Engage-in-Opera

Champion_forwords SR_Opera Parallele

Photo by Alejandro Palacios

This program connects Opera Parallèle’s mainstage production with standard classroom curriculum through an interactive workshop.

  • Designed for specific classes and subject matter in partnership with classroom teacher
  • Exposes students to contemporary chamber opera and the variety of multi-disciplinary art forms that make up an operatic production
  • Highlights narrative and historical themes that relate to contemporary urban life
  • Demonstrates arts integration into general curriculum to inspire and enrich the professional development of the classroom teacher

Engage-in-Opera

Photo by Alejandro Palacios

Photo by Alejandro Palacios

During last year’s production of Champion, Opera Parallèle’s Educational Programs Director Roma Olvera visited high schools, presenting interactive workshops that prepared students around the Bay Area to experience the final dress rehearsal of Champion. Composer Terence Blanchard said,” Champion explores more than just the ring of battles of a legendary boxing champion. It takes us from a roped off arena to a far larger battleground – that of life itself.” The opera was a wonderful jumping-off point to discuss concepts of belonging, being at odds with the outside world, and enduring the blows that life often delivers. Students removed their shoes at the start of the workshop and were asked to imagine the story a shoe might tell, the unique paths we each walk, and what it must have been like for Emile Griffith during the many moments of his life when he was at odds with himself. The students then adapted an aria from the opera to tell their own stories. In true Opera Parallèle fashion, the workshop closed with a student observation that “opera is so cool!”