Registered: 1443647150 Posts: 15
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I am thinking about taking my kids to a Metropolitan HD Live Opera broadcast. They are shown at a movie theatre near me. However, I do not know much about opera. Which of the following productions would be best for students?
The Magic Flute
Les Pêcheurs de Perles Turandot Manon Lescaut Madame Butterfly Roberto Devereux Electra Do you think an 11-year-old would be too young for to enjoy it? Do you have any ideas on how to prepare my kids for what they will see? I want the kids to have a good experience so that they will want to go again! Thanks for your help!
Registered: 1442586348 Posts: 35
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Of the ones you listed, I would suggest that all but perhaps Manon and Electra would work well for younger kids. There's not too much actual action in Manon (but gorgeous music). Elektra could go quite well with those older ones studying Classical Mythology. (I haven't seen that particular production, so I can't make a more specific recommendation about it.) All operas I can think of, with few exceptions, do have adult situations in them: love, jealousy, revenge, the regular stuff. I did check specifically with the Met to inquire about the "appropriateness" of the stagings they are offering this season in the HD setting, since occasionally the Met veers off into "European-style" concept of certain scenes--and that would be not be good for most families. I have been assured by their representative that the only opera to be offered this season that will be in "that" category is Alban Berg's "Lulu" (an amazing work, but definitely not a first choice for introducing opera to kids).
As always, every little bit of preparation helps: knowing the story in as much detail as you think will not be confusing (helpful to know the outlines, despite the wonderful supertitles that you'll have); perhaps seeing a few clips of the most famous scenes that may be available on You Tube and/or listening to a couple of the famous choruses, arias, instrumental numbers, etc.--these things are terribly helpful. The really coolest thing about these productions, in addition to sitting in seats one could never afford or obtain in the real theater in NYC, is the chance to "go back stage" at the intermissions. They arrange it so you have 10-15 minutes of colorful backstage experience at the end of each act, meeting and hearing from the singers, conductors, stage hands, designers, animal trainers (yes!), and watching sets slide in and all of the electricians, construction folks doing their work. Then there's still a good length of intermission to go out and get more popcorn and use the rest rooms. Quite frankly, if a child fell asleep during parts of the opera (which is not unusual even for adults!) but was just awake for these back-stage sessions, he or she would still get a LOT out of it. The more preparation with the story itself, of course, the better. Let me know if you make a decision about a specific opera and I'll try to add some information.
Registered: 1443647150 Posts: 15
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Thank you, Carol, for your suggestions. You gave me more than I expected! I especially appreciate that you called the Met to determine which ones would be appropriate for families. Thanks also for offering to give more ideas once we decide on a specific opera. I am thinking of taking our kids in January or February, and I will check with you for the more specific preparation suggestions once we decide which one.