Search Results for: opera camp

Three Things You May Not Know About Opera Camp!

Every summer, the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion fills up with students ages 9-17 for LA Opera’s Opera Camp. This year, the program has expanded and we have over 70 campers learning everything there is to know about opera. Over the next three weeks, they will present TWO fully-staged operas for friends, family and the community.

Eli Villanueva, Resident Stage Director for LA Opera’s Education and Community Engagement, with kids from Opera Camp 2018.

Eli Villanueva, Resident Stage Director for LA Opera’s Education and Community Engagement, with kids from Opera Camp 2018.

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Why I Love Opera Camp

Maurissa Dawson (left) with Holocaust survivor Peter Daniels (right)

Maurissa Dawson (left) with Holocaust survivor Peter Daniels (right)

Spring, 2016.

I’d been refreshing my email constantly for days on end, anxiously waiting for the email holding my fate. I auditioned for Opera Camp about a month earlier, and had been waiting for the results ever since. I’d found out about the program when I’d auditioned for Noah’s Flood months before. Patience however, was slowly edging its way out of my grasp. Then, suddenly I saw it:

Congratulations! We would like to inform you that you have been accepted and cast for our 16/17 Opera Camp!!!!

And so it began.
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Opera Camp Encourages Children and Teens to Express Themselves through Music and Drama

Opera Camp 2017

Opera Camp 2017

UPDATE: Maestro James Conlon will be conducting both performances of Brundibár.

One of our beloved Opera Camp’s teaching artists, Judy Johnson, started performing at the age of eight. She sang in church, studied voice in high school and college, and then worked as an actress in Los Angeles. In 2014, she loved her life as an actress, but realized something was missing. After a life spent performing, Johnson wanted to give back to her community in another way.

That desire combined with her love of opera led her to become an LA Opera teaching artist.

Her first role with LA Opera was as Assistant Director for last year’s Opera Camp production of Then I Stood Up. Her enthusiasm for the work and her passion for teaching our campers shines through.
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What is Opera Camp?

An Innovative Summer Camp

Opera Camp 2017

Opera Camp 2017

For the past 17 years, we’ve hosted Opera Camp. It is a two-week immersive program where students aged 9-17 experience all aspects of opera production, guided by LA Opera artists. They are coached in singing, movement and learn about staging, scenic and prop design, and stage management.

Our campers have arrived this week. They’ve been rehearsing and exploring the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.

But, our campers are also learning about something else.

Opera Camp connects campers to the past and to today’s toughest issues. It brings context to headlines and shows students their potential to impact the world.
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All About That Opera Camp

Luz Duran (left) and Chaya Forman (right) during a break from Opera Camp 2016

Luz Duran (left) and Chaya Forman (right) during a break from Opera Camp 2016

Chaya Forman and Luz Duran love to sing. Chaya used to sing with the National Children’s Chorus, while Luz loves singing pop songs and can easily break into a rendition of Alicia Keyes’ “Girl On Fire.” They’re also both rising seventh graders and will spend two weeks of their summer at LA Opera’s Opera Camp, rehearsing and performing Then I Stood Up, a youth opera about the contributions of young people to the Civil Rights Movement.

It’s also their first year in the camp and they’re loving the experience so far.  We spoke with the girls to get a sense of what life is like for a first year camper.

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Opera Camp Never Gets Old

Samuel Bindschadler

Samuel Bindschadler

Envision yourself on stage. You’re in character, singing a role you love, and connecting with hundreds of audience members. You’ve worked hard for this moment and it’s more wonderful than you could have ever imagined. It also doesn’t feel like work, because you’ve enjoyed every minute.

This is how I feel every year during LA Opera’s summer youth program, Opera Camp. It’s some of the most rewarding “work” I’ve had the pleasure of doing. This year, I will participate in the camp for the fourth time, for which I am immensely grateful. Over the past few years, I have learned so much from amazing teaching artists and directors (particularly Eli Villanueva, Leslie Stevens, and Karen Hogle Brown) and even Maestro James Conlon.

