Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
(Steve Griffin | The Salt Lake Tribune) St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School kindergartener Kiley Snowball plays Rose in the opera "Rose's Garden" during a dress rehearsal at the school.
St. Vincent DePaul’s kindergarteners bloom in opera
Stage » Rose’s Garden helps plant seeds of creativity in youngsters.
First Published Apr 11 2013 11:08 am • Last Updated Apr 15 2013 11:27 am

A class of kindergartners at Saint Vincent de Paul Catholic School had the opportunity to perform an original opera at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center as part of the Utah Opera’s children opera showcase.

"The kids were so thrilled," said Mary Williams, kindergarten teacher at St. Vincent. "They were so energized and excited to be there and proud to be on a real stage."

At a glance

Children’s opera showcase

Presented by Utah Opera to highlight original operas written and composed by elementary students.

St. Vincent DePaul Catholic School was one of three schools that presented this year at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center.

St. Vincent put on Rose’s Garden based on a book by Peter H. Reynolds under the guidance of teacher Mary Williams and Utah Opera composer Scott Larrabee.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Williams had chosen three children’s books for her students to use as a basis for an opera. In the end, they voted for Rose’s Garden by Peter H. Reynolds, about a girl who attempts to create a garden in a neglected place of a busy city.

"[Rose] traveled in the world to get seeds and to plant them in a big city," said Tytus Mauchley, a student in Williams’ class.

Mauchley said he liked working on the opera because "it had lots of music and dancing."

The kids used their artistic judgment and creativity to bring their adaptation of the book to life.

"They’re the creators," Williams said. "We just guide."

The students each had a turn to compose a line of the libretto.

"They retold it in their words, and they know which line they wrote," Williams said.

St. Vincent’s music teacher and Utah Opera composer Scott Larrabee worked with the kids to help them create the score.


story continues below
story continues below

"He’s part of our artistic staff, and he taught them voice exercises and how to project," Williams said. "He’s a wonderful composer."

The kids also went on a tour of Capitol Theater, where they saw behind the scene of the production of "The Magic Flute."

"It’s always fun to see how the pros do it," Williams said. "They let us see the set; they took us downstairs to the dressing room, the wig room and were fabulous about giving us a big theater tour."

Heather Foy said her daughter was so excited to go to Capitol Theater.

"It does open up a whole new kind of life for these children, especially when they’re this young," Foy said. "It was really empowering for them."

Foy said her daughter, Lauren, would come home singing every night when the class was working on the production. She described Lauren as shy, so the opera gave her the opportunity to gain confidence as well.

"It was really fun to watch her performing in front of 500 people," she said. "She is so proud of herself."

Foy is an art enthusiast herself so she appreciated that a program like this encourages students to expand their knowledge and love of the arts.

"They did learn a lot, and they were a part of every single detail," Foy said. "To them, they’ll always remember and appreciate it."

Foy and other parents contributed by helping with the set and costume, but the children had a big part as they illustrated how they wanted everything to look.

"Every parent had a job to sign up for different committees," Williams said. "I could not do anything that magnificent without the support of the parents."

After working for three months, Williams was afraid the children would be tired when they took the stage at Rose Wagner on March 21, but they were ready for it.

"When they walked through the door [the next] morning, they were still excited," she said.

Next Page >


Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Login to the Electronic Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.