Education programs

Communicate Collaborate Create

Cincinnati Opera’s mission is to enrich and connect the community through diverse opera experiences. We are thrilled to engage with our community by creating opportunities for both youth and adults to have positive and meaningful experiences with opera! Browse the community education opportunities below.

Want to learn more about how to bring a Cincinnati Opera Education and Engagement program to your school or community center? Contact Ebony Menefield at emenefield@cincinnatiopera.org or (513) 768-5513 or Jemannie Severson Luong at jluong@cincinnatiopera.org or (513) 768-5567.

 

Elementary Schools

+ Opera Storybook Hour

Grades K-3
It's story time with Cincinnati Opera! We are delighted to offer this interactive program featuring stories based on the art form of opera. Cincinnati Opera Teaching Artists will read an opera storybook and sing and/or play recordings of operatic selections. The students will be led in a craft activity following the story. For example, with The Magic Flute, students will create their own Papageno and Papagena masks (a bird catcher and his bride). Our Teaching Artist will engage students with questions about key ideas and details to ensure their understanding of the story. A fun and creative experience!

+ Spirituals in Motion

Grades K-4
Cincinnati Opera is delighted to present Spirituals in Motion, a multi-faceted lyrical music project rooted in the American Spiritual. This unique program highlights and reintroduces a rich body of work passed down through oral history. Led by professional opera singer and teaching artist La'Shelle Allen, this hands-on workshop invites participants to express their own stories through the use of the Spiritual song and aims to share the African American experience with audiences of all ages, races, and religions. Workshops offered as 1-day, 3-day, or 5-day programs.

+ Libretto Creation Station: Recitative Edition

Grades 1-4
It’s time to create! This classroom integration program will teach students the foundational beginnings of creating an opera. We start with the story (which can be an original narrative, a historical recounting, or an adaptation from literature), form the libretto (discussing recitative, arias, etc.) and then set the text to music. Students will explore how the art form of opera uniquely enhances expression. They will build upon their knowledge of language, speaking and listening skills, and narrative writing. In Libretto Creation Station: Recitative Edition, students will work together to develop a scene of recitative, or sung dialogue, based on grade-level-appropriate thematic material.

+ Designer's Choice

Grades 4-6
Vividly visual productions are one of the distinctive features of opera. Cincinnati Opera would like to provide a glimpse into the world of costume and set design. What is the process? Research a bit of history…do a bit of math…collaborate with other artists? This program will give behind-the-scenes insight on how designers translate their vision from page to stage. Teaching Artists will discuss elements of the design process and guide students in an activity. Learn how opera designers find their voice!

+ You Be The Critic

Grades 5-6
We present the challenge of critiquing an opera excerpt: a scene of recitative, an aria, a chorus, or a combination of elements. Students will be provided with the text and will discuss craft and structure, key ideas and details, and demonstrate the integration of knowledge and ideas. Several different interpretations will be presented, including video and audio recordings. What emotion is conveyed in the first line? How did the composer enhance the theme with music? Was the singer convincing in presenting the character? Why or why not? What do you think? This will be a collaborative and engaging conversation! Excerpts will be selected based on grade level.

+ ROKCincy

Grades K-6
Cincinnati Opera is proud to partner with ROKCincy (Roundabout Opera for Kids Cincy) to bring the thrill of live opera performances to students age K-6 and community centers throughout Greater Cincinnati. To learn more about ROKCincy and its touring schedule, visit rokcincy.com. Interested in scheduling a performance or auditioning for ROKCincy's next tour? Contact Kelly Holterhoff at rokcincy@gmail.com or (513) 768-5522.


Middle and High Schools

+ You Be The Critic

Grades 7-12
We present the challenge of critiquing an opera excerpt: a scene of recitative, an aria, a chorus, or a combination of elements. Students will be provided with the text and will discuss craft and structure, key ideas and details, and demonstrate the integration of knowledge and ideas. Several different interpretations will be presented, including video and audio recordings. What emotion is conveyed in the first line? How did the composer enhance the theme with music? Was the singer convincing in presenting the character? Why or why not? What do you think? This will be a collaborative and engaging conversation! Excerpts will be selected based on grade level.

+ The Literature of Opera

Grades 9-12
Opera, the amazing art form that brings stories to life with music and singing, is often based on works of literature. Cincinnati Opera will introduce students to masterworks through the study of literature that has been adapted for the operatic stage. This arts integration program will provide students with the reading materials for each opera and will be aligned to curriculum standards. Our Teaching Artists will make multiple visits to the classroom to perform musical excerpts from each opera and discuss how the musical themes help to establish and expand upon the meaning of the text. Students will also have the opportunity to compare and contrast video productions (as available). We will coordinate and collaborate with English Language Arts educators for lesson planning and standards alignment. Literature will be selected based on grade level.

+ Meet The Singer

Grades 7-12
Cincinnati Opera is excited to offer students a career discovery opportunity. In this program, a professional singer will share details of their career journey. Meet the Singer aims to educate, encourage, and entertain. Topics to be addressed: education, vocal training, networking, auditions, and performance. In addition to sharing their story, the artist will incorporate a few songs from their repertoire. A Q&A session will conclude the program. Singers from diverse cultural backgrounds will be presented This program aims to share the process of career development and encourage students to pursue their aspirations.

+ Cincinnati Opera Masterclass

Grades 9-12
For students interested in pursuing vocal study and performance, Cincinnati Opera will offer masterclass workshops with our professional singers and vocal coaches. Teaching Artists will perform and work with students on vocal technique and interpretation. Students will be guided in applying these principles to a piece of their solo repertoire. This is a one-of-a-kind opportunity! The goals are to enhance students’ vocal study and confidence in their singing, performance, and development as an artist.


More Community Programs

+ The Opera Express

Grades 1-12 and Community Events
The Opera Express is our one-of-a-kind mobile opera theater, traveling around the community to bring opera to unexpected places. Through narration and song, professional singers tell the story of how opera productions come together, taking you on a journey from audition to rehearsals to a costumed finale. Click here to learn more.

+ Stories, Singing, and Snacks

Ages 3-5
Let’s share a story and a healthy snack! In this program designed for preschool-aged children, we will read an opera story book and bring along an a special musical guest, who will perform and interact with the children through song. Our aim is to nurture their love for books and music. And yes, we will also bring something nutritious and delicious! (We will coordinate with the classroom teacher on snack selection.) Cincinnati Opera presents this program to support the positive impact that exposure to music and eating healthy foods has on a child’s growth and development. It’s going to be a scrumptious fun time!


Frequently Asked Questions

  • What programming will work best for my students?
    We are happy to talk through programming options with you! Please give us a call at (513) 768-5513 or (513) 768-5567 to get further details on any of our offerings. We have programs available for all ages and grade levels.

  • How long is a Cincinnati Opera Education Program?
    Our programs are approximately 45 minutes in length and fit within a typical class period. Some programs are presented in a series format, with multiple sessions over several days.

  • What are the prices for Cincinnati Opera Education Programs?
    We are always willing to work with schools on pricing. Our programs typically range from $150-$600. A limited amount of grant funding may also be available.

  • I would like to connect your programming to our curriculum. Is that possible?
    Absolutely! Our education staff and Teaching Artists will work with you to integrate content into the lessons. We have programs that have been specifically designed to align with content standards and are happy to collaborate with you.

Want to learn more about how to bring a Cincinnati Opera Education and Engagement program to your school or community center? Contact Ebony Menefield at emenefield@cincinnatiopera.org or (513) 768-5513 or Jemannie Severson Luong at jluong@cincinnatiopera.org or (513) 768-5567.