Opera Out of the Box

Opera Out of the Box

This 45-minute, interactive presentation introduces students to “opera’s greatest hits.” Four singers, representing the main operatic voice types, together with a pianist, perform arias, duets and ensembles from Carmen, The Magic Flute, Rigoletto, La Traviata, and other well-known operas. The singers pull simple costume pieces and props out of a box to help illustrate their characters; for example, the soprano is represented by a boa and the mezzo by a hat and tie. Using MadLibs, students “compose” a scene to learn about recitative, or the opera dialogue. The program concludes with “Is it Opera?” a quiz in which the singers present famous tunes often heard in commercial media. The program can be tailored to almost any grade-level, although it is recommended for 2nd grade and up. With younger grades, the performer focus on the music and mechanics of opera, but for older students the singers discuss the reasons they began singing and the training necessary. The program can also be customized to highlight elements of music or major works that the students’ teacher has been covering in class. For example, if a class has been discussing Mozart in music, the singers can present some of his arias in the presentation. NCSCOS: Arts Education, Language Arts, and Second Languages

Check out a sample of the performance: https://youtu.be/nz7Cra4NvUA


Artist Background

The mission of North Carolina Opera is to enhance the cultural life of North Carolina by presenting artistically significant opera productions of the highest quality, strengthening and expanding audiences for opera in the region, and providing regional artists opportunities to participate in operatic productions and events. Rachel Stenbuck has been teaching and performing in voice and flute in the Raleigh area for over 20 years. In addition to maintaining a private studio, she has 10 years of experience teaching Pre-Kindergarten through 12th grades in the music classroom. Her passion is to introduce all students to music, and especially the art of opera, in a way they can relate to and understand.

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