evil one in the poppyseed bun.
Hot Dog Zilla, he is coming today to chase the ketchup away!
We’re all in a pickle when he comes to down;
He’s going to knock the Willis Tower down!
Hot Dog Zilla!”

(The Chorus to our Class Song “Hot Dog Zilla”)

What do our students have to say about Hot Dog Zilla?  Well, he’s evil, hungry, outrageous, mean, pricey, and of course he has a sour attitude!  

Monday, January 25, 2016

OFA Scripts!

Matt McNabb, Opera for All Teaching Artist

There have been creative ideas flowing like waterfalls the last few weeks at our Opera for All schools! The students have been hard at work, guided by the teaching artists, creating stories, characters and settings for our operas!

Using a visit to the Chicago History Museum as a springboard, the students have been deeply involved in the creation of stories that are engaging, funny, imaginative and in some cases very topical. There will be historical Chicago people and places popping up in each opera, and you might even get to meet a hot dog or two!

I continue to be blown away by the creative and critical thinking skills demonstrated by the students. The operas this year will be the best yet! We have been encouraging the students to develop a story that has a strong theme, historical significance, a clear through-line and diverse characters. I can happily say that we are accomplishing all of these with great success, and when we add the songs and dances we will have operas that will knock your socks off!

It has been a flurry of brain-storming and group discussion and exploration, and now that we almost have our final drafts completed, I can honestly say that this is one of the most exciting parts of the Opera for All program. And, what happens next? Well, we get the opera up on its feet and really see it come to life! I can’t imagine a more rewarding experience: for the teachers and the students and the audience!!

I hope you enjoy a couple “sneak peeks!”