Since its inception in 2011, Little Opera’s mission and vision has evolved. We are no longer San Francisco’s all-kids opera company. We are San Francisco’s opera company for EVERYONE!
Our aim is to inspire and involve people of all ages in the creation of original opera, support communities in need where access to the arts is not available, and enrich the lives of many through the creation, performance, and appreciation of music, dance, visual art, literature, and drama.
In 2013-2014 we engaged with the Bay Area community through four streams of programming:
After-School Opera Creation
Here's what it looked like in numbers:
- 128 hours of opera creation
- 64 classes
- 42 music rehearsal and vocal-coaching sessions
- 38 composition workshops
- 30 guest artists
- 24 students
- 10 composers
- 4 dress rehearsals
- 2 building days
- 2 public performances
- 1 radio show *
- 1 tv show **
- 1 recording
* Tune in to KALW Local Public Radio 91.7FM in San Francisco: Wednesday, September 3, 2014, 5pm
** Airing soon on CCTV America
Parent of 2nd grade student, 2013-2014 Season
I'm in the Mirror Performance Clip
May 2014, Wagners, Grades 3-5
Grandpa sees Luna being lured to the Mansion and tries to stop her from going inside, but it is no use. The doors and windows vanish, and Luna is trapped inside.
The Crystal Diamond Heart Performance Clip
May 2014, Humperdincks, Grades 1-3
A Villain overhears his song and is overcome with greed. He wants the diamond for himself and sets out to steal it. He puts the Coo-Coo Bird under a spell and rides on the bird’s back all the way to Antarctica.
Adult Programs: Opera-In-A-Day
We officially launched our adult opera creation program this year - whoo hoo!
One group of highly motivated individuals met in late June to create their very own opera in just one day. Using a process similar to the one we use in our after school program, participants wrote, composed, sang, designed, and staged a complete opera from scratch.
The day started at 10am with a few warm-ups, followed by a headlong dive into story creation. With the help of a few quick sketches and a dash of random chance, an opera about An Asteroid named Astro and God was born.
Participants spent the afternoon setting their words to music, staging scenes, and crafting costume pieces from napkins and clothing swaps.
That evening the opera was performed for a living room full of friends, not just once, but twice.
The Atsro's run through their music with composer, Alex Stein.
"I wish we could do this every Saturday!"
Opera-In-A-Day participant, Brynn Evans
Teaching Artist Apprentice Program
Little Opera is committed to training teaching artists of the future. Our 2013-2014 Teaching Artist Apprentices were Wendy Buzby and Sharon Benitez.
Designed to give new to the field teaching artists an opportunity to gain hands-on experience, the program is part observation, part reflection, and part trial by fire.
This year, apprentices:
What did you like about being a Little Opera Teaching Artist Apprentice?
Sharon Benitez, 2014
SF City College
Little Opera partnered with City College of San Francisco to deliver an opera creation workshop to 30 Music Appreciation for Older Adults students at The Sequoias, a residential care home in the heart of San Francisco's cultural district, in May 2014.
What did the workshop look like?
After a short introduction about what Little Opera does, we launched into the opera creation process itself.
Using the story of The Three Little Pigs as source material, we split the class into four groups to write lyrics for high drama moments in the story. The composition process was next, and while it took some getting used to, once they got into it the results spoke for themselves. The two wolf arias and two pig songs that emerged by the end of the workshop were highly amusing, and totally original.
Libretto for the Little Pig & Wolf duet.