The camp only lasts two weeks, but it is an intense two weeks. It never ceases to astound me how quickly the camp passes and how much I learn in such a short period of time. Few words can do justice to how working with Eli, Leslie, Karen, and all of the other magnificent performers and teaching artists enhance my (and other kids) knowledge of acting, singing, performance, and an artist’s responsibility. Whether through the lyrics of Hans Krása in Brundibár—in which, in 2011, I played “Little Joe,” a young man, who seeks out aid from unwilling adults to save his ailing mother—or Then I Stood Up—in which, this year, I will play the role of Pastor Jim—LA Opera always makes sure we learn both about performing and the history behind each opera.

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From Zarzuela to Opera Camp

Jesus, Beatrice, and Diego in Zarzuela garb

Jesus, Beatrice, and Diego in Zarzuela garb

Jesus and Diego Lopez (17 and 10, respectively) wanted nothing to do with classical music. When their mother, Beatriz Zaragoza, played classical music in the car, the boys complained. This all changed when the family discovered LA Opera’s Zarzuela Project.

With the Community Opera Choruses Network, LA Opera engages people from around LA County (with a concentrated focus on East LA) to explore opera. The Zarzuela Project is a key component of this network. Led by a team of LA Opera teaching artists, the project accepts all ages and weekly rehearsals are held at Salesian High School in East LA. Fernandez’s students rehearse various Zarzuelas and perform them at partner venues around the community. It is a project that is very dear to LA Opera General Director Plácido Domingo, whose parents were both Zarzuela singers.

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It’s Not Sleep Away Camp, It’s Opera Camp!

Katie and Annie Lee rehearse “Everything Breathes” from <em>The White Bird of Poston</em>. They are led here (off-camera) by teaching artists Leslie Stevens and Charlie Kim.

Katie and Annie Lee rehearse “Everything Breathes” from The White Bird of Poston. They are led here (off-camera) by teaching artists Leslie Stevens and Charlie Kim.

Today’s headlines are filled with stories of inequality, injustice and hate. Understanding our role in changing the world can be daunting. Through its annual Opera Camp program, LA Opera is teaching kids 9 – 17 how every action counts.

For the the past 15 years, LA Opera has hosted Opera Camp, a two-week immersive program where campers learn about opera – the artistry, the production, the skills – and prepares them to perform one. Every year, between 50 and 60 children and teens participate in the camp. … Continue reading

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A Year in Review: LA Opera’s Highlights from 2018

LA Opera experienced many firsts in 2018. From Emmy Award-winning artists making their debuts to stunningly powerful world premieres on our Off Grand stage, we are proud of our accomplishments over the last 12 months.

The LA Opera family thanks you for making our 2018 so successful. As we wind down for the holidays, take a look at some highlights throughout this monumental year.

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LA Opera 90012: Inspiring a Love of Opera

Opera is larger than life. It’s full of dramatic stories told through extraordinary music. The stage is populated by fascinating characters brought to life by beautiful voices. While the stage is transformed into a different world, the audience finds themselves transformed as well — their laughter, tears, gasps and applause are a vital part of an opera performance.

LA Opera’s 2006 production of “Hansel and Gretel.” (Photo: Robert Millard)

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An Inside Look at LA Opera’s Professional Development Day

Giving Opera “Campers” the tools to engage in their communities is one of the important missions of LA Opera’s Opera Camp, an annual three-week intensive where youth from all around Los Angeles gather to sing, dance and learn how to tackle deeper social issues using the power of music and acting. Last week, we enjoyed the culminating performances of our 2018 session with The White Bird of Poston and The Prospector. Though we spent ample time teaching the kids about opera, we also took the time to teach our LA Opera Teaching Artists as well.

