< News & Press

Seeing Opera Through The Eyes Of Children

November 02, 2009

  • date
    November 02, 2009
  • article type
  • category
    Opera Carolina News

Seeing Opera Through The Eyes Of Children

Last week I went to back to school.

I made a visit to Newell Elementary to watch Opera Express's performance of Jack and the Beanstalk.

Opera Express is Opera Carolina's educational touring company for children. The program is designed to help children understand and appreciate opera as an art form.

What a delight it was to watch an operatic performance of a story I hadn't heard since I was a kid.

The cafeteria was packed with students from third to fifth grade who sat and eagerly watched the performance.

As I became engrossed in the story, it was awesome to see the kids as they ooohed and aaahed, especially when Jack's beanstalk began to grow right before their eyes.

The three-character play lasted about 45 minutes and incorporated teaching moments, like the scene where the mean giant learned the importance of treating people as he would want to be treated.

The children especially enjoyed the comedic energy of the silly giant (played by Byron Barr). His heavy bass voice filled the room and kept the children's full attention.

Afterwards the kids asked the cast the cutest questions, like, "Did you have to go to opera school to learn to sing?"

They were also interested in the set design and the "Little Jack" puppet played by Noah Rice.

The students' raw enthusiasm left me wondering why we, as adults, can't experience art with such child-like wonderment.

Why do so many of us shun experiences just because they are unfamiliar to us?

I'll admit, I know little about opera, but I'm more than willing to experience the art form.

In the coming months, Qcitymetro.com will explore opera and give readers a chance to win tickets to performances at Opera Carolina.

I hope you’ll find the child inside.

By Lashawnda Becoats

To read the original article, visit the Qcitymetro.com.