January 13, 2010 > Theatre: Children's Opera
Theatre: Children's Opera
Submitted By Monica Kim
If you think opera is boring, you've never seen it quite like this. For one special night, elementary students of the Montessori School of Fremont will perform an opera like no other - an opera for all ages. "Persephone" will debut at the Chabot Performing Arts Center in Hayward on January 29.
The opera is based on the classic Greek myth "Persephone and Demeter," a tale of how the change of seasons came to be. The story goes that Hades, Lord of the Underworld, is lonely so takes Persephone away to his Underworld Kingdom, much to the distress of Persephone's mother, Demeter, goddess of all growing things. Distraught, Demeter searches for her daughter and in her anguish allows nothing to grow. Finally Zeus steps in and forges a compromise so that for six months of the year, Persephone is allowed to be on Earth (the growing season) and for the other six months (the dormant season), she must return to the Underworld.
The opera has been beautifully and imaginatively adapted by the acclaimed duo, Sanford and Judy Jones, founders of Youth Opera International. For the past 25 years, they have created and directed 13 operas for children, including "The Mermaid and the Prince" and "The Song of Hiawatha." In 2008, the Joneses presented operas at twelve Montessori schools throughout the country.
Replete with fantastic costumes and engaging melodies, the entire elementary body of the Montessori School of Fremont - ages 6 to 12 - will undertake the latest creation by the Joneses, accompanied by a professional opera singer. And to make it a real family opera, many parents helped to make the costumes, sets and props for the show.
So whether you're an aficionado or the uninitiated, "Persephone" promises to be an operatic treat as well as a nice night out for the family.
Friday, January 29
Chabot Performing Arts Center
2555 Hesperian Blvd., Hayward
Tickets available through the Montessori School of Fremont
Tickets: Adults: $12; Children: $10