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Field Trip!

By Amy Mikel in Arts & Entertainment on Oct 3, 2008 9:20PM

2008_10_3_lyric2.JPGStarting Monday, Lyric’s 13th annual Opera in the Neighborhoods program will kick off once again, bringing kiddie-friendly opera directly to young students throughout the Chicagoland area. This year’s program will present a version of Mozart’s The Magic Flute, staging approximately 30 performances at different local schools and auditoriums through the beginning of November.

We were glad to learn that Lyric’s education department doesn’t think that squirmy schoolchildren can be expected to sit through a long, boring opera in a foreign language, as the program does everyone a favor by presenting “abridged contemporary English adaptations” of each year's selection. Students and teachers are prepped with a study guide beforehand, including a plot, composer biography, and explanations of the opera’s music, and are treated to a short question-and-answer session with the cast after each performance.

"Opera in the Neighborhoods gives students a chance to see opera performed by first-rate professional singers," says Mark Riggleman, Lyric's Director of Education. "It's a learning experience like no other, and it not only gives kids an appreciation for opera, it also broadens their horizons in art, history, and music."