Program Overview

Our after-school program leads students through the creation and performance of an original opera. All of our classes meet twice a week from September through May at our home base, West Portal Elementary School. We work with students who come from across the city, and range in age from kindergarten through 8th grade.

Our students do everything, from beginning to end. Over the course of the school year, we will:

Writing the choices for setting

Write an Original Story

• Brainstorm and select a setting for where our opera will take place
• Develop complex characters and situations rooted in the setting
• Outline a complete opera story from beginning to end 

Craft a Libretto

• Learn the nuances of lyric writing
• Break our story into moments of song, movement, and sung dialogue
• Work together to write, edit, and revise text for all moments to create a complete libretto

Anna with kids arms up

Compose Music

• Learn about rhythm, melody, and emotion in music
• Create improvised sung melodies for all text in our libretto
• Collaborate with professional composers to compose music

Choreograph Movement

• Develop movement technique skills and explore different dance styles
• Choreograph original movement sequences for moments in the opera
• Work with professional dancers to further refine and polish movements

Twirling Birds

Design and Build Sets, Props, and Costumes

• Create original designs for all set, prop, and costume pieces in the opera
• Build models for design concepts
• Collaborate with professional set, prop, and costume builders to execute construction of designs

Rehearse, Reflect, and Direct
      • Work with professional directors to put the opera onstage
      • Work with professional singers to build vocal skills and help polish presentation and performance technique      
      • Peer direct moments of the Opera to complete the process of putting it onstage
      • Learn tools for reflection about the work, and practice both giving and receiving feedback
Perform!the-bow-hi-res.jpgthe-bow-hi-res.jpg

• Perform the finished Opera in one of San Francisco’s great theater spaces
• Regularly present work-in-progress during informal performances for family throughout the year
• Celebrate the year’s work with a bow and a potluck

Andrew Square

On many days throughout the year, students will take specialized Master Classes taught by professional Bay Area artists to deepen their learning. Master Class topics vary year by year, and include:

• Costume Design
• Set Design
• Dance & Choreography
• Stage Combat
• Masks and Puppetry
• Music Composition
• Singing Technique