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!”
Disney II Magnet-4th Grade
Narrator: We are at the Willis Tower, and there
is excitement in the air folks. First Lady Michelle Obama is going to be
interviewing the famous architect Daniel Burnham. They will be discussing the
Chicago hot dog! And, as a special treat, we are going to see Mr. Burnham eat
his first Chicago hot dog right on the air!
Michelle: “Welcome viewers, I am First Lady,
Michelle Obama and we are here on the 110th floor of the Willis Tower, 1,450
feet in the air, interviewing the remarkable Daniel Burnham, famous Chicago
architect. Daniel, can you share with our viewers how you were able to
“tesseract” through time to join us today to discuss the invention of the hot
dog for the 1893 World’s Fair?”
Daniel: Well thank you Madame First Lady! I got
your text that I should travel to the future to meet with you, and I couldn’t
Michelle: Well thank you for taking time out of
your busy architect schedule!
Daniel: Of course! I’m actually really excited!
I’ve never had a Chicago hot dog.
Audience 1: What? I can’t believe it!
Audience 2: Well, he is from the past.
Audience 3: Poor man! He’s been missing out!
Audience 4: I bet he asks for ketchup.
Michelle: So Mr. Burnham, what do you know about
Chicago hot dogs.
Daniel: Well, not too much. That’s why I’m so
happy to be here with you today!
Michelle: Well we sure do appreciate your
willingness to travel through time.
Daniel: My pleasure. So I’ve heard a Chicago hot dog referred to as being “dragged through the garden.” What does that mean?
Michelle: Oooh, great question. Well, “dragged through the garden” refers to the large amounts of toppings that are piled on the hot dog. Who in our audience can tell Mr. Burnham what goes on top of a real Chicago dog?
Healy Elementary Class 203
Narrator 1: It took Chicago a long time to recover from the Great Fire. I'm sure you've heard the story. A cow named Daisy was clumsy enough to kick over a lantern and poof! There went the city.
Mrs. O'Leary: It put us all in a bad mooed. (She says "mooed" with a cow moo) Ha ha! I crack myself up!
Narrator 2: That was Mrs. O'Leary. She is Daisy's guardian. She felt so guilty after Daisy's accident that she decided to help build Chicago's first pizzeria.
Mrs. O’Leary: And I chose to call it Pizzeria Uno. Isn't that clever?
Narrator 3: With the help of Michael Jordan, Mrs. O'Leary was able to create a neighborhood place where everyone could hang out and enjoy delicious food. There's even a nice room for Daisy to enjoy her hay.
Customer 1: We love this pizza!
Customer 2: Who wouldn't love this magical creation called mozzarella cheese?
Narrator 4: As you can see, Chicago is a community of pizza lovers.
Mrs. O' Leary: They are also a community of people that care about each other and that come together in times of crisis. No one blamed Daisy or me after the fire. We all pitched in to rebuild.
Michael Jordan: Well, I'm all about teamwork. That's how I keep the Chicago Bulls winning!