Lyric Unlimited Announces an Opera for Young People RHODA AND THE FOSSIL HUNT
Lyric Unlimited, the branch of Lyric Opera devoted to education, community engagement, and new artistic initiatives, is excited to announce its latest opera for young people, Rhoda and the Fossil Hunt. Created especially for children 7-12 and their families by composer John Musto and librettist/director Eric Einhorn, this operatic adventure explores the crossroads of science and creativity from a child's perspective.
Tickets, which range from $10-20, are on sale now for four performances that will take place at Francis W. Parker School, (2233 N. Clark, Chicago) on Saturday, November 10 and Sunday, November 11 at 2 and 4pm. The cast of four singers will be accompanied by piano, flute, and clarinet, and the 40-minute production will be presented in English. For tickets and additional information, visit www.lyricopera.org/rhoda.
Based on a true story, Rhoda and the Fossil Hunt reimagines the legendary paleontologist Dr. Henry Fairfield Osborn, famous natural artist Charles R. Knight, and Knight's young granddaughter Rhoda. In the early 20th century, Knight was tasked with bringing the fossils housed at the American Museum of Natural History to life for visitors. Through his detailed paintings, he took viewers millions of years back in time to see dinosaurs as active creatures instead of just fossilized skeletons. When Rhoda accompanies her grandfather to the museum, she is awestruck by these exciting fossils and the lifelike images he creates.
In the opera, we join Rhoda at the museum as she goes on a hunt for the missing fossils of a newly discovered dinosaur. With the help of a friendly Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton and a cavewoman, she uncovers clues about the past and learns about the exciting connection between art, creativity, history, and science.
Rhoda and the Fossil Hunt features soprano Boya Wei as Rhoda, baritoneNicholas Ward as Charles R. Knight, tenor Aaron Short as Dr. Henry Osborn, and mezzo-soprano Leah Dexter as the Cavewoman/Tyrannosaurus Rex. Costumes are by Summer Lee Jack, sets are by Arnel Sancianco, prop designs are by Kathryn Johnson, and puppet designs and fabrications are by Brandon Kirkham. The instrumentalists are Leslie Grimm (clarinet and bass clarinet), Eliza Bangert (flute), and Beilin Han (piano and music supervisor). Rhoda and the Fossil Hunt is a co-production with On-Site Opera and the Pittsburgh Opera. This extended edition of the opera was commissioned by Lyric Opera of Chicago.
Prior to the public performances at the Francis W. Parker School, Rhoda and the Fossil Hunt will be presented for student groups in and around Chicago as part ofLyric Unlimited's Opera in the Neighborhoods (OIN) program. In existence for 22 years, OIN will be presented in 30 performances at 15 sites this October and November, sharing Rhoda and the Fossil Hunt with nearly 20,000 students.
"Lyric Unlimited is excited to present this new opera, created especially for families with children ages 7 to 12, following on the heels of last season's opera for families,The Scorpions' Sting. Introducing children to the art form of opera using a story that is relevant to today's audiences is an important part of our mission," said Cayenne Harris, Vice President of Lyric Unlimited.
Families should also save the date for Lyric Unlimited's second annual Family Day at Lyric, taking place Saturday, April 6 at the Lyric Opera House from 11am - 3pm. The exploratory day will include a tour of the orchestra pit or props area, hands-on demonstrations of operatic stagecraft, and costume try-ons. Click here for more information and to reserve your tickets.