In the Wings

Backstage glimpses with Boston Lyric Opera

Meaningful Stories, Incredible Youth: BLO School Partnerships 2017/18

Jun 29, 2018 1:23:28 PM
By BLO Staff

Nasreens 2 Jackson Mann-LizaVollPhotograpyWith the close of the 2017-18 school year, we look back on an incredible year of school partnerships in communities across greater Boston. It is a joy and a privilege to work with teachers, paraprofessionals, principals, and parents to bring the power of opera and theatre to students and to help them tell stories that are important and meaningful to them.


BLO School Partnerships 2017/18:

  • We partnered with 10 schools--over 644 students participated in opera creation projects of all kinds!
  • 15 original operas were created and performed by youth.
  • Over 1,350 community members joined us as audience members to enjoy these student performances.
  • BLO Teaching Artists delivered over 135 teaching hours in partnership classrooms, bringing expertise, guidance, and FUN.

In addition to performing, students took the lead on story creation or adaptation, music composition, costume design, set design and construction, lighting design, sound design, programs and publicity, stage management, and more!

The Doctors Mesmerized OperaSo what stories did students choose to tell? This year, our original classroom operas included these topics:

  • Science:
    • Geology
    • Biodiversity in the Rainforest
  • History:
    • Dr. Franz Mesmer
    • Immigration in 1912
  • Language Arts:
    • Adaptations of Fairy Tales, including Little Red Riding Hood and Snow White
    • Adaptation of books, including Nasreen’s Secret School, The Odyssey, Click Clack Moo Moo Cows that Type, and Shark Detective
    • Futuristic Fantasy loosely inspired by current events

THANK YOU to our amazing school partners who inspire us every day. And thank you to all the BLO supporters who help make this crucial arts education work possible in our community!

P.S. Want to join the chorus of support? Visit today to make a gift before our fiscal year ends on June 30. Your generosity helps fuel our work in schools, with youth, and in communities across Boston and beyond.
Little Red 2 Jackson Mann-LizaVollPhotography

Snow Back Joseph Lee-LizaVollPhotography

Nasreens Jackson Mann-LizaVollPhotography

Lil Red Joseph Lee-LizaVollPhotography

Photos (top to bottom):
A 3rd grader sings the role of Grandmother, as the character of Nasreen sits by her side at Jackson Mann K-8. Their original opera, Nasreen’s Secret School, A True Story from Afghanistan was based on the book by Jeanette Winter.
5th and 6th grade students at St. Brendan School in Dorchester perform their original opera, Mesmerized!, a story about Dr. Franz Mesmer, Benjamin Franklin, and the scientific method.
3rd grade students at Jackson Mann K-8 perform their original opera, Little Red Riding Hood.
The King sings to his mirror in the 4th grade original opera at Joseph Lee K-8, Snow Black and the 8 Kids, a modern retelling of the classic fairy tale.
3rd grade students at Jackson Mann K-8 perform their original opera, Nasreen’s Secret School, A True Story from Afghanistan.
5th grade students at Joseph Lee K-8 perform Lil’Red, a fractured fairy tale opera.
All photos by Liza Voll Photography.


Topics: Music Education, new works, opera for youth, Create your own opera, #ArtsEdBLO, Classroom Operas, Identity

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