Youth learn Opera 101 at Sarasota Opera

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Posted: Tuesday, June 18, 2013 4:30 pm | Updated: 5:41 pm, Tue Jun 18, 2013.

SARASOTA - The thrill of summer vacation can quickly wear off for students unless they find something to do to make good use of all their energy. But there’s a summer camp that can keep your kids from singing the blues. That's because they're singing opera.

The Sarasota Youth Opera Camp is a unique experience for youngsters from 7 to 17. Some of the 75 campers have performed at the Sarasota Opera before, but many others are venturing into the world of opera for the very first time.

Campers get a comprehensive look at opera, and they get to try their hand at all the various aspects of opera.

9-year-old Alice Lotti is in makeup class, where they're learning to create fake wounds. "Opera is fun for me, because I get to act and sing in different languages and make-up, then I go home and try new things."

And of course they're learning to sing opera. "I like singing, it's really fun. You sing a different way," says 10-year-old Lauren McLean.

They're also learning acting and so much more. They're learning the history of opera, the plots of some of the stories that operas tell, and how to stage an opera. "We're doing a lot of lighting and technical stuff, make-up…wigs. So we get to learn about all that stuff; opera 101 class."

The camp runs for three weeks, and it's crammed full of activities. "We hope to open their eyes to the magic that is opera; that opera isn't a scary thing, that it's actually a very exciting art form with all sorts of other art forms stuck into it, too."

The youth opera will present "The Little Sweep" by Benjamin Britton in November. So the campers are learning about the opera during camp.

15-year-old Ricardo Zamarrita will sing one of the lead roles. He says the more he learns about opera, the more he likes it. "I enjoy the art form itself, and not only being able to perform, but learn so much. There's more to opera than just performing, there is history, wisdom, and social skills you learn from opera."

One mission of the Sarasota Opera is to broaden the reach of opera. They believe introducing kids to it at an early age will do that. "This is when you fall in love with art and that will carry you through a lifetime. So we want to give as many opportunities to the youth in our community to experience the magic of opera."

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  • SarasotaOpera posted at 10:27 am on Tue, Jul 2, 2013.

    SarasotaOpera Posts: 1

    Hello "priest". The fee for the camp is only $300 for the three weeks. Sarasota Youth Opera accepts everyone across the board who applies. We provide partial and full scholarships to those families that request financial assistance as we do not want any child to go without quality musical education. This past year, we gave a total of $4,000 in financial assistance to camp participants.

    We also have our general Sarasota Youth Opera program that runs from September through May. The tuition for that is also $300 for the year ($350 if your child is accepted into one of the specialty choruses).

    I hope that addresses your concern. Please contact Ben Plocher, Youth Opera Coordinator, if you have more questions. He can be reached at (941) 366-8450, ext. 249.

  • priest posted at 6:42 pm on Tue, Jun 18, 2013.

    priest Posts: 1

    Your story on the opera camp did not disclose that there is a charge for this camp. So how did low income families apply for this looked liked the opera took only the top that could afford this.


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