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Friday, March 16, 2012


Media Contact:
Hilarie Ashton | Public Relations Manager
hashton@usuo.org | (801)869-9027


SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Opera will give local elementary school students a chance to take the spotlight in the eleventh annual Children’s Opera Showcase, Wednesday, March 28 at 6:30 p.m. in the JeannĂ© Wagner Theatre of the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center (138 West 300 South). 

Participating classes will present an original opera created, produced and presented by students and their teachers with the assistance of a local composer provided by Utah Opera. Teachers also attended a summer training program with Utah Opera to help guide them in the management of these class projects throughout the school year. Now, the children will become the stars of the show, singing their own operas with their own sets and costumes.
The evening of March 28 will include three pint-sized operas:  first up will be Suzanne Parry’s first-grade class from Dilworth Elementary, with their opera titled “The Vikings and the Trolls.” Local composer David Naylor helped the children create their own melodies for this opera whose cast list includes vikings, mermaids, starving trolls, dragons.  The story includes trickery and greed, but in the end these different creatures learn how to be friends.
The Showcase’s second opera, which will begin at approximately 7 p.m., comes from Pieter Lingen’s 4th grade class at Highland Park Elementary, with mentor composer help from music specialist Jennifer Purdy.  Their opera, titled “Belling the Cat,” was created by the group after a study of Aesop’s Fables. The students imitated the fables in giving a moral to their opera: “even small mice can have big brains and solve big problems.”

The final opera of the evening will star the entire third grade from Bonneville Elementary, in a project led by teacher Cindy Norton and composer Masa Fukuda.  The opera has four scenes, which each support the “Go Green” theme.  The students plan to inspire the audience with ideas about ways to reduce, reuse, recycle and implement sustainable energy resources.
In addition to these three operas featured in the official Showcase, Utah Opera is also taking the opportunity at this venue to allow a fourth elementary school to rehearse and perform a re-mounting of an opera written by classes at the school in the past with composer Michelle Willis.  Providence Hall 3rd graders, led by teacher Erica Nuttall, will perform their version of “A Rockin’ Opera,” which features a journey to the center of the earth to learn all about rocks, in a special 5 p.m. performance.  The public is also invited to attend this event.

Utah Opera’s teacher training program and the Children’s Opera Showcase have received financial assistance from the Art Works for Kids Foundation, the Salt Lake City Arts Council and the McCarthey Family Foundation.

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 Hilarie Ashton.


Hilarie Ashton
Public Relations Manager
801.869.9027 office
801.335.9387 cell

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