KSL: Elementary school students get a taste of opera

By Sandra Olney

SALT LAKE CITY — Opera might look and sound like a tough form of art to master, but some Salt Lake City fourth-graders are proving it can be tackled. A program promoting arts education in the schools is empowering kids to write and perform their own operas.

“Praise our potatoes, food that we eat,” is an important refrain sung by fourth-grader Andrew Johnson in the opera he and his classmates wrote, produced and performed this April.

For fourth-graders at Highland Park Elementary School, their first taste of opera came in the form of “The Enormous Potato.” Johnson described his role as the farmer: “I’m sitting on a giant potato, and it’s kind of strange.”

In fact, the fourth-graders literally picked apart a folk tale about a lazy potato farmer and then worked in small groups to compose the songs that bring the fable to life.

View video at ksl.com