Friday, August 8, 2008

Tonight's Opera Camp performance

Tonight is the big night for the 2008 Opera Camp students. For the first time, these students have actually created their own opera from scratch. There is no fee, and the performance at Grace Church will begin at 7 p.m.

Here's what Robert has to say about the 'construction' process.
[Wednesday's preview at The Gardens]

"About PRO’s Summer Opera Camp 2008…..

"Since its start in 1997, the Summer Opera Camp has always featured established works, either adaptations, (such as Magic Flute, The Mikado, H.M.S. Pinafore, Pirates of Penzance), or works for youths (e.g. The Piper of Hamelin, Cinderella, Brundibar). This is the first summer that the work, The Criminal, an opera in two parts, was written by the participants themselves.

"The original plan for Summer 08 was to use Ned Rorem’s Fables, Five Short Operas, as a teaching tool and point of departure, then to have the campers write their own work. We quickly realized that Rorem’s piece was not sufficient for the current talents of the campers, so a more direct approach was employed, one which will now remain as a part of the teaching program.

"Future plans for the Summer Opera Camp will include a two-part program that enables the youngest members to “learn about opera through doing” (particularly appropriate for those who do not have experience in opera production; open to ages 7 and up) and an advanced program for more experienced singers, general age range 12-18 (entrance by audition). It is hoped that the nationally-recognized program Music, Words, Opera, created by Opera America, will become a teaching component as we “grow” PRO’s program.

"This summer’s ten-day program featured master classes that are traditionally used in colleges across the country: acting & line-reading coaching, pantomime, personalized vocal instruction, basic stage movement, improvisation, stage makeup craft, flyer design (ads), props construction, and beginning resumé & headshot instruction. The main attention, however, was given to teaching the construction of (and individual components of) an opera, using a mix of contemporary music sources and traditional, classic opera melodies.

"A special note: it is always a joy to have a graduate return as a teacher. One such person is Katelyn Holliday, who was very valuable to our team this year and we are proud of her! As the two-level program grows, the artists in the advanced program will have the opportunity to teach the beginning-level singers, which will help the younger ones and strengthen the skills of the older ones."

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