Participating classes will present an original opera created, produced and performed by students and their teachers with the assistance of a local composer provided by Utah Opera. Teachers attended a summer training program with Utah Opera to help guide them in the development of these year-long class projects. Now, the children will become the stars of the show, singing their own operas with their own sets and costumes.
The evening of March 21 will include three pint-sized productions: first, Ogden’s Shadow Valley Elementary will present musical numbers from their history-themed opera project titled “Stand Strong.” Students from the original production that included the entire 5th grade of the school will perform their favorite numbers from their project, which was created under the guidance of Drama Specialist Leslie Ireland. Composer Margot Murdoch was hired by Utah Opera to help students with music composition.
The showcase’s second piece, which will begin at approximately 7:00 PM, comes from a 5th grade class of Salt Lake City School District’s Mountain View Elementary School. Their project, an opera titled “One Summer Evening,” was developed under the direction of teacher Selene Mansfield, with mentor composer help from composer Becky McNeil. In this opera, a family is excited to watch fireworks at Liberty Park, but an unfortunate event threatens to ruin the whole evening.
The final opera of the evening, beginning at approximately 7:30 PM, will star 3rd grade classes from Salt Lake City School District’s Wasatch Elementary, under the leadership of teacher Kathy Travers and with musical mentorship from composer David Naylor. The title of their opera is “The Legend of the Tumbleweed.” This is the 5th “legend” opera to emerge from Ms. Travers’ third grade classes at Wasatch. In the students’ story, a tribe faces several threatening situations, but with the help of their Shaman, the Rainbow children and their new friend the Wind are able to restore peace to their village.
Admission to this event is free, but seating is limited. The Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center is located at 138 West 300 South in Salt Lake City. Press photos for this event are available by contacting Renee Huang.
About Utah Symphony | Utah Opera Education DepartmentThe Education Department of Utah Symphony | Utah Opera creates and oversees opportunities in music for audiences of all ages, with special emphasis on musical experiences for K-12 students and teachers. As the largest performing arts organization in Utah, USUO promotes a broad public knowledge and appreciation of music through more than 30 state-assisted community outreach programs, amounting to more than 600 performances annually. USUO Education serves more than 7,000 teachers and 155,000 students each year throughout Utah by bringing both symphony and opera programs, free of charge, to every school district in Utah over a three- to five-year rotation. For more information, visit www.usuoeducation.orgor call 801.869.9091.
About Utah Opera
Utah Opera, established by Glade Peterson in 1978, has been part of the community for more than 35 years and engages Utah residents through inspiring operatic performances. The opera company presents four annual productions at the historic Janet Quinney Lawson Capitol Theatre. Utah Opera operates a full production studio where productions are rehearsed and costumes, props and set pieces are designed, made, rented out and stored. The opera currently has 17 full sets and costumes for 45 full productions in its inventory. Utah Opera also offers a Resident Artist Program, a nationally recognized young artist training program for professional singers and pianists who perform for more than 70,000 students each year through the organization’s education and outreach activities. For more information, visit www.utahopera.org.