Opera is a magical blend of music, drama, and spectacle that has captivated audiences for centuries. However, it’s no secret that opera can sometimes struggle to appeal to younger generations, with its complex storylines, ornate language, and lengthy performances.
But fear not, there are many ways to make the opera more interesting for kids and ensure they too can appreciate this enriching art form. In this blog, we’ll explore some fun and engaging strategies to get children excited about the opera.
Choose the right production
Carefully consider the production you’re taking your children to see, as some operas will be more suitable for young audiences than others. Operas with more accessible storylines, shorter running times, and a good balance of music and drama are generally better for younger audiences. Fairy tale-inspired operas like ‘Hansel and Gretel’ by Engelbert Humperdinck or ‘The Magic Flute’ by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart are ideal choices, as they feature familiar stories and characters that children can relate to. When looking for performances, whether it’s tickets to the Verona Opera or another venue, selecting the right show is crucial for keeping kids engaged.
Learn the story beforehand
To make the opera more enjoyable for kids, familiarise them with the story and characters before attending the performance. Many operas are based on well-known tales or historical events, which can be explored through books, films, or online resources. By understanding the plot and key moments, children can follow the action more quickly and anticipate exciting scenes.
Listen to the music in advance
Opera is all about the music, so expose your children to the beautiful melodies and arias they’ll hear during the performance. Playing the music in the background or actively listening to recordings together can help build excitement and familiarity. By recognizing and appreciating key musical themes, children will be more engaged when they hear these pieces performed live on stage.
Attend family-friendly performances
Many opera companies offer special family-friendly performances featuring age-appropriate content, reduced ticket prices, and shorter running times. These productions may also include pre-show workshops or post-show discussions, allowing children to participate actively and ask questions about the performance. Be sure to research the availability of family-friendly shows at your chosen opera house.
Make it a fun and educational outing
Create a sense of anticipation by turning the opera into an exciting adventure. Dress up in smart attire, enjoy a special meal before the show, and take plenty of photos to capture the memories. Use this opportunity to teach children about the history and traditions of opera, the roles of the performers, and the significance of the music and stagecraft.
Encourage active participation
After the performance, encourage your children to discuss their favorite moments, characters, and musical pieces. Ask them to draw pictures or write stories inspired by the opera they’ve just seen. If they’re particularly interested, consider enrolling them in a children’s choir or signing them up for music or acting lessons. This will deepen their appreciation of the art form and foster a lifelong love of opera.