Teacher or Administrator Portion of Curtain Speech: (Clearly state the company name and program name as highlighted below)
Utah Festival Opera & Musical Theatre General Director, Michael Ballam, had the vision that children, given the power to create their own operas, would become creative innovators and leaders in society. Opera by Childrenwas developed in 1997 to allow children to create their operas from start to finish with minimal guidance. As Opera by Children enters its 19th year of assisting young people the evidence is clear it is working! We partner with the Opera by Children program to allow every student creating opera the chance to learn to persevere through the writing process, persist as they work together to reach a goal, produce an authentic work of art and perform to demonstrate their talents, skills and achievement. OBC is part of the USOE POPS program (Professional Outreach Program in the Schools).
Student Portion of Curtain Speech:
Have six or seven students come to the microphone individually to tell the audience about different aspects of the opera. Allow them to write in their own words and use their notes if needed.
A sample of the topics:
- The three opera goals
- How the story was created
- How the music was created
- How they learned their opera
- How the scenery was painted
- How they chose their parts
- When and how they practiced or announce the title of the show!
Tips for the Teacher:
Once you have completed your portion of the curtain speech, or allow your administration that opportunity, just stand back and let the curtain rise and the students perform. You have completed your role as facilitator and it is at this point completely in your students’ hands. They will show what they are made of and and what they created. Your class’ audience will be amazed, and even though you watched them create this whole thing, you too will be amazed at what they do for their audience.
Please do not miss that opportunity; the chance will never come again. To that end, take a seat and avoid the sidelines, the back of the audience or sitting in a chair in front of the audience. This will lessen the temptation to coach, do the movements, or mouth the words. Please make sure you have not been doing these during final dress rehearsals. If you have been coaching this will force the students to rely on you instead of their own creativity. They need complete control for a few “run-throughs” with only your *”mirror” notes given at the end, not during the flow of the show.
So, step back and, as they say in the entertainment business for a great show, “Break a leg!!”
* refer to the staging chapter to review term.