I’m a big fan of the opera, and I’m always excited to hear about new ways to introduce it to my young children. This is one of those exciting concerts coming up for so many reasons: it’s made for children, so it’s not long, and it’s based on the beloved children’s book by Maurice Sendak, Where the Wild Things Are, a story they know and love. Composed by Oliver Knussen to a libretto by Sendak himself, this innovative work tells the tale of a little boy with a wild imagination. Visual imagery for the family concert has been designed by New York City Opera’s Opera is Elementary program, and the Rush Kids/Teens from Danny and Russell Simmons’ Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation.
Where the Wild Things Are will be a concert version of the opera featuring the New York City Opera Orchestra. City Opera is proud to affirm its mission of nurturing young American singers by presenting the Vocal Fellows of the Tanglewood Music Center in this performance, conducted by Julian Kuerti in his City Opera debut. The cast includes: Danya Katok (Max)*, Leslie Davis (Mama/Tzippy)*, Andrew Sauvageau (Wild Thing with Horns)*, David Salsbery Fry (Bull Wild Thing), Adam Cannedy (Rooster Wild Thing)*, and Lawrence Jones (Wild Thing with Beard/Goat Wild Thing)*, directed by Seán Curran.
The family program is the highlight of the company’s Opera is Elementary program. Opera is Elementary introduces approximately 5,000 New York City public school children to the world of opera through the study of an age-appropriate work each year. This year, artists collaborated with New York City school teachers on Where the Wild Things Are to demonstrate the basics of music and drama, and encourage students to create their own interpretations of the story through a visual arts project. Children participating in the Opera is Elementary program are all invited to attend a special performance of the opera for students earlier in the week. In addition, City Opera has teamed up with media and fashion mogul Russell Simmons, and NYSCA Council Chair Danny Simmons and their Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation to expand the visual arts project to Rush Kids/Teens.
The artwork created for the performance by children from City Opera’s education programs will be projected behind the singers as a backdrop for the concert on Saturday, April 9. The artwork will also be on display on the promenade level of the David H. Koch Theater. The performance will begin with a behind-the-scenes video of the creation of the artwork, which will include interviews with the students, singers and teaching artists, as well as creative team members. This concert will be performed in English with English supertitles and run one-hour with no intermission.
The matinee performance on Saturday, April 9 will be followed by a Family Benefit. All proceeds from the benefit will go to support City Opera’s acclaimed education programs in New York City public schools and its mission to bring music into the lives of thousands of students each year. For tickets and more information on the benefit please contact the New York City Opera Special Events department at 212.870.5595.
Tickets for the April 9 matinee performance of Where the Wild Things Are: $5, 10, 15, 20, 30, 40, 50. Tickets can be purchased by calling CenterCharge at 212.721.6500, online at nycOpera.com, or in person at the David H. Koch Theater Box Office ( 63rd St. & Columbus Ave). Recommended for Ages 5 and up.
You can win a pair of tickets to see Where the Wild Things Are today on The Culture Mom!