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Hearing opera for the very first time

Posted: 6:07 PM, Jan 13, 2020
Updated: 2020-01-13 19:07:37-05

MILWAUKEE — Students from all around southeastern Wisconsin are soon going to get a theatrical experience they may remember forever.

Over the next four months, around 15,000 students across the area will see a 30-minute opera performance of Cinderella. For many, it will be the first time they hear anyone belt a note in such a dramatic fashion.

"Give kids almost a sampler platter of what opera is like," Maggey Oplinger, the General Director at the Florentine Opera Company, said.

The abridged Cinderella story makes opera accessible for students by mixing traditional songs with contemporary dialogue.

"But a lot of dialogue and moments in between the transitions were all developed off the cuff as we were working through it," Oplinger said.

The opera company made it a point to mix the best of both worlds so they weren't taking the 'opera out of opera.'

The general consensus from the students at Messmer Preparatory was that the singing was 'cool.'

"It's cool cause they do all them different ways of singing."

“I think it was cool."

"I think it was very cool. I never saw people sing like that before in person."

For a generation that grew up with cellphones in their hand and video games on their mind, that's a pretty big accomplishment.

However, that doesn't mean they are ready to explore their vocal range to determine if they are a soprano, tenor, or baritone. They've got time for that anyway.

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