5th Grade Opera a "Silver" Success
Thursday, April 28 marked the 25th "silver" anniversary performance of the Lower School's Creating Original Opera program, entirely created and performed by the D-E 5th Grade Class. The event took place to a standing room-only crowd in Hajjar Auditorium.
Sponsored in part by The Metropolitan Opera Guild
, the Creating Original Opera program is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for all D-E Lower School students in the fifth grade. Among other jobs, students create the script, write lyrics, design and build sets, compose the music, handle makeup and costuming, develop lighting, and of course perform, entirely by themselves. They also name their opera production company; this year's class honored the event's milestone year by entitling their company "The Silver Shooting Stars."
D-E Lower School Music Director Mary Heveran commented, “It is truly amazing what these students can accomplish. From the moment that they begin brainstorming their ideas for a theme right up until the final week of production, the enthusiasm that I see is inspiring! Even though this is my 25th opera I am just as excited each year as I was the first.”
The fifth graders had several jobs to choose from, filled out applications, and completed required homework assignments before they were interviewed for these positions, similar to a real-life adult job. If a student did not get the job they wanted they might “feel something on the inside that they do not show on the outside”; hence the chosen theme for this year’s opera" Turning Inside Out." The students' performance last week was the culmination of 8 months of concentrated work. In the words of the production's P.R. team, "It is thrilling for every fifth grader to see how their job contributes in an important way at the final performance and how it all comes together."
Mr. Lilly, former Principal of the Bede School (today known as the D-E Lower School), and who helped to initiate the Opera program 25 years ago, was in attendance and received recognition prior to the show's start. Following their curtain call, all of the students briefly outlined the scope of their jobs, speaking to the concentrated efforts taken to successfully produce the event.
As one parent enthusiastically commented following the show, "It was clear that the students had a wonderful time producing and performing the show! They all did a fantastic job, and we couldn't be more proud."
Click here for more coverage of "Turning Inside Out," courtesy of www.bergen.com