October 2007

Kid-Friendly Opera

Author: Jean Wharton

Montessori students to perform Burning Rice Fields

On Friday, November 2, 2007, at 7 p.m., the elementary students of Sea Pines Montessori Academy will perform the opera, Burning Rice Fields, at the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina.

“The Burning Rice Fields” is an opera based on a Japanese folktale, composed and directed by Stanford and Judy Jones. Mr. Jones travels all over the United States, producing operas in elementary schools, while his wife, Judy, is the dance instructor and acting coach.

During the first weeks of school, SPMA elementary students, ranging in age from 6-12, started listening to the music and reading the folktale. To familiarize the students with all aspects of the storyline, the opera is incorporated into their studies of Japanese history, culture, geography and arts. The children are also taking an active part behind the scenes by making some of the costumes during their after school sewing class, while teachers, parents and grandparents graciously volunteer to perform crucial tasks from sewing to set building.

The play opens on a tiny Japanese fishing village nestled against the sea. The students will fill diverse roles, including seagulls, fishermen, kites, villagers, geisha girls, feudal lords, tidal waves and many more. The production will be a wonderful, inspirational experience for the entire school community.

Tickets to the first annual Youth Opera International production will be available for sale to the general public on October 26. A Japanese boutique will be open during the welcome reception prior to the performance.

For more information, call 843-842-ARTS (2787).

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