July 5-11, 2002
March of the Falsettos
Fifty Philadelphia students, ages 7 to 12, will learn how to produce an opera, then actually perform a scene from Engelbert Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel on Sunday during an event hosted by the Academy of Vocal Arts (AVA) in conjunction with the Sunoco Welcome America's Go 4th & Learn project.
Holly Phares and April Woodall of the AVA staff, both professionally trained singers and music educators, will teach the kids how to stage an opera. The children will learn about lighting, costuming and props, then they'll put on the costumes themselves to perform a short scene in English from the opera, which has long been a favorite of children. Participating students will take home an illustrated book about the opera and a goody bag stuffed with gingerbread cookies.
This is a free event and parents and friends are welcome to watch. Phares says that students attended a similar event last year. "We asked the students what comes to mind when they think of opera, and they said loud singing' or boring'' but by the end of the day the kids were clamoring to see a performance." According to Phares, less than 10 percent of the students had attended an opera or had seen one on television.
Opera Outreach, Sun., July 7, noon-2 p.m., AVA’s Helen Corning Warden Theater, 1920 Spruce St. To participate, or for more information, contact Mariela Jimenez at 215-683-2205.