|Christina Baldwin and Jennifer Baldwin Peden|
perform Opera Demystified at a school
Jennifer and Christina started the show with a medley of opera "hits," familiar even to an opera novice such as me, which proves that opera is a part of our popular culture. They then launched into an interactive mini history of opera, complete with dates, facts, musical snippets, and silly made up statements by Jennifer, sure to entertain kids (and adults). True to the title of their program, they make opera completely accessible, understandable, and enjoyable. Some of their lessons include singing "Wrecking Ball" in an operatic style to demonstrate that opera is not appropriate for every song and situation, explaining that vibrato was developed to help singers be heard over the orchestra before the days of amplification (thanks, electricity!), and translating well known pieces into English to show that opera really is telling a story. As sisters, Christina and Jennifer have such a great rapport and are quite amusing to watch, in between blowing the audience away with their gorgeous voices.
The Baldwin sisters have a bit of help with this program, including Steven Stucki on piano and audience plant Aaron Larson, whom they brought up on stage and pretended to teach about opera, until he began to sing and it was revealed that he's an accomplished opera singer himself.
|the stage in the stunning atrium|
of the Landmark Center
If you work with a school (high school, middle school, or elementary) and are interested in exposing the students to the arts, I highly recommend you contact Skylark Opera to inquire about the Opera Demystified program. It's highly entertaining and educational, and guaranteed to create a few new opera fans. It worked for me!