On Friday, February 4, 2011, five sophomore boys from Revere High School had a most extraordinary experience: they got to be extras in Teatro Lirico D'Europa's performance of Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor at the even just being there gave me great pleasure and will be one of my most treasured memories."
Mohamed Bensadok, who also performed, said, "The opera was by far the best experience I have ever had. We were treated politely and were thought of as young actors. We met caring people who helped us and guided us to our scene. For us, this was a huge deal, but in reality, this was more special to me than for the actors who did this play every day. When I acted, the dark audience was a bit scary at first, but after a few minutes passed, I was happy to be in the performance. Thanks to Ms. Kelly for providing this wonderful experience for me at such a young age of 15."
I can't begin to thank Jenny Kelly for all she has done for my students over the past three years. She has provided my students with a rich cultural experience that they will remember the rest of their lives.
Teatro Lirico D'Europa's last opera in Boston will be La Traviata on March 4th. For this production, Jenny is letting TEN students — five boys and five girls — appear as extras. The boys will wear tuxes; the girls will be dressed in ballgowns. As Jenny says, "This is what life is supposed to be about . . . empowering our young people and letting them get a hands-on taste of something, so they can see the actual 'kitchen' of an art form . . . and then decide if they want to support that art form in their lives." I couldn't agree more. Brava, Jenny, brava!
Finally, many of you have asked for the second installment of High School: Uncut, so here it is! Students have worked hard to be even more creative in the filming and writing of the show. The recent acquisition of an HD Flip Cam from DonorsChoose will make the recording even more professional. Once again, the greatest outcome of this project is HEARING the students use these vocabulary words in their everyday lives. Scholastic's Choices magazine provides an excellent list of SAT vocabulary that you can use to replicate this exercise. And this project can be adapted for the younger grades — imagine the fun a class of 3rd or 4th graders could have making their own TV show using words from Daily Vocabulary Boosters!
Here's hoping for warmer weather and NO MORE SNOW in the Northeast!