Nothing like doing something you’ve never done before to ramp up the energy and anxiety. Today was our first session for our new program for kids – “Instant Opera!”. Based on an interactive model developed at Cincinnati Conservatory and then used at San Francisco Opera Center, this new venture of ours will take the stage at the Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods at Wolf Trap in less than two weeks. (Gulp…)
In a small-world scenario, we are working with Jim Doyle of Comedy Sportz. Our administrative intern’s sister is a member of the DC Comedy Sportz troupe, and she led us to Jim. We then found out that in his student days, Jim stage managed opera at Yale and worked under two of the stage directors at Wolf Trap this summer. Ours truly is a small business.
This afternoon Jim put 6 of our singers (and me, since I had the crazy idea to put myself onstage for this project) through some introductory improv exercises. Sobering and invigorating at the same time. We were looking for an “outreach” vehicle that would allow us to take opera to kids, represent the most fascinating parts of our art form at their best, and at the same time engage, challenge and energize our singers. And I think this is it. You’ll hear more about this in the coming week, I’m sure.