HomeOperaSeason Highlights from Opera Colorado's Training Packages

Season Highlights from Opera Colorado’s Training Packages

A bunch of scholars having fun with a go to to the Ellie Caulkins Opera Home.
Photograph: Opera Colorado/Jamie Kraus

By Angelica DiIorio

The previous two years have been tough for everybody, particularly our younger individuals who skilled many modifications and uncertainty with their education. From determining the best way to study on-line to the anxiousness of the world round them, at this time’s youth have skilled a variety of rising pains. Within the face of challenges, the humanities typically present consolation; you possibly can discover your creativity, really feel linked to others, and study to channel your considerations into one thing lovely.

At Opera Colorado, we imagine entry to an arts training in colleges permits college students to develop the instruments they should succeed. This yr, our Training & Group Engagement Group introduced packages to over 9,000 college students throughout the state of Colorado. Let’s have a look at a number of the opera experiences they’ve shared this yr!


Three performers stand in front of a backdrop with a painted pirate ship in the background. Two have their arms spread wide as they sing, and one stands to the side. The backs of the audiences’ heads are in the bottom left corner.
The 2021-22 Artists in Residence performing Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance.
Photograph: Opera Colorado/Jamie Kraus

From the Ellie Caulkins Opera Home in Denver to Gunnison, practically 200 miles away, the Training & Group Engagement Group has traveled far to deliver two abridged operas to colleges and communities. Our Opera on Tour productions are particularly designed for school-aged kids. Cherity Koepke, Director of Training & Group Engagement, abridges the operas so they’re solely an hour lengthy and interprets them into English when obligatory. The 2021-22 Artists in Residence carried out The Barber of Seville and The Pirates of Penzance, Opera Colorado’s first authentic manufacturing for this program in over 4 years.

Be taught extra about how The Pirates of Penzance was created for the Opera on Tour program>>

This program reached over 4,000 college students and communities, giving them a style of opera. Actually, one viewers liked The Barber of Seville a lot that they sang “Figaro, Figaro, Figaro!” from their vehicles to our Artists in Residence as they walked down the road!


Two students sit in the audience. Two are looking at the performance’s program book.
A bunch of scholars within the viewers for a efficiency of Carmen.
Photograph: Opera Colorado/Jamie Kraus

Every of our mainstage performances is proceeded by a rehearsal for an viewers of scholars. These younger folks skilled a full gown rehearsal of Tosca, The Shining, and Carmen with elaborate units, costumes, and a full orchestra! Additionally they have the chance to take pleasure in a couple of behind-the-scenes moments, like watching the units be modified between acts.

Previous to the efficiency, colleges are given a guidebook for the opera explaining the story, its historical past, and a bit concerning the manufacturing. To verify college students actually perceive the opera earlier than they attended, classes associated to the efficiency for all ages are included. One trainer famous, “The actual fact the supplies had been already CAS [Colorado Academic Standards] aligned is past useful. The scholars had been so excited after the efficiency, it was nice to have associated actions prepared in school to assist reinforce what they noticed.”

Learn the guidebooks for your self>>

At The Shining the scholars skilled one other particular occasion. After the efficiency, they attended a Q&A with members of the manufacturing crew to study extra concerning the stage strategies and expertise used to make particular results. The scholars discovered the best way to use stage lights to make fascinating shadows and the way stage fight is choreographed to make the motion appear actual with out harming the performers. One of many attending lecturers stated her college students “…had been wowed by the efficiency, however actually knowledgeable by the tech speak after. That was such an unbelievable alternative to find out about what goes into creating the expertise they bought to take pleasure in.”


One woman with a white blouse and full red skirts, stands in the center with her hand behind her ear. A crowd of townspeople stand behind her.
Mercédès, carried out by Kira Dills-DeSurra, acts as a narrator within the Scholar Matinee of Bizet’s Carmen.
Photograph: Opera Colorado/Jamie Kraus

College students additionally noticed a matinee of Bizet’s Carmen, carried out by our Artists in Residence, with a couple of modifications to make it particular for a younger viewers. A narrator was added to inform the story, so even our youngest opera-goers might comply with alongside. Over 700 college students attended the matinee, and, for a lot of of them, it was their first opera. Many youngsters may be hesitant to expertise this artwork kind, but it surely turned out to be a really rewarding new expertise. One trainer shared, “My youngsters have by no means seen an opera and weren’t positive they needed to…However they LOVED this efficiency and had been actually drawn in by the synthesis of horror and opera. It was an ideal expertise for them and can make them extra conscious/open to attending opera sooner or later.”

There’s actually nothing extra real than a child’s response to one thing. A few of the prime reactions from our highschool college students seeing Carmen embrace clapping as Carmen tells Don José to depart her alone, and a powerful “Oh, dam!” when Don José pulls out his knife. Their enthusiasm was palpable and made the efficiency much more particular.



A little boy stands on the right and looks in awe at a red parrot puppet being held by one of our Artists in Residence wearing a three-corner pirate hat.
Youngsters having fun with Storytime Periods at Anythink Libraries.
Photograph: Opera Colorado/Jamie Kraus

Taken with bringing one in every of our packages to your neighborhood? Many of those come again yearly, and a few new experiences will likely be added subsequent season!

Our Artists in Residence will return to current the story of absurd adventures and unbelievable paradoxes with The Pirates of Penzance but in addition tug at your heartstrings with a modernized model of Romeo & Juliet.

The Scholar Matinee will likely be within the fall this yr, so plan to get your tickets just a little earlier! The story of the jaded jester Rigoletto defending his household in any respect prices will likely be carried out for college students on November 10, 2022, on the Ellie Caulkins Opera Home.

Be taught extra concerning the Scholar Matinee of Rigoletto>>

The Training Group has many different packages out there for a variety of ages that target early literacy by music, teambuilding, stagecraft, skilled singing, wigs and make-up, costumes, and combat choreography.

Be taught extra about all our Training & Group Engagement Packages>>

We proceed our dedication to furthering arts training in Colorado and look ahead to seeing the place these packages take the Training & Group Engagement Group subsequent, and to listening to all of the candy tales of our younger audiences having fun with the music!


Questions on our teaching programs? Be happy to contact us by e mail at training@operacolorado.org or by telephone at 303.778.7350.

Do you know that Opera Colorado provides partial scholarships for ANY of our instructional packages? Scholarships can be found on a primary come, first serve foundation. To use, please fill out and return the suitable utility: College Scholarship or Group Scholarship.



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