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The Scholastic Kids Press Corps is a team of about 50 Kid Reporters around the nation.  The interactive site brings daily news to life with reporting for kids, by kids.

Don't Be Afraid of Opera!

By Virginia Reed | null null , null
Lake George Opera performers Eric Fennell and Inna Dukach with Kid Reporter Virginia Reed. (Photo: Cathy Reed)
Lake George Opera performers Eric Fennell and Inna Dukach with Kid Reporter Virginia Reed. (Photo: Cathy Reed)

 
"I thought [opera singers] were all overweight and they all wore horns on their heads," says Eric Fennell of the Lake George Opera in Saratoga Springs, New York, speaking about his impression of opera as a child. "Good opera can really be a great form of art," adds Inna Dukach, also of the Lake George Opera.

There's a stereotype that most kids dislike opera. It's true that some don't enjoy it. "They often don't like the volume of opera," says Dukach. But, as Fennell explains, "Kids can really learn a lot through opera. They can better understand their emotions. There is a lot of history in operas."

Fennell and Dukach are very involved in their careers. "I love performing and being up on stage," gushes Dukach. "But wardrobe malfunctions are quite common. I once was an understudy, and a girl got sick, so they had to get a costume together for me at the last minute. They put me in this old wedding dress with a zipper all the way down the back. I sang my first note and the back of the dress split open."

One of their recent performances was in Puccini's La Bohème. Fennell starred as Rodolfo and Dukach as Mimi. La Bohème is similar to the popular musical Rent, which is based on the opera. Rent is a musical about artists and thinkers surviving hard-core life in New York City. It shows the hardships of several people living in poverty. Although the opera La Bohème is sung in Italian, it takes place in France.

Weird, right? Well, opera is usually sung in Italian or German, but it can take place anywhere. Imagine a famous American singer of modern times filming a music video in Mexico. That's what operas are like.

Opera might be difficult to understand sometimes, but listening to it is a great and enriching hobby. If you don't like opera at first, then ask a parent or teacher to explain it to you. You might find out a lot of things you don't know about opera.

If you think you might be interested in learning more about the opera, or even pursuing a career in opera, you're in luck. Most opera companies have programs for young people. So check it out!

About the Author

Virginia Reed is a member of the Scholastic Kids Press Corps.

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