Here are the basic steps all teacher do to have a successful opera:
1- The teacher determines what type of opera the class should create, i.e. completely original from new ideas, original: based on folktale and fairytale stories, or based on a core curriculum such as history, science, or math. (The first year a UTAH teacher will receive assistance from a UFO drama Mentor—so, communicate the desired topic of the opera to the Mentor BEFORE he or she visits your classroom.)
2- The teacher introduces opera to the group—all the terminology, shows the Opera Highlights DVD, and begins singing and acting with the class. Utilize the suggested activities included in the OBC Teacher Manual.
3- Begin the story writing process and facilitate the class creating their five sentence story. A Drama Mentor comes (IF YOU ARE A UTAH TEACHER; first year in OBC) and helps the group begin their five sentence story.
4- The teacher continues to work with the class until the story is complete.
5- The Drama Mentor returns (IF YOU ARE A UTAH TEACHER; first year in OBC) and assists the class in changing the story into a libretto (words the characters will sing and act out). Otherwise the classroom teacher facilitates this process of changing the third person story into a first person libretto.
6- The teacher continues working with the class until the libretto is complete.
7- The Music Mentor assists the class in creating melodies for their libretto.
8- You assist your class in creating designs for the scenery and for costume.
9- The Art Mentor comes (IF YOU ARE A UTAH TEACHER; first year in OBC) and retrieves ideas for their opera scenery and helps create a plan for art day.
10- You gather all the materials required for a successful art day.
11- The Art Mentor comes and assists you and all your parent helpers with a great Art day (IF YOU ARE A UTAH TEACHER; first year in OBC). The teacher will be the facilitator of the art day.
12- Music Mentor returns the music. Select a date for the performance and email Nellie Horrocks firstname.lastname@example.org to be placed on our master calendar and give Nellie a count of how many studnets are in your class so she can send program covers.
13- You assist your class in learning the opera.
14- You assist your class in holding auditions—group casts the opera.
15- Drama Mentor comes (IF YOU ARE A UTAH TEACHER; first year in OBC) and helps your group stage their opera.
16- You help them to continue staging the opera.
17- Drama Mentor (IF YOU ARE A UTAH TEACHER; first year in OBC) comes back and helps with staging again.
18- You continue to practice the opera.
19- Drama Mentor (IF YOU ARE A UTAH TEACHER; first year in OBC) comes back for a dress rehearsal to help with any final adjustments they may need.
20- You put together a performance evening and your class performs. Please, remember to invite the Utah Festival Opera Company and all the Opera by Children mentors that have assisted your class!!! Bravo!
If you are a returning teacher or a teacher outside of UTAH you are not left alone. You may not have classroom assistance for the drama and art visits but you do have access to our help.
You may email Pamela Gee all through the story and libretto creation process with your work and with questions about the work. Email: email@example.com
If you have questions and need help with art email Marlyn McKinley.
If you have music questions email Susan Ames.
You may post a question on this website and we will respond and hopefully other teachers will too! They have great ideas that are classroom tested!
Also, visit the operabychildren.blogspot.com frequently for information and advice from teachers and mentors working in the Opera by Children program another teacher just may have already asked the very question that you have.