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Opera teens could love

September 06, 2007

  • date
    September 06, 2007
  • article type
    Press
  • category
    Opera Carolina News

Opera teens could love

Often I write about activities for grandparents and small grandchildren.

But what about sharing with teenage grandchildren a world they may never have seen before: the world of opera?

Not far from Gaston and Lincoln counties is the Belk Theatre in downtown Charlotte. It's a real jewel of a theater, but what sparkles within is even more exciting.

Perhaps you have taken children to see "The Lion King" or "Beauty and the Beast" or "The Nutcracker." Why not take older children to Opera Carolina's season opener, "Roméo et Juliette," a story of young love and tragedy, written by French composer Charles Gounod, that any teenager can understand?

And, happily, Student Night at Opera Carolina gives them the experience at a very affordable price.

Having accompanied Ashbrook High School seniors to several operas in recent years, I can attest to the fascination young people have with this art form. The combination of singing, acting, music, costumes and fabulous sets, coupled with dramatic or comedic plots, is irresistible.

Who does not know the story of two young star-crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet? William Shakespeare wrote his brilliant, tragic play four centuries ago. Gounod, a 19th-century romantic French composer, presented his own interpretation in French, of course. Projected English translations with all the operas make them accessible to everyone in the audience.

There are four operas in this season's Student Night offerings, each held on Tuesday night at 7. They are "Roméo et Juliette," Oct. 16; "Aida" by Verdi, Jan. 29; "Don Giovanni" by Mozart; March 25; and "Die Fledermaus" by Johann Strauss, April 29.

The array of themes and styles will give novices an excellent short course in what opera is all about. Seating is in the mezzanine and balcony so it is important to come early to get the best seats.

While teachers are encouraged to bring school groups, individual adults may also bring students. According to Anderea Dock, Opera Carolina education and marketing associate, "each adult must be accompanied by a child, although adults may bring with them more than one child." This is a wonderful opportunity for grandparents and parents.

The early bird cost for each Student Night is $4 for students and $8 for adults. To get this price for "Roméo et Juliette," payment must be received by Oct. 2.

The regular pass price is $6 for students and $10 for adults. Checks may be sent for the first performance only to Opera Carolina, Student Night at the Opera, 345 N. College St., Suite 409, Charlotte, NC 28202.

For credit card payment, contact Anderea Dock, 704-332-7177, ext. 209, or anderea@operacaroling.org.

For tickets ordered within two weeks prior to the performance, all payments must be made by credit card.

Information and a registration form for each Student Night are available at www.operacarolina.org.

Grandparenting

in Gaston Mary Evans Layton
Charlotte Observer