PRINCETON – Opera for the Young traveling company stopped at Lincoln School on Tuesday, and third-graders got the chance to perform the classic “Cinderella,” opera-style, alongside professional artists.
The show featured four singers and a pianist. Students were previously auditioned by music instructor Vickie Holmes, and 16 were selected to join the company in their performance.
Holmes said studying opera and experiencing it first-hand gives students a better understanding of the training that goes into the music.
“I believe it is important for me as a music educator to expose my students to diverse musical experiences,” she said. “My hope is that the students will remember the fun they had with Opera for the Young and will continue pursuing music as they get older.”
Holmes, along with third-grade teacher Angie Thompson, also got to be part of the show as they dressed up and played the roles of the wicked stepsisters.
Students laughed and oohed-and-aahed throughout the three act show, as they watched fellow classmates appear in chorus and cameo roles. The professionals sang, danced, acted and presented several costume changes. The audience became acquainted with the original scores of master composers, set in contexts relevant to students’ 21st century lives.
“The comments from the students today after watching ‘Cinderella’ were very positive. The students that participated in the opera did a wonderful job and thoroughly enjoyed their experience,” said Holmes after the performance.
Holmes explained her goal as a music instructor is to provide students with a well-rounded music education.
“Professional musicians spend a great deal of time honing their craft, which is something I want my students to appreciate,” she said.
Funding for the opera was provided by the Princeton Schools Foundation and the Lincoln School PTO. Opera for the Young annually presents 200 performances, reaching 80,000 children every school year throughout Wisconsin, Northern Illinois, Iowa and Eastern Minnesota.
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