Chicago Opera Theater (COT) is continuing its quest to bring opera to Chicago elementary school students with the 11th year of its Opera for All educational outreach program. In conjunction with Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education (CAPE), COT’s program joined students throughout the academic year at Lionel Hampton Fine & Performing Arts School, Dewitt Clinton Elementary, Reilly Elementary, and Calmeca Academy of Fine Arts & Dual Language. Each school will cap off the year with its own 45-minute student opera, School Rules!, featuring acting, singing, dancing, and spectacular props.
Six teaching artists from Opera for All and CAPE worked closely with classroom teachers in a year-long residency. In addition to participating in music composition and writing workshops, students enjoyed field trips and visits from members of COT’s Young Artists Program. The children created their own script with the help of Second City writer, the late Mary Scruggs. Reilly Elementary included violin lessons for students who will serve as part of the ensemble at the final performance.
According to COT general director Brian Dickie:
“I am very proud of the work done by Opera for All over the past 11 years. We believe the performing arts are essential to a well-rounded education; sharing opera with the children of Chicago in an interactive way is a vital aspect of Chicago Opera Theater’s mission.”
Education & Outreach Manager Linden Christ described the children’s enthusiasm:
“Our fourth and fifth graders love the process of creating their own lyrics and composing their very own melodies. Several students from each class have even taken up the challenge of singing solos! They are excited to share their own opera creation with the public.”
School Rules! performances will take place on May 10 at 11 AM in the Hampton Elementary School Auditorium, 3434 W. 77th St., Chicago, IL 60652; May 19 at 11 AM in the Clinton Elementary School Auditorium 6110 N. Fairfield Ave., Chicago, IL 60659; May 24 at 10 AM in the Calmeca Academy Auditorium 3456 W. 38th St., Chicago, IL 60632; and June 2 at 11:30 AM in the Reilly elementary school auditorium 3650 W. School St., Chicago, IL 60618.
For tickets or more information go to ChicagoOperaTheater.org or call 312-704-8414.
- Review: DEATH AND THE POWERS, THE ROBOTS’ OPERA by Tod Machover at Chicago Opera Theater (thecontrapuntist.com)
- Review “Death and The Powers”: Life-Altering Experience (chicagonow.com)