2018 Little Opera Summer Camp

 Little Opera at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music

Ages 7-10
Session #1: June 11 – June 15 [CLOSED]

Session #2: June 25 – June 29 [CLOSED]

Camp Hours: 10:00am — 4:00pm
Extended Day Available: 8:30am — 5:30pm


Extended Day:
Mornings Only (8:30am – 10:00am): $120/session
Afternoons Only (4:00pm – 5:30pm): $120/session
Full Extended Day (8:30am – 5:30pm): $200/session

*Need-based sliding scale tuition available. Begin registration process to apply.


At Little Opera, we make operas with kids. This summer, we’re transforming our year-long after-school program into a one-week summer intensive where campers work with our team of artists to write, compose, rehearse, and present their very own original mini-opera. The process is a holistic approach to arts education, with a focus on teaching students how to collaboratively make everything themselves. Over the course of the week, students will write a story, craft a libretto, compose melodies, rehearse, and perform a 5-10 minute show. The final result? A micro opera that is 100% built from their own imaginations.

Photo by Kersh Branz, 2017.

Photo by Kersh Branz, 2017.

“From start to finish, this program is top notch. Very few arts education programs give kids such fabulous training, artistic autonomy, and such a wide range of performance opportunities.” — Elena

“Awesome program! Great for kids in all aspects. My son loves Little Opera so much and looking forward to his 2nd year. When I first heard about this program I wondered if they really let the kids do all the things to create the opera. They really did. The kids did everything…It’s an incredible experience. I’m so happy he is a part of this unique program.” — Chantana

“I can’t recommend this program enough. My daughter is about to start her 3rd season with Little Opera. The teachers and artists at Little Opera create such a nurturing and creative environment for these kids … Note that my daughter is not one of those extroverted types who just love to perform. What I see as the greatest potential for this program is to help kids expand their view of themselves — to show our kids that they have it in them to do something really big, something they might not think they are capable of doing. The teachers and artists in this program put so much into this experience for the kids. We are lucky to have this program in SF!” — Hai Nhu


— Small student to teaching artist ratio of 6:1.
— All camp leaders are working artists and veteran Little Opera teachers (see our bios below).
— All camp counselors are multi-year alumni of Little Opera’s after-school program.
— Camp will feature special guest artist visits from local performing classical artists.
— Students get to work in the world-class environment of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
— Camp is a chance for students and families to try out our program without committing to a full school year.

Photo by Kersh Branz, 2017.



8:30 AM: Morning-care activity: Costume design sketches for the operas we are writing
9:30 AM: Free choice time: Choose between reading station, drawing station, or listening station

10:00 AM: Morning circle, group warm-ups, team-building theater and music games
10:30 AM: Rotate through small groups for story writing, libretto creation, and music composition
11:30 AM: Indoor snack
11:45 AM: Continue small group rotations in story writing, libretto creation, and music composition

12:30 PM: Outdoor lunch and free play

2:00 PM: Listening Lab or guest artist visit  — Learn about a new instrument, or piece of music
3:00 PM: Rehearsal of what we created in small groups today

4:00 PM: After-care activity: Indoor snack. Set design sketches for the opera we are writing



EB Headshot 1Erin Bregman
Little Opera Founder & Director

Erin is a San Francisco playwright, librettist, and Teaching Artist. As an educator, she has led over 100 classes through the creation of original operas and has taught for the San Francisco Opera, the Randall Museum, the San Francisco Boy’s Chorus, and more. Her own work has been produced and developed across the country, including with Washington National Opera, 6NewPlays, Rorschach Theater, Just Theater, The Brick, Profile Theater, and others. This is her 7th year leading Little Opera.



-Danny headshotDanny Clay (Session #1)
Music Teaching Artist

Danny is a composer and general noise-maker based in San Francisco who works in a variety of media. He “daylights” as an elementary school music teacher, where he has curated collaborative projects between young creative minds and professional organizations around the country, including the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), 826 Valencia, Nonsemble 6, the UnCaged Toy Piano Festival, and Friction Quartet. As a teaching artist, he works with Little Opera and the San Francisco Opera ARIA Network. He has been commissioned by groups such as Kronos Quartet, Phyllis Chen, Sarah Cahill, and many groups throughout the Bay Area.



Jenny Hanson smallJenny Hanson (Session #2)
Music Teaching Artist & Registrar

Jenny comes from a family of folk musicians and grew up listening to her large family playing guitar and singing harmonies at family gatherings. She began studying flute in high school with Ruth Giles, professor at Minnesota State University at Mankato/Gustavis Adolphus College, and completed her degree in Flute Performance at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities studying with Julia Bogorad Kogan, Adam Kuenzel and Keith Underwood. Jenny holds a Masters Degree at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities in Flute Performance studying with Julia Bogorad Kogan and Immanuel Davis. After graduating, she started an all girl punk rock band called Eufio. She currently teaches private and group Suzuki flute lessons in Noe Valley. You can read more about her and her work at her website, and in this interview in the Mount Olivet School of Music newsletter. This is her 4th year with Little Opera.



Eva Langleafman
Theater Teaching Artist

Eva’s background is in theatre and cultural anthropology, and she’s had training in counseling psychology and drama therapy. In addition to teaching at Little Opera, she teaches around the Bay Area and has led opera/theater creation classes with AltSchool, Bay Area Children’s Theater, West Portal Elementary School, and others. She also works as a freelance ghostwriter and editor, and is collaborating on a musical comedy in which, finally, she confesses to being a clown. This is her 6th year with Little Opera.



Q:  Can kids really write and perform their own Opera? 

A: Absolutely. It won’t look like the operas you see in the grand opera houses (and it won’t sound like it either), but if you can tell a story and sing a tune as you walk down the street, you can write an opera. At its most basic level, opera is telling stories through music, which is what we teach our campers to do.

Q: Will we get to see what they create?

A: Yes! There will be a classroom sharing day at 4:00pm for parents and families on the last day of each camp session. Sharing days are always a lot of fun, and we hope you’ll be able to make it.

Q: Do you need any special music skills to participate?

A: Nope! All levels of students are welcome.

Q: How big are the classes?

A: Summer camp is limited to 20 students/session.

Q: Do you provide food?

A: No. All campers should bring their own lunch and enough snacks for the full day.

Q: Will the two sessions be the same?

A: While we’ll lead the same activities for both sessions, the focus of each camp is the creation of a new opera. Campers who want to join us for both sessions will create two entirely unique shows.

Q: If we have to cancel our session, will our tuition be refunded?

A: If you cancel by May 1st, we will issue you a full refund, minus a $50 administrative fee. If you cancel after May 1st, we will not be able to refund your spot.