Meghan Benedetto recently joined the Opera Colorado team as our Manager of Education & Community Programs and has jumped in with both feet! She details her experiences with our Opera in a Trunk program, which uses props, costumes, and activities to introduce students to the performing arts.
The Opera in a Trunk program is often an overlooked education program, but it can be an essential tool in helping students understand this often complicated art form. Last month, the Hansel & Gretel Opera in a Trunk traveled to Ms. Hurd’s art class at University Park Elementary. We introduced the students to the opera by teaching them some of the arias in English, the different operatic voice types, as well as the word Bravo! Opera Colorado went back to the school the following week to perform Hansel & Gretel for over 400 students. Let me tell you that their responses were astounding! But, you could really see the difference between Ms. Hurd’s art students who had done the Trunk program and those that did not. They were singing along with the artists, and shouting “BRAVO! BRAVO!” during the final bows. You could see that they were following the opera along closely, laughing….and screaming at all the right times. As we were packing up the show behind the school, the 1st graders were having recess in the adjacent field. I saw two girls singing and doing Gretel’s dance. “Left foot first, right foot then, round about and back again!” It was adorable!