LA Opera Teaching Artists participating in Opera Camp's Professional Development Day on July 23

LA Opera Teaching Artists participating in Opera Camp’s Professional Development Day on July 23

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Summertime At The Opera: What Are We Up To? — Part II

A few weeks ago, we talked about what our staff is up to during the breezy summer months at LA Opera. With the stage dark until September, the team is hard at work getting things in order for the 2018/19 season.

LA Opera's 2015 production of Pagliacci (Photo: Craig T. Mathew/LA Opera)

LA Opera’s 2015 production of Pagliacci (Photo: Craig T. Mathew/LA Opera)

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Summertime At The Opera: What Are We Up To? — Part I

Summer is a peaceful time on the LA Opera stage — but though the stage is quiet, the offices remain abuzz! With the house empty for the next two and a half months, we use this time wisely to prepare for next season’s productions.

A scene from William Friedkin 2004 production of Strauss' Ariadne auf Naxos at LA Opera

A scene from William Friedkin 2004 production of Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos at LA Opera

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Get To Know LA Opera’s Summer 2018 Interns!

Summer always means new faces when we welcome our interns at LA Opera. Curious to know what it means to spend the summer at the opera? Hint: it’s more than just singing all day.

Learn more about our interns below!

LA Opera's 2018 Summer Interns

LA Opera’s 2018 Summer Interns

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Opera By The Numbers: How We’ve Reached New Audiences Through Education and Community Programs!

It’s no secret that we’re passionate about opera. Here at LA Opera, we want as many people as possible to experience this remarkable art form. We invite scores of school children into free performances and provide specially priced tickets for community groups at every mainstage performance.  We also travel to schools and teach children to perform an opera for their community.

Baritone Cedric Berry at KUSC’s playground pop-up (Photo: Tony Roman)

Baritone Cedric Berry at KUSC’s playground pop-up (Photo: Tony Roman)

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Why We Sing: LA Opera and City of Hope

Through the combined efforts of community venues and LA Opera, the public has access to opera throughout Los Angeles County, with recitals tailored to each individual community. Performances take place at a variety of spaces including libraries, museums, hospitals, community centers, senior centers and outdoor venues.

Read about LA Opera artist Ashley Faatoalia’s experience singing at a previous concert at City of Hope, in anticipation of an upcoming concert on June 15.

LA Opera artist Ashley Faatoalia

LA Opera artist Ashley Faatoalia

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The College Advisory Committee – Inspiring the Next Generation of Opera Lovers

The College Advisory Committee invites graduate and undergraduate students to be a part of Team Opera! They volunteer at events, attend exclusive master classes and backstage tours, all while learning about potential careers in the arts. Committee members input is a vital part of how we plan future college programming at LA Opera. Get to know two of our members below!

The 2017/18 LA Opera College Advisory Committee (Photo: Anabel Romero/LA Opera)

The 2017/18 LA Opera College Advisory Committee (Photo: Anabel Romero/LA Opera)

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Resistance and Remembrance: A Holocaust Survivor’s Mission to Share Opera

Fifty plus children are lined up onstage, holding hands and singing a victory march at the end of the children’s opera Brundibár as part of LA Opera’s Opera Camp. At the center, holding hands and singing with the same energy as the children, is Holocaust survivor Ela Weissberger. Before her passing last month, she traveled around the world to attend nearly every performance of Brundibár. Her story has been an inspiration and a driving force behind Opera Camp.

Ela Weissberger onstage with Opera Camp students in 2013

Ela Weissberger onstage with Opera Camp participants in 2013.

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LA Opera Newborn Subscription Package!

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Catching the “Opera Bug”: From School to the Mainstage at LA Opera

Ever wondered how children get the “opera bug”? For 10 year-old Jesse McBride, it all started with a visit to his school by LA Opera. In 2017, LA Opera brought their Elementary In-School Opera program to Rockdale Elementary, where Jesse attended 4th grade. For 5 weeks, he and his classmates worked to learn their roles as the chorus in The Legend of Cannery Row, culminating in a performance for their fellow students and families.

Photo: Taso Papadakis

Photo: Taso Papadakis

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