Author: jskato

December 2016 Newsletter

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The past 3 months have just flown by! The students of the Opera and Performance Academy have had a very busy and successful Term 1. This wonderful group of 21 students, ranging from grade 8 to 12, came in to the program with a wide variety of singing and performing experience. It has been my pleasure to work with this group.

This term, students were introduced to a wide variety of components in the study of opera: classical vocal technique, drama skills, story and character development, dialogue writing, stage make up, movement, composing, rehearsal, audition prep, opera history and repertoire, and audience behaviour.

We have had many special guest instructors: Allen Desnoyers (composer/playwright), Ann Golden Fisher (singer/voice instructor), Colleen Maybin (Director of Education and Community Engagement), Ellie Siden (VO Education and Community Projects Coordinator), Carmen Garcia (VO head make up artist, and Theresa Tsang (VO stage manager).

Ann Golden Fisher
Allen Desnoyers
Ellie Siden and Colleen Maybin

We have also had some very special fieldtrips: a private tour of the O’Brian Centre, a performance of “Opera Tales” by VO’s Yulanda M. Faris Young Artists Program, a backstage tour and dress rehearsal of “Hansel and Gretel” at the Vancouver Playhouse and a recording recital by Wallis Giunta (Canadian mezzo-soprano) at CBC Vancouver.

Tour of the O’Brian Centre
In the pit at the Vancouver Playhouse before seeing the Dress Rehearsal for “Hansel and Gretel”
At CBC Vancouver for a recording recital of Wallis Giunta

img_0961This term, we were very fortunate to have the multi talented Eva Tavares – a “teaching artist” from Vancouver Opera. Eva worked with students for 2 months on a special project; to develop a show! It started out with the idea that we wanted to use what the students knew already and use what they were excited about doing. Eva worked with students to create the story and characters; then chose songs from pop, musical and opera (some songs requested by students) and rewrote the lyrics to fit the story that was being created. Add staging and choreography and you get…

“Exam Time: The Popera Musical”

Students will be performing on Dec. 7 at 7 pm at the Genesis Theatre.

“Evening Prayer”
writing dialogue
warming up for the physical demands of performing

And we are not done!

  • On Monday, December 12th at 7 pm, I look forward to meeting you all at our Opera and Performance Academy Meeting. This will be at Delta Secondary in the newly renovated music room.
  • On Tuesday, December 13, we will have a Workshop and Master Class, instructed by Leah Field (mezzo-soprano). Leah is in the Yulanda M. Faris Young Artists Program with Vancouver Opera and currently performing the role of “Mother” in VO’s Hansel and Gretel. That evening, some students will perform a selection of songs from our show at The Delta School Board Office.
  • On Thursday, Dececember 15, we take the show on the road! We will perform “Exam Time” at the O’Brian Centre for VO staff and special guests.

I hope you all have a safe and wonderful holiday and enjoy spending time with family and friends.

Julianna Kato
Teacher Coordinator
Delta Opera and Performance Academy