Utah Opera Hosts 13th Annual Children's Opera Showcase Tonight

Utah Opera Hosts 13th Annual Children's Opera Showcase Tonight

Utah Opera will give local elementary school students a chance to take the spotlight to perform original operas in a professional theatre. The thirteenth annual Children's Opera Showcase will take place Tuesday, April 15, 2014, at 6:30 PM in the Jeanné Wagner Theatre located in the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center (138 West 300 South).

Participating classes will present an original opera created, produced and performed by students and their teachers with the assistance of local composers provided by Utah Opera. Teachers attended a training program with Utah Opera to help guide them in the development of these year-long class projects. Now, the children will become the stars of the show, singing their own operas with their own sets and costumes.

The evening of April 15 will include three pint-sized operas: first, Michele McGarry's 6th grade class from Davis School District's South Weber Elementary will perform their opera titled "Trapped in China." Local composer Jeff Pedersen helped the children create their own melodies for this opera. Their inventive story involves a Chinese lunch that seems to transform students into Terracotta Warriors who face many challenges in the Forbidden City before they figure out how to return home.

The Showcase's second opera, which will begin at approximately 7:00 PM, comes from the third grade class of Salt Lake City School District's Wasatch Elementary School, under the direction of teacher Kathy Travers, with mentor composer help from David Naylor. In their opera, titled "The Legend of the Dreamkeepers," villagers seek help from their Shaman and the Sky to rescue their rainbow children from bad dreams and restore peace to their village.

The final opera of the evening, beginning at approximately 7:30 PM, will star Michelle Safedi's fifth grade class from the Entheos Academy, a charter school in Kearns, with musical help from composer Michelle Willis. Their opera, "America - Land That We Love!", recreates many scenes from early American history, with text and musical ideas from the students.

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

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.