How do we do it?

At Little Opera we turn the concept of "first technique, then creativity" on its head.

In the words of Jon Deak, Founder of the Very Young Composer Programme at the NYC Philharmonic, "We validate and support the child's instinctive creations, then offer technical aid.” 

Students do everything, from beginning to end and during an Opera Creation course will write an original story, craft a libretto, compose music, choreograph movement, design and build sets, props and costume, rehearse, reflect and perform. 

Below is a little more detail about what happens at each stage:

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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
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Two cooks rehearse

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

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
  • Make props and costumes

Rehearse, Reflect, Direct and Perform

  • 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 finished Opera to friends and family