Friday, January 27, 2017

Opera Mannequins Take Over!!!!!

Matt McNabb, Opera for All Teaching Artist

Renee Fleming, watch out! In what has become a media sensation, students at Healy Elementary and McAuliffe Elementary have been transforming into Opera Star Mannequins!



The only explanation that has been offered is that there has been an overabundance of fun and imagination in the Opera for All classrooms, resulting in this stunning development.

It is reported that these 4th, 5th and 6th grade students have been preparing original scripts for opera performances in May. The casting process is about to begin, and the students are ready to perfect their acting and singing skills.

The excitement generated by the possibilities of being cast in main roles has led to spontaneous opera poses. “I think that the opera world is heading into a revolution.” said opera teaching artist Matt McNabb. “We are going to see Opera Mannequins take over the Met stage!”

Is the world ready for such talent and unbridled performance energy? Will the opera world welcome these new stars with open arms? Only time will tell, but the performances in May are definitely not to be missed!

Welcome to the future of opera! And does it look awesome!

Friday, January 20, 2017

Lights, Camera, Backdrops!

Diana Stoic, Opera for All Teaching Artist

This week Langford Community Academy and Whistler Elementary had the opportunity to meet and work with their guest artist, Luther Lewis.  Not only is he a talented artist, he is also an accomplished tenor. Luther and I sing together every December for Opera Night at the Italian restaurant, Del Rio.  He will also travel at the end of the month to Israel to perform in George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess.  




This week Langford Community Academy and Whistler Elementary had the opportunity to meet and work with their guest artist, Luther Lewis.  Not only is he a talented artist, he is also an accomplished tenor. Luther and I sing together every December for Opera Night at the Italian restaurant, Del Rio.  He will also travel at the end of the month to Israel to perform in George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess. 


The students learned how to mix colors and learned different painting techniques to create varied textures on the canvas.




Mr. Lewis sketched the scene for each classroom according to the setting of their show.  Then he outlined the shapes with paint, and with the help of the students, filled in the shapes. 

Langford 6th grade class back drop before and after day 1.



The students worked very hard on their first art day.  They have one more day to finish up and work on the details. 


 Everyone was all smiles and worked well together to create a beautiful background for their opera.  To quote a line from one of the shows, “teamwork makes the dream work!”


Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Whistler and Langford put the "Care and Share" in their Winter Showcase Performances.

Diana Stoic, Opera for All Teaching Artist

The reviews are in, and our Opera for All south side schools soared to great heights during their Winter Showcase on Wednesday December 14th!


The winter showcase was the culmination of the students’ work throughout the school year thus far.

The showcase started off strong with all students singing the theme song, “One World.”  

Whistler Elementary rehearsal of “One World” before the Winter Showcase.

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A clip of Langford Community Academy’s performance of “One World.”

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A few students shared specific Opera for All experiences:

Brooklynn, a 4th grade student from Whistler shared her experience about singing along to the Windy City performance.   She poignantly expressed her advice, “Keep calm and sing on because we all shine through in our own special way.”   

Listen to Brooklynn’s entire speech below:

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The performance also included sneak peaks of each class’s opera synopsis and class songs, which they worked on with the guest composer.  The students ended their show with an all school sing- along to Jingle Bells.


The day after the performance, Whistler student, Kaytlin, reflected on how her class used cooperation to make their performance successful.

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I can’t believe how quickly this school year is progressing.  I would like to recognize and thank the amazing teachers and principals that I‘ve had the opportunity to work with.  They have enthusiastically welcomed the Opera for All program into their schools.   We are also very grateful to have had our guest composers accompany the showcase.  The student’s loved getting the chance to see and work with them again. 



I wish everyone a happy holiday season and look forward to getting back to work in January.

Langford Community Academy’s practice warm-up of Jingle Bells:

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