|The Opera RoadShow has commissioned the award winning composer, Dean Burry and playwright Mélanie Léger to create a new operatic work for young audiences. La Sorcière de la Glace or The Ice Witch is a distinctively Atlantic Canadian fairy tale that will tour schools in Newfoundland and New Brunswick in spring of 2011.|
"They did a good performance because happy tears came from my eyes." - Wayne, Grade 3
The Opera RoadShow is an ensemble of performers committed to arts education through outreach and engagement. Since 2003, performers from Memorial University’s School of Music have traveled to public schools throughout Newfoundland, Labrador and the Maritime provinces, changing stereotypes and introducing tens of thousands of children to the engaging art of live opera theatre. The Opera RoadShow brings fully staged operas out of the concert hall and into local schools. Operas are selected to meet the needs of a specific age group and the performances are designed to promote dialogue and learning.
The Opera RoadShow has created an environment where young people experience opera through interactive performance and where young singers mature as performing artists. By making opera accessible, we help children (and adults) to see it as a thriving art form that incorporates a myriad of artistic and technical disciplines. In doing so, we strengthen educational outcomes, reinforce cross-disciplinary learning and facilitate cultural awareness.
The Opera RoadShow is committed to the training of exceptional young artists through outreach-based performance. We actively explore new ways to engage the minds of students of all ages while enhancing the cultural life of the community. Professional training and educational outreach are the primary activities of this ensemble. School outreach through the Opera RoadShow is a vibrant component in the professional development of its artists. Outreach is also an opportunity to give young audiences access to a new and powerful way of using their voices that expands creative communication in all aspects of their lives.
"It was nice to sing a story." - Alexandra, Grade 6
"I loved the opera very much. It was the first opera I ever saw so it was really very special to me. I think opera is really, really exciting." - Heather, Grade 4
Since 2003 every corner of Newfoundland and Labrador has had access to live opera performance. For many children a visit from the Opera RoadShow is their first experience with live theatre and often with classical music.
- 2003, Fairies & Fables took a program of narrated opera scenes into schools in St. John’s area.
- In 2004 the first Cross-Newfoundland tour of The Three Little Pigs, by John Davies. 6000 students in schools from the Northwest coast to the province’s Southeast had the opportunity to see the opera which used the music of Mozart to tell the familiar story.
- The 2005 tour of Little Red’s Most Unusual Day by John Davies featured the popular fairy tale set to the music of Rossini and Offenbach.
- In 2006, The Vinland Traveler was the first opera commission based on Newfoundland’s history to be performed in this province and the first to travel to schools in coastal communities of Labrador.
- 2007’s Cinderella-en route was the first bilingual opera designed for elementary level French immersion programs to tour Newfoundland and the Maritime Provinces.>
- In 2008, Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortilèges introduced students to this fabulous French fable. Tour of French first language, Immersion/Core K-9 programs throughout Newfoundland, Labrador and the Maritime Provinces.
- Hansel & Gretel2009 tour of Central Newfoundland.
- 2010’s remount of the popular tour Cinderella en-route, performed for nearly 7000 children throughout Newfoundland.
- In 2011, La sorcière de la glace/ The Ice Witch will tour Newfoundland and New Brunswick. This opera commission by composer Dean Burry and librettist Mélanie Léger is a joint production with L’Université de Moncton.
OUR YOUNG ARTISTS - What our Performers say
"The Opera RoadShow gives students an opportunity to perform everyday and it is where you are able to expand your acting and performing as well as professional development skills."
BMUS Performance, Memorial University of Newfoundland (2007)
MMUS Opera Performance, The University of British Columbia (2009)
Atelier Lyrique, L’Opéra de Montréal (2009-2011)
"One of the highlights of the program is that it also offered me professional touring outreach opportunity during the summer, performing over 75 performances all around the province. This kind of hands-on training is invaluable for young performers to hone their craft and nurture their skills as developing opera singers. Dr. Schiller, the creator and director of the program, held high expectations of the students, and the results can not be denied. My training at Memorial not only gave me experience, but educated and prepared me about skills needed for a professional career in opera."
BMUS Performance, Memorial University (2004)
MMUS Performance/Opera Manhattan School of Music (2006)
DMA Voice Performance, SUNY Stony Brook (in progress)
Ashlawn Opera, Aspen Opera, NY Lyric-Carnegie Hall Debut (2010)
AFTER THE ROADSHOW
We are proud of our alumni, their successes while in the program and after they have left. Among their many professional accomplishments, our singers have been accepted to and rewarded by the following competitions, universities and summer programs:
- Aspen Music Festival
- Atelier Lyrique de l’Opéra de Montréal
- The Banff Centre (Opera Program)
- Centre for Opera in Suloma Italy (COSI)
- Manhattan School of Music (Opera Studies)
- Metropolitan Opera, National Council Auditions
- New England Conservatory (Opera Studies)
- NY Lyric Opera
- Opera on the Avalon
- University of British Columbia (Opera Studies)
- University of Manitoba
- L’Université de Montréal
- Vancouver Opera
- Westminster College of the Arts, Rider University (Opera Studies)