Lower School students experienced live opera on campus courtesy of the Maryland Lyric Opera (MDLO).
Boys heard pieces performed in Italian (with projected English titles) from various operas and interacted with the professional singers and musicians with a Q&A session after the show.
“Many young people these days aren’t exposed to such an elegant and high art form. In fact, some of them didn’t even know what opera was until recently,” Lower School Music Teacher Chris Chappelle, who helped organize the concert, said.
He recently gave his Grade 4 students an opera lesson, teaching them the various components that make up the genre but says there is nothing like hearing it live in an intimate setting.
“Only in an intimate setting can you truly feel opera, which is unlike any other genre of music. The sound vibrations, the fluctuation of emotion, the intensity of it all are only things you can feel in-person. So when MDLO presented me with this “Feel the Opera” initiative, I had to do everything in my power to make it happen,” Chappelle explained.
The Feel the Opera Initiative gives students a chance to experience live opera in their schools to expose them to the magic of live performance and prove that opera is for everyone.
“I can’t believe they brought it to our school. I liked the way they explained it, how loud their voices were, and how they sang in different languages,” Erich ’31 said.
“These concerts are some of the most rewarding experiences for the performers as the energy and excitement displayed by the students is really impossible to describe,” Matthew Woorman, MDLO General Director said.
Students, faculty, and staff in attendance received complimentary tickets to attend an upcoming MDLO production of ‘Otello’ at the Music Center at the Strathmore.
Chappelle said he was happy to see how receptive, responsive, and engaged the students were.
“I hope that if nothing else, the students carry this memory with them forever; for when they are adults, they can tell all who are willing to listen of the experience they had at Landon.” Chappelle said. “Perhaps we will have produced an aspiring opera singer from all of this!”