Wednesday March 4, 2015 Search
Weather | Athens
20o C
11o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Greek National Opera encourages love of the genre among youngsters

Getting children involved in the process is the best way for them to fall in love with opera. This is the main theory behind the GNO initiative ‘Interactive Opera for Elementary Schools.’ The process for schools that want to participate is easy: They send in an application and then the teachers supervising the program receive a file with guidelines.

By Christina Sanoudou

“I know you want to see the singers,” conductor Tassos Simeonidis tells the choir in an earnest tone, “but this time you are the ones who have to sing and you can only sing well if you have practiced first.”

His words would have sounded out of place at the Greek National Opera’s main venue, the Olympia Theater in central Athens, but not at the 12th Elementary School of Palaio Faliro. The members of the choir, looking somewhat like Hogwarts students in their Harry Potter-esque cloaks, have already diverted their attention to the stage where dancer-narrators Eleni Moscha and Giorgos Papathanasiou are rehearsing. For a moment, they seem to have forgotten their mission, which is to accompany the singers and orchestra of the GNO’s educational program in the last scene of a special production of “The Barber of Seville.”

Getting children involved in the process is the best way for them to fall in love with opera. This is the main theory behind the GNO initiative “Interactive Opera for Elementary Schools,” financed by the Greek state and European Union funding. Seventy schools took part in the program in the 2012-13 period and by December it will have been taken to 52 more schools.

Three steps

The process for schools that want to participate is easy: They send in an application, which is processed, then the teachers who will be supervising the program at the school receive a file with guidelines.

The first step of the program is for fifth- and sixth-graders, who help to design the stage sets, and the school choir, which starts practicing the song that has been selected.

About a month later, the coaches arrive from the Greek National Opera. They organize theatrical games for the children, teaching them that there needs to be close cooperation between the various professionals, from the musicians to the costume designers, for an opera to be a success. At the same time, the pupils talk to the conductor, the singers and the dancers, they explore the differences between opera and theater, and they learn some of the breathing techniques used by professionals. Finally, they learn the names of all the musical instruments. This process takes two days, and ends with the final rehearsal for the show, which is officially staged the day after.

The audience is made up of other students, parents and teachers. Thanks to a combination of songs, dialogues and jokes – the director, Costis Papaioannou, is exploring the relationship between comic opera and comedia dell’arte – “The Barber of Seville” is delivered as a spectacle to be enjoyed by everyone. Nowhere is the children’s enthusiasm more evident than when they boo at Doctor Bartolo (Anastasios Lazarou) when he describes an aria as “rather tiresome.” Their contribution is most notable in the final part of the opera in a painting of Figaro’s dream and the hand-painted uniform worn by Berta the servant. The most valuable contributors are the choir singers, who join in the closing refrain: “May love and faith eternal reign in both your hearts...”

ekathimerini.com , Saturday Jul 19, 2014 (17:31)  
Ancient site of Philippi unveils candidacy for UNESCO list
Greek selections at the 17th Thessaloniki doc fest
Thessaloniki doc fest returns with tribute to Austrian, Romanian filmmakers
Arcade Fire rocker rallies for Greece in new song
Extra US expat tax seminar for Americans living abroad
More than 400 US citizens have registered for the American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce Tax Seminar on March 10 for US citizens, including thousands of Greek Americans, who live in Greece. I...
Art collector Ion Vorres dies at the age of 91
Acclaimed art collector Ion Vorres died on Friday at the age of 91, leaving behind the chief oeuvre of his life, the Vorres Museum in Paiania, eastern Attica. A native of Messinia in the sou...
Inside Community
Inside Gastronomy
Inside Travel
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. PPC hits back at criticism over workers’ pay hikes
2. Probe launched following delays in arresting pedophile
3. Suspects in Conspiracy breakout case released
4. Workers protest withdrawal of Hellas Gold processing plant license
5. Thieves posed as PPC workers to rob pensioner in Fokida
6. Bourse benchmark and turnover head south
more news
Today
This Week
1. Up the creek without a paddle
2. Greek officials have ruffled feathers in Brussels for not having good diplomatic manners
3. Panousis says no official decision on undocumented migrants
4. More Germans booking holidays in Greece, tourism chief says
5. For Greece, a lesson from Ireland, Kenny says
6. ECB glimpse of Cyprus debt shows limits of bank cleanup
Today
This Week
1. Greece to make international protest over Turkey reserving Aegean air space
2. A fierce battle looms
3. SYRIZA feeling the pain
4. The Greek tax drama
5. The unlikely winners of Greece's surrender on euro
6. Tsipras reversal draws Greek sympathy as party rumblings rise
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2015, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.