We are proud to publish this guest post by Madeline Elizondo, Education Coordinator at OPERA San Antonio, about all the many ways for families and students to learn more about the art form of opera this summer.
OPERA San Antonio provides free, fun, and engaging outreach opportunities for all ages for the community through a range of programs. Here are some highlights of our education programs happening this summer and beyond.
“Explore Opera for Kids!”
Explore Opera for Kids! is an award-winning series that offers free community concerts at library branches across San Antonio in partnership with the San Antonio Public Library’s summer reading program. Through interactive performances designed specially for families, we explore the beauty and storytelling magic of opera.
This summer, OPERA San Antonio returns to live performance at the SAPL with Explore Opera in the Park! The free concert features OSA’s second class of Apprentice Artists and the Children’s Chorus of San Antonio in performances outside in the beautiful Landa Branch Library grounds. Learn more and register here.
In 2020, thanks to an added partnership with the Opera Guild of San Antonio, the “Explore Opera for Kids!” program came full bloom with the addition of OSA’s Summer Apprentice Artist Program. The result was a five-part video series geared towards children in grades K–6, now available for teachers and schools across Texas to use as a resource to help promote opera education. It addresses Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) in Music, Theatre, History, English, Literature, and Science.
Episodes of the series, voted “Best Innovative Online Education” by SA Magazine, will be re-released Fridays at noon throughout the month of July.
View the complete schedule with links and information on each episode here.
“My kids and I learned so much about opera! Thank you for creating this amazing resource!”
—Explore Opera Parent Participant
“Explore Opera” in School
OPERA San Antonio’s expanded Opera in Schools program offers teachers access to the “Explore Opera for Kids!” videos, accompanying worksheets, outreach visit to the school, and invitation to a final dress rehearsal at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts.
The outreach visit consists of a 30–60 minute interactive presentation designed to introduce students in grades K–12 to opera. Within the program, singers demonstrate the beauty of opera through engaging live performances while covering a range of relevant topics including: definition of opera both as an art form and collaboration, common musical terms including types of singing ensembles and voice types, training to become an opera singer, history of opera, and how composers use music to portray characters within an opera.
“Your presentation this morning was BRILLIANT and very engaging. What a wonderful way to introduce opera to children; this is something that is so needed – and this is the way to do it! I suspect many of the parents from today’s presentation will be hearing from their children about how they enjoyed learning about opera today and will be asking if they can go to one.”
—Jeremy Brimhall, Director of Education at the San Antonio Symphony
“Explore Opera” for Teens
All teens ages 13–19 are invited to join the Teen Opera Club of Texas, hosted by five of the Lone Star State’s leading opera companies: Austin Opera, The Dallas Opera, Fort Worth Opera, Houston Grand Opera, and OPERA San Antonio.
Teens from all over Texas and beyond have a chance to socialize and share their love of the arts through company hosted online events. Events include access to opera artists and administrative personnel sharing insights and expertise on a variety of topics including opera performance, production and design, the creation of new opera, conducting and the opera orchestra, and so much more. Join here.
“Explore Opera” Behind the Scenes
High School Night
Through the generosity of OPERA San Antonio sponsors, high school students from across San Antonio are selected to receive FREE tickets to attend a Saturday night performance at the opera. Invited schools have the opportunity to participate in a pre-show engagement with cast in costumes and are granted a special glimpse behind the scenes with OSA General & Artistic Director E. Loren Meeker. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for information on how to sponsor tickets.
“I thought it was amazing, it changed my perspective of opera.”
—Cameron, KIPP University Prep Student
“All of the students were blown away! Everyone loved it.”
—Michael July, KIPP University Prep Teacher
“I always thought opera was boring, where they yell in song form with horn helmets. Watching this opera changed my mind.”
—Leslie, Harlandale High School Student
Dress Rehearsal Access
Elementary through college-aged students are invited to attend the final dress rehearsal for an upcoming production and are offered a glimpse into what goes on behind the scenes. Students are able to see the stage director and crew work with the artists, orchestra, and tech crew as they refine the show for opening night and are invited to a special Q&A session with a cast member.
Contact email@example.com for information on how to bring your group to an open dress rehearsal.
“I loved every second of it. Even in my favorite musicals I get bored, but I was invested through out all of Tosca”
—Alexandria, Student at Great Hearts Monte Vista North
“The pre-show event really captured their imaginations, especially learning about the beautiful sets. They loved it.”
—Snehal R. Patel, BASIS Parent
OPERA San Antonio offers curated content, including live and on-demand performances from the world’s leading opera houses, artist interviews, collaborative videos from our homes to yours, creative educational materials, playlists, and more.
The healing power of the arts are needed in our community now more than ever. Opera Now brings our extraordinary art form to you digitally providing joy, a musical escape for you hearts, and creative challenges for your minds. Discover content you can enjoy from the comfort of your home, but be sure to follow OPERA San Antonio on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for instant updates.
At OSA, we recognize the need for great online educational content and are here to guide you towards materials that are creative and fun for the whole family. We recommend exploring the Metropolitan Opera’s Free Student Stream along with complimentary educational materials. Here is their schedule for the month of July:
July 7–9 | The Magic Flute
July 14–16 | La Cenerentola
July 21–23 | Le Comte Ory
July 28–30 | Il Barbiere di Siviglia
Support OSA Now
You can truly make a difference.
Donate to OPERA San Antonio to give all people in the greater San Antonio area a chance to hear music that can speak to them in a new, even life-changing way. Ticket sales cover less than a third of what it costs to stage our productions and to maintain our community and education programs. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on how you can help.
Charter Moms Chats
OPERA San Antonio Education Coordinator Madeline Elizondo and General & Artistic Director E. Loren Meeker join Inga Cotton on Charter Moms Chats on July 8, 2021 at 3:30 PM Central live on Facebook and YouTube.
Madeline Elizondo is an active performer, educator, and advocate for the arts in San Antonio. As Education Coordinator for OPERA San Antonio, Madeline has organized free outreach concerts for the community, created new programs for schools, and established partnerships with other nonprofits throughout the city. Prior to her work with OSA, she served as Adjunct Voice Faculty for San Antonio College for 12 years mentoring at-risk students in careers in the arts. As a high school voice teacher, Madeline guided aspiring young singers through their journey into higher level education. Her hobbies include crafting, gardening, and hosting tea parties. She has a wonderful loving husband who is a band director for NEISD, two beautiful children who attend Great Hearts, a recluse cat named Laney, and a crazy English bulldog named Roscoe.
Read More About OPERA San Antonio
- “OPERA San Antonio Presents “La Traviata”: Young People Encounter Grand Opera,” San Antonio Charter Moms, September 13, 2018
- “Opera in Schools: A School Visit with OPERA San Antonio Education Programs,” Inga Cotton, San Antonio Charter Moms, September 2, 2017
- “Explore Opera! with OPERA San Antonio at the San Antonio Public Library,” San Antonio Charter Moms, August 17, 2017