U of R Opera strikes a positive note for local high schools

Posted: April 6, 2015 8:00 a.m.

Emily Ready (standing) and Mikyla Jensen (piano) performing for Campbell Collegiate students in Regina.
Emily Ready (standing) and Mikyla Jensen (piano) performing for Campbell Collegiate students in Regina. (Photo courtesy of Trevor Hopkin - U of R Photography

The auditorium at Campbell Collegiate was filled with the operatic sounds of Mozart, Monteverdi and Bizet thanks to a performance by the University of Regina’s Opera Workshop Class. ‘Opera a la carte’ went on the road with performances at Campbell Thursday and Balgonie Greenall High School March 31.

“We want to introduce younger students to this wonderful art form,” says Helen Pridmore, Associate Professor at the U of R’s Music Department.
“Often opera is thought is as “elitist” but not for everyone. The music and the stories are as relevant today as they were when the operas were written. Stories of love and of bravery; familiar myths and folk tales; social commentary - it’s all there.”

The performers are students from the Music Performance class (MUPE 381). Pridmore says the students make up a nice mix of music majors and others majoring in studies that include Japanese, theatre and education. The class is open to any interested student.

“It’s a chance for our students to hone their skills and to learn how to perform and do their best. In school shows, they must learn to adapt quickly to a new stage set-up,” says Pridmore.

It’s also a chance for some high school students to be exposed to opera.
“Our students come from a wide variety of backgrounds,” says Deidre Baird, director of Campbell Collegiate Chamber Choir. “Our hope is to provide those students, with prior knowledge of opera an excellent enrichment opportunity while encouraging our less experienced students to explore the art form further.”

Aside from the high school shows, ‘Opera a la Carte’ was also presented at the U of R’s Shu-Box Theatre March 27.

“I look forward to more opera here and I have some new and exciting ideas for future collaborations and productions,” says Pridmore.

We’ll keep you posted.

The Music Department, as part of the Fine Arts Faculty at the U of R,  offers students an opportunity to realize their musical aspirations offering degree programs in courses ranging from classical to jazz and much more. Please visit: http://www.uregina.ca/finearts/areas-study/music/music-courses.html

The Fine Arts Faculty also offers degree programs in Creative Technologies, Film, Interdisciplinary Studies, Theatre, Visual Arts and advanced study through its Graduate Studies. Please visit:  http://www.uregina.ca/finearts/