Community Opera Brings Families Closer Together

On Friday, March 16, over 400 members of the Los Angeles community will come together to perform Jonah and the Whale.  The production will feature professional opera singers alongside community performers of all ages and experience levels.

The Community Opera provides an opportunity for people from all over Los Angeles to come together and create art. But it also provides an opportunity for families to get to know each other. And carve out a space to learn about themselves together.


Families at rehearsal for Jonah and the Whale

For Jessica Ross, Jonah and the Whale has been a wonderful way to spend time with her 15 year old daughter, Aurora Henning. Aurora loved being a part of last season’s production of Noah’s Flood, but felt a “little lonely being dropped off,” so her mom decided to join her this year.

“It’s a great bonding experience,” Jessica says, “I get choked up seeing her perform.”

Aurora, who is also an alumni of Opera Camp is having a wonderful experience. “There are not many places you can go perform with such a diverse range of ages,” she says. “I love that I can share this experience with my mom because it is just so much better with her around.”

Jessica Ross and Aurora Henning

Aurora Henning and Jessica Ross

For Sara Acharaya, Jonah and the Whale is an opportunity to share her love of performing with her children. Sara was a resident artist at the Anchorage Opera before her recent move to Los Angeles.

“It’s such an amazing opportunity to be in the cast with my children and to share my passion with them.” Her son Keiran is playing a fish alongside his sister Serena as a krill.

And mommy? “Whale rib number 4!”

Stage Director Eli Villanueva working with Jonah stand-in Jonah Tully

Stage Director Eli Villanueva working with Jonah stand-in Jonah Tully

Both women are excited and impressed by the patience and care exhibited by the production staff towards all the community performers, especially the kids.

“Eli and Heather are just amazing,” says Sara, noting that although the kids have all different experience levels, they all get up to speed with the music and movement quickly.

“Eli and the staff are always so kind and professional, even when asked the same question many times!” says Jessica.

When the famous whale swims through the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels this weekend it will be the magic of music and stories brought to life. But the real magic will be how so many members of our community of diverse backgrounds came to the same place and produced a beautiful work of art.

For more information or to reserve tickets to Jonah and the Whale, click here.

LA Opera is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to the greater good.
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One Response to Community Opera Brings Families Closer Together

  1. Luiza Vartavarian says:

    It is encouraging and to follow example for many parents to spend the time, energy, and the talents they have with their children. Bravo!!!

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