Wednesday, June 20, 2012

"Why I sent my kids to Youth Opera Camp" A Parent's Perspective by Nanette Almeter

With the 2012 Sarasota Youth Opera Camp well underway, we thought it would be fun to let you hear about it from the perspective of those involved.  Over the next couple of weeks, watch out for posts from teachers, administrators, parents and even the campers themselves. 

Today's post comes from Nanette Almeter, a Youth Opera parent whose kids are first time campers, talking about why she decided to send her kids to camp. 

My daughter, Natalie, appeared in the youth chorus of Carmen this past winter season at the Sarasota Opera. It was certainly one of the most special and memorable times in her life thus far. Her little brother, Grayson, came to one of her performances and enjoyed it so much - as I think most children would if given the opportunity. The opera is truly magical, whether you're in the production or in the audience. After such a great experience, we all thought that joining the Youth Opera and becoming part of that magic would be a wonderful idea. Since the Youth Opera season doesn't start up again until August, the Summer Camp sounded like a good way to fill in the gap, have some fun, and really delve into the world of opera, behind the scenes.

After only three days into this summer's Sarasota Youth Opera Camp, I can say that we're so glad to have signed up and joined in the fun! Already, the children are learning about the history of opera and it's composers and librettists, toured the Opera House, and taken part in acting and improvisation classes. Each day, they're continuing to learn the art of singing in a chorus and also rehearsing music from the upcoming children's opera production of Little Nemo in Slumberland, a world-premiere commissioned piece to be presented at the Sarasota Opera House this November. Add to that, a trip to the library to discuss writers, poets and the inspiration for operatic works and a trip to a nearby bookstore to peruse the latest offerings for ideas.

Each day holds new surprises and adventures: today included a trip to the wig and make-up department, where the children observed one of the "campers" being transformed into an elderly man before their eyes. They've also begun watching a recorded Met performance of Rigoletto, an opera which will also be featured at the Sarasota Opera House this Fall. With all of this and more in just the first few days of camp, I can't imagine how much more they will learn and grow in appreciation of great music, acting and singing in the remaining two and a half weeks! Each member of the staff is an exceptional artist, aside from being fun, kind and truly caring. The only thing that would improve this years Opera Camp for me is if my daughter had been able to attend, but she had a previous obligation out of state. She's still keeping up with the daily camp events, however, through her brother and other friends at camp, but she'd love to be there!

Thank you, Sarasota Youth Opera, for this fantastic opportunity. Sincerely, Nanette Almeter

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