Friday, April 15, 2016


Matt McNabb, Opera for All Teaching Artist

Nerves were a flutter as we began the process of staging our operas with the students! The kids have been anticipating this process for months and months. After writing our operas together, and after many script revisions and final read-throughs, the most exciting part of Opera for All took flight.

We began discussing the qualities of a good performance, including cheating out to make sure we face our audience when speaking, and projecting our voices so that even a 100 year old grandmother in the audience will understand every word! After that we reviewed our stage directions, and the students will forever remember the difference between stage right and stage left! Then began the process of getting 25-30 students in each classroom up on their feet and working together to create interesting stage pictures. We also have been able to spend time discussing what the characters are thinking and feeling in each scene of our operas.

We have students playing historical characters, sports heroes, celebrities, cows, cats and even hot dogs! Would you like to see a giant hot dog attack the Willis Tower? Or Daisy the cow start another Chicago fire at Pizzeria Uno? Or how about John Wilkes Booth attempting to re-write history with the use of Silly String? These are just a few examples of the creativity and imagination that will be on display at our opera performances!

It’s very exciting to watch our stories leap off the paper and come to life in front of our eyes. Many students are also incorporating new character elements and new levels and dimensions are added each time we see the students. Add in the choreographed dance numbers and the student composed songs and we are going to have brand new and original operas that you won’t want to miss!! 

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