Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I Think I'll Write an Opera

Every week I grow more and more impressed with Sam's Kindermusik class.  He just started Young Child this year and he's learning dictation and instrument sounds and rhythm and all the things that some Freshman music majors struggle to learn.  This week, the curriculum even exposed the kids to foundational classical pieces starting with Mozart's The Magic Flute.

Since Sam's class only listened to selections from the opera (and because I'm never one to pass up a musicological teaching opportunity), I brought home my DVD copy of the opera I use in class every year to show Sam, and we watched a few selections from Julie Taymor's version produced at the Met a few years ago.  From Tamino charming the animals with his flute to the Queen of the Night's aria to the Papageno Papagena Duet, Sam and Noah were enchanted.  Noah probably would have watched the entire opera and certainly will some day, but Sam declared that action was needed.  He was going to write an opera.

Over the past day, Sam's plan for his opera has slowly developed.  The title is "Elephants Sing at Night" and it features seven elephants, one of whom is the star and sings alone and six that always sing together (notice that he already has a diva role prepared).  Each elephant wears a waterproof costume because each has a bucket full of water next to them in the opera.  During the rests in the music, the elephants dip their trunks into the bucket and turn and spray water out over the audience.  He's already got a cast picked out and told me that at school today he plans to ask one of his best friends, Cole, to be in the show along with one of his teachers, Ms. Lori.  Joy and I have standing invitations to come and sit in the audience where we will sit on a bench that is as long as the stage (I suppose we all sit on one bench so that everyone gets wet equally).  If you're interested, I'm sure we can swing more tickets as the parents of the composer - just let me know.


laura gayle said...

sign me up!

Jaime Olson said...

This makes me happy! I'd love some tickets and ooh la la, you guys are going to be SO famous!

Matt O. said...

This is genius! Travel times to and from the show is a concern for us -- if it receives enough critical acclaim, will we see a travelling performance, perhaps in the Urbana-Champaign area?

Anonymous said...

Pop and I will be there sitting on that bench for every performance and letting everyone within ear-shot know this is our g-son who wrote this opera.