Editor's Note: The following story was submitted by John Gisselquist, a Roseville resident, parent and community participant.
Who knew so many Roseville Area High School (RAHS) kids were interested in opera?
Eleven of the 65 members of Project Opera’s two choirs hail from the Roseville area, either living in Roseville and/or attending the Roseville area schools. Nine attend RAHS.
According to RAHS Choir Director Jami Lercher, “The Roseville community has a long-standing history of supporting the arts, both in and out of the school environment. Our students are taught from a young age to value and celebrate the arts, and this contributes to the high caliber performances which Roseville enjoys.”
Project Opera, Minnesota Opera’s co-ed youth opera training program for students in grades 4–12, is an important component of Minnesota Opera’s expanding education program for young singers. Project Opera choirs rehearse regularly every Saturday.
Lately, they have been adding rehearsals as they gear up for Project Opera’s first commissioned opera, The Giver, which has its Minnesota premiere April 27–29, 2012, in a fully staged production at the Minnesota Opera Center in Minneapolis.
The Giver, a new opera by Susan Kander, is based on the popular novel by Lois Lowry, and was a co-commission with the Lyric Opera of Kansas City. The Giver is a science fiction novel about a utopian community where there are no choices and where everyone has his or her place in the world assigned according to gifts and interests. The Giver won the Newbery Medal for children’s literature in 1994.
Come see Project Opera’s exciting new opera, The Giver, April 27–29, 2012. Tickets are going fast. Call the Minnesota Opera Ticket Office, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 612-333-6669.
Project Opera features two ensembles – Ragazzi (grades 4-8) and Giovani (grades 9-12). In addition to their own concert schedule, Ragazzi and Giovani students perform in the Ordway lobby prior to the Opera’s Sunday matinee performances.
Led by Music Director Dale Kruse, Project Opera students learn healthy vocal technique, perform repertoire in the major operatic languages and study the fundamentals of acting technique throughout the year-long program. As enrichment activities, participants are also invited to attend the Opera’s student matinees, its intensive Day at the Opera training program and a summer Opera Camp.
Project Opera’s most talented singers are invited to participate in the High School Apprentice Program, which includes individualized training and performance opportunities in main stage productions.
“When students invest their time and energy into any musical ensemble, they are going to come away a better person," Lercher says." The performing arts build confidence, develop skills in cooperation and autonomy, and create friendships that last a lifetime. We are fortunate to have so many quality opportunities within our district and in the metro area that are geared toward young performers.”
For more information on Project Opera, please call Education Director Jamie Andrews at 612.342.9573. You can also visit mnopera.org/learn, or imagineopera.org.