Kids Summer Opera Camp Hits High Notes - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Kids Summer Opera Camp Hits High Notes

By David Carroll

dcarroll@wrcbtv.com

CHATTANOOGA (WRCB)-  Each morning this week, elementary and middle school students are tuning up their vocal cords to prepare for the opera. What else would they be doing during their summer vacation?  Not much according to CSAS 8th grader Monte Coulter, who says "I'd be just hanging around and being bored, this is much better."

Are these kids dropped off to Opera Camp against their will, kicking and screaming? definitely not...they're attracted by the costumes, the adventure and the challenge of learning the most demanding pieces of music.

UTC Professor of Voice Ron Ulen is excited about teaching the basics of opera to students at an early age. He says if they're not into opera by now, it may be too late. "That's something that bothers me about today's generation," he says. "They're so into video games, their imaginations aren't really free.>

Many of these aspiring opera singers don't need any nudging. Nolan Elementary 5th grader Charlotte Smith says she's been focused on opera as long as she can remember.

Charlotte says, "I used to go around singing the highest notes I could hit.  I always wanted to do this."

The students are also learning about acting, set design, and audition techniques. By the end of camp, they'll have some new skills to take back to school.

They're preparing to audition for "Amahl and the Night Visitors," which will be performed November 12 at the Tivoli Theater.

The Opera Camp is a partnership of the Chattanooga Symphony and Opera, UTC Opera Workshop, the Chattanooga Theater Centre and the Chattanooga Ballet.

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