LA Opera’s renowned elementary in-school opera program, “The Marriage of Figueroa,” will be performed at North Park Elementary School on Feb. 19 at 1:45 p.m.
LA Opera has been in residence at North Park Elementary School since the end of January, teaching the fourth grade classes of Mr. Iblings, Mrs. Roberts and Mrs. Buehler roles in the opera. On February 19, students and LA Opera professionals will perform the opera for the other students in the school, parents, and interested community members.
“The Marriage of Figueroa” was written by Eli Villanueva and LeRoy Villanueva especially for LA Opera and is based on Mozart’s “The Marriage of Figaro.”
The students and teachers throughout LA County have been working with LA Opera professionals in a five-week residency to learn their roles in The Marriage of Figueroa, one of LA Opera’s extensive education and community engagement programs, which is being performed a total of 28 times at 11 other Los Angeles-area public elementary schools.
“The Marriage of Figueroa” takes place in historic Alta (Upper) California at the fictional Mission Aguas Frescas where everyone is preparing for the wedding of Gov. Jose Figueroa. Gov. Figueroa enters and proclaims that he will take their beloved mission and make it his own home and the campesinos are expected to fix it up for him – for free. The campesinos use Mozart’s opera, “The Marriage of Figaro,” to show the Governor the error of his selfish ways. The opera within this opera reveals the truth about Figueroa’s greed, and through Mozart’s music the townspeople help him realizes that stealing doesn’t pay, restoring joy and harmony to the town.
The Educational Program
What do students gain?
* Self discipline and cooperation while working as an ensemble
* Trust in each other to reach a common goal
* The ability to follow directions on and off the stage
* Music fundamentals and basic vocal technique
* Theater fundamentals and basic staging
* A working understanding of how to read and follow a libretto
* The ability to integrate several art disciplines into a well-organized performance
* The ability to use the vocabulary of opera and theater to describe their experience
* Focused work in articulation, pronunciation and memorization, while exploring a story connected to the school curriculum
What do teachers gain?
* An opportunity to support student exposure to and participation in the arts
* Techniques for incorporating the arts into their classrooms
* A comprehensive study guide with lesson plans and support materials to integrate this opera into curriculum studies of California history, geography and more