2022 CHILDREN’S OPERA: MOZART’S DAY OUT
It’s 1786 and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is turning out music right and left–sonatas, concertos, enormous symphonies. This guy is prolific times ten. Now he wants to try his hand at an opera but he needs inspiration. Who and what could this opera be about? Hmm. Oh rats, the bad guy landlord is pounding on the door again, demanding “extra” money. What this young composer needs is . . . a day out! Yes, let’s go! Join Mozart and his remarkable pet bird Stella as they explore the streets of Vienna in search of inspiration.
At its heart, this operatic romp looks at how everyday life is full of wonder, how important it is to dream big dreams, and that music makes everything better. The music in this show is all Mozart all the time and it’s packed with zippy fun. Kids get to enter the topsy-turvy operatic worlds of three enduring blockbuster operas–The Marriage of Figaro, The Magic Flute, and Don Giovanni.
Filming: Month of May
How to watch: A link to the video will be provided on the Prairie Fire Theatre website and will also be sent to schools and other organizations for whom we typically (in non-pandemic years) perform live.
CHILDREN’S OPERA TOUR: MISSION & HISTORY
Part of Prairie Fire Theatre’s mission is to introduce local school children to classical music, such as opera. Toward that end, for almost 20 years, Prairie Fire Theatre has produced an annual children’s opera. In recent years, PFT has toured 40-50 schools and other venues and performed for approximately 10,000 children and adults annually.* Each children’s opera includes a cast of 4-5 singers (mostly local college students) plus a music director/pianist. To give the children an authentic theatrical musical experience, a portable set is designed and built by local set designers. The actors and staff move and “rebuild” the set, along with various props, at each school.
Since 2011, PFT has commissioned talented local author Nancy Steele Brokaw to write an original children’s opera. Ms. Brokaw develops a child-oriented story and then adapts the lyrics of classical arias by composers like Mozart and Gilbert and Sullivan to fit the story line. Each children’s opera contains a message or theme, such as caring for the environment, being kind to others, putting yourself in someone else’s shoes, and “different can be good”. The performers engage the children throughout the performance by getting them to chant, cheer or boo the “bad guy”. Teachers are provided with a curriculum packet that includes activities and ideas for teaching the opera to a variety of age groups.
To see a clip of a children’s opera rehearsal, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hh0vxt282Bo
*During the Covid pandemic, due to health and safety restrictions the children’s opera was videotaped and distributed to local schools, allowing the schools to show the video whenever and in whatever format best suited their school’s situation.