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Local Students Sing Opera

khts_schools_chalkboardThe Los Angeles Opera is bringing a version of their production to elementary schools in Santa Clarita.

The L.A. Opera has been working with children from Helmers, Castaic, North Park and Leona Cox elementary schools to produce a 45 minute version of Mozart's famous composition "The Marriage of Figaro," called the "Marriage of Figueroa."

The show is an opera within an opera, according the Eli Villanueva, Resident Stage Director of Stage Direction and Community Programs for the L.A. Opera.

The children work with four professional artists in workshops for acting, singing, costume design and others to produce the show, which will be shown to their peers.

The children involved at each school, will also be singing the chorus during the production.

"We have an opportunity for thousands of kids to receive the benefit of this program," said Adam Philipson, Managing Director of the Performing Arts Center.

On Monday the L.A. Opera preformed with the students at Helmers Elementary, and today the production moved to Castaic Elementary.

As more and more schools continue to cut art programs, this conjunction between the L.A Opera, the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center and local school districts look to merge learning with arts, according to Philipson.

The Performing Arts Center uses their program, the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center K-12 Arts Education Outreach, to bring artists through scholarships and grants to make a strong impact on local schools.

In total more than 250 kids will get hands on experience in the production, but it will be viewed by an estimated 1000 students.

"The joy on the children's faces, and the excitement that I watched yesterday at the show at Helmers, is great joy," said Philipson.  "It opens them up to something that they never knew or heard about."

Next week the show will move to North Park Elementary and Leona Cox Elementary, but it doesn't end there, children are invited to go see a full production at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.

The L.A Opera has been bringing their productions to schools in the L.A County for 18 years, according to Villanueva.