Florentine Opera Presents "The Billy Goats Gruff"
Touring opera brings opera to thousands oflocal students and their families
MILWAUKEE, Wis.—January 24, 2011—The Florentine Opera Company once again presents a touring education program designed to introduce students in K4 through fifth grade to the opera art form during Winter 2011. The Billy Goats Gruff tells the classic fairytale of the three billy goats with a contemporary twist, as it tackles the issue of bullying and promotes the power of kindness.
Adapted and written by renowned arts educator John Davies and sung in English, this engaging 45-minute performance is set to recognizable melodies from some of opera's most beloved composers, including Mozart, Rossini and Donizetti. The Billy Goats Gruff begins with a week-long residency at the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts on January 24, 2011 and will continue on to tour local and regional schools and public community venues through April, 2011.
"I am thrilled by the positive response we've had to our educational programs, and proud that they continue to be such an asset to the community. Bullying, the topic of this year's opera, is especially relevant, and I think this show offers an important message that both students and families can learn from," states Elizabeth Gardner, Director of Education and Outreach. "To me, the best part of the program is that opera is being introduced in a way that is exciting and accessible for children and adults alike, and hopefully it will pique their interest in the art form, ultimately developing the next generation of opera fans."
Using visual, aural and action methods, The Billy Goats Gruff exposes students to opera in a multi-disciplinary format. Additionally, students receive the developmental benefits of arts education, such as expanded abstract thinking and problem solving abilities, increased interest in self-expression, and a venue to enhance self-discipline, communication skills, perseverance and leadership.
The program features the vocal talents of the 2010-2011 Florentine Opera Studio Artists. Resident artists Erica Schuller (soprano), Julia Elise Hardin (mezzo soprano), Matthew Richardson (tenor) and Scott Johnson (baritone), along with pianist Anne Van Duesen, portray the beloved characters in this well-known story and facilitate a question and answer session with audiences, designed to give children access to a behind-the-scenes perspective and further their knowledge of opera and the performing arts.
To enhance the student experience, all educators are provided classroom resources, including an online teachers' guide, which offers supplementary opera and music education materials, and connects the program to Wisconsin state-wide academic standards.
Click here for a complete list of public performances of The Billy Goats Gruff.
ABOUT THE FLORENTINE OPERA'S EDUCATION PROGRAMS:
The Florentine Opera Company's Education Department programming reaches a broad spectrum of individuals throughout Metro Milwaukee, southeastern Wisconsin and beyond. Last season, the touring children's opera alone reached over 13,000 students and was performed in over 60 schools and community venues. The Company provides a vital addition to local arts education – both in the classroomand on the stage—and the Florentine's Education Department is committed toproviding all students with a complete opera curriculum.