Opera singers visiting Austin schoolsPublished 6:21pm Saturday, September 15, 2012
They may not know about “Ride of the Valkyries” yet, but Austin elementary school students are in for a ride all the same this month.
Artists from the Minnesota Opera are participaing in a residency throughout Austin, with all four elementaries learning and performing music by Wolfgang Mozart.
“Isn’t that amazing?” said Margo Bissen, music teacher at Southgate Elementary School. “We are just delighted that we can provide this opportunity for our students.”
Bissen first learned about the residencies at a music conference in February. After conversing with fellow Austin Public Schools teachers and getting grant money, Bissen and elementary teachers are ready to welcome Bergen Baker, the Opera’s teaching artist, to Austin.
Baker worked with Sumner Elementary students last week, and will work with Neveln, Southgate, and Banfield Elementary students in the coming weeks. Students will perform “Through the Ears and Eyes of Mozart,” an interactive look at the composer’s life and work, to their respectives schools over the next month, but they won’t be done with the Opera yet. Their work will culminate in a collaboration between each school’s choirs, the Austin Symphony Orchestra, and artists associated with the Minnesota Opera at the end of October.
“We’d like to give [students] a very broad introduction to this amazing art form,” Bissen said. “We’d like for them to come away from this with a better understanding of opera.”
Look to the Herald for an in-depth perspective on the Minnesota Opera residency next month.