Singers from Kentucky Opera Association show how supertitles are used, at Fort Campbell. Photo courtesy of Fort Campbell.
Kentucky Opera went full tilt with educational activities for youth early in the day, with performances of the Gounod opera Romeo and Juliet at two local middle schools and one high school. We continue to recommend this approach to opera companies -- doing educational activities on the day of or day before a performance -- as it really pays off in the number of students who bring their parents to the evening performances.
The evening performance was lively and fun, with four young singers accompanied by a pianist on a grand piano. It was a scripted show portraying a day in the life of four young opera trainees, which in theory might seem a bit unusual, but came off quite spectacularly. The show opened with the singers arriving for rehearsal and a bit of chatter about what opera is…at the first use of the word “opera,” the lights dim and two singers jump on a cart and start rowing themselves around the space with a broom as if on an opera house canal à la Phantom, while singing 30 seconds of the theme song from Phantom of the Opera. Refuting that stereotype, they then sang songs that showed off different voice types and styles of opera, all while explaining the context of the works in a fun way. A highlight was their explanation of supertitles (the projection of translations over the stage, for the audience to follow) -- two singers sang a romantic French duet on center stage, while the other singers and stage manager hovered above them on a piece of scenery flipping rapidly through posterboard cards with the English lyrics. It all came off quite humorously and was very well done. The audience was rapt; they laughed a lot and applauded thunderously at the end of the performance.
Concert program (PDF)(176K)
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