Dayton Opera Guild: The Children’s Traveling Opera

The Children’s Traveling Opera is sponsored by the Opera Guild of Dayton. Its aim is to bring opera into the elementary schools in a fun and age-appropriate way to increase awareness and the love of opera in our area. The selected opera is presented in a narrative, student-involved manner during a one-hour time frame. We bring a professional opera singer to play the lead role, and he or she is supported by a professional accompanist. The story of the opera is told via a narrator and students act it out. Student performers are randomly selected from the audience with no preparation. They do not have singing or speaking parts, but play their roles through pantomime. Volunteers, dressed in black to be “invisible,” are there to aid in costuming the students and to help them learn how to perform. We bring sets, props, and costumes for the students to make it as realistic as possible.

Prior to the day of the event, the educator that has scheduled this exploration will be sent a packet of information that includes information about the opera that will be performed and a list of items that will be needed for the exploration, e.g., a keyboard or piano, AV system, tables and chairs, etc.

We have found that students and teachers enjoy this program quite a bit, since they are able to see their peers “on stage.” We encourage the students to “have fun” with the opera, and most truly enjoy the experience. We are often asked back to the same school year after year.

This exploration is targeted to grades 4 and 5, but it can be presented to 3rd graders as well. The fee for this exploration is a very reasonable $125.

Suggested Standards/Benchmarks:


What better way to learn about the opera than being part of the show? During this exploration, some students will have a hands-on experience while others will have the opportunity to see their friends “on stage.” Everyone will have fun exploring the opera! After the exploration, classes can delve further and decide what makes up a good opera –  well-thought-out plots, stunning settings, or memorable characters? Or all three?Specific standards met depend on the targeted age group.

3:2CE 9PR 3RE- 5RE
4:1CE,2CE 8PR 2RE|
5:7PR 2RE

3:2CE 4RE
4:5CE 3RE,4RE

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