If you can boil water, if you can breathe, you are on the verge. Take two or three important moments of your life, fleeting moments of love, of loss. Your opera is filled with tragedy and comedy; it’s over the top and scraping the bottom; it has daring heroes and demanding divas; and (hopefully) gorgeous costumes and breathtaking scenery.
Walt Whitman writes, “That music always round me, unceasing, unbeginning, yet long untaught I did not hear”
We all have this potential waiting to find a voice.
Teaching Artists at San Francisco Opera Guild are currently working with 4th and 5th grade classes to unleash the operas inside them. In our Book to Bravo! program, they guide students over a ten-week period in creating original music-theatre pieces to perform for their schools. This fall, we’ll see operas based on the myths of Perseus and Orion, on Native American and African folk tales. Pouring their own experience into these stories, the students become heroes and goddesses, coyotes and shamans, finding connections between their own lives and those of people who lived centuries ago and half a world away.
The notion that opera is only for experts or connoisseurs – these students prove that nothing could be further from the truth. Even we, as part of the audience in the opera house, create stories anew within ourselves as we plot with Figaro and plod with Falstaff, love with Rodolfo and die with Mimi.
So go sing a scena for your supper or croon a cabaletta through an echoing canyon! Go create – and live – an opera!
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