OSKALOOSA – Third-grade students at Oskaloosa Elementary School got a very nice treat today to help tie together all that they have learned about opera in their music class.
The Opera Iowa Troupe visited the students Thursday afternoon to teach them more about opera by breaking up the classes into three groups of approximately 50 students each.
While in these groups, members of the troupe led different workshops that gave students an idea of what it takes to produce an opera.
At the end of the workshops, the troupe put on a 45-minute performance for all the students, called “Little Red’s Most Unusual Day.” Playing the role of Granny, Briana Moynihan, finds a sense of joy in helping others experience the art of opera for the first time.
“I love doing this kind of work I’ve done it before with other opera companies, and we sort of see it as being like, on the front lines of opera, because many of the people we perform for have never seen an opera. So this is their first time, experiencing the art form,” she said. “And I think we all feel very like special about that because we have sort of a say in like how how opera will be to them for the rest of their life, and I mean often they will always remember seeing their first opera and so it’s very cool and we’re helping our art form survive by doing that.”
Oskaloosa Elementary Music Teacher Michelle Coleman is still able to recall her first experience with opera and it was also with Opera Iowa when she was her student’s age. Coleman said that experience helped to shape her into the teacher she is today, as that was one of the reasons she got into music.