An anti-bullying operatic journey about finding self confidence for grades 4-9
Four singers (soprano, mezzo, tenor, baritone) and one pianist present a 50 minute participatory musical play that follows Andy in his journey to discover his metaphorical and physical voice.
Andy, a 9th grader, is troubled. He is picked on in class and has a hard time making friends. During a test, he gets in trouble for cheating when really it is the other kids that are copying off his paper. Too timid to stand up for himself, and afraid to confront the other kids at school, Andy returns home, dejected.
That evening he is visited by three spirits who help him discover how music and stories can open a world of expression and joy to him. First he meets Papageno from The Magic Flute, who demonstrates with the help of the magic ladies, how to overcome “the locked mouth”, then composer Giuseppi Verdi, who shows how creating music can unite people and give voice to the most under- recognized as we journey into Italian History and the Golden Age of Opera.
Finally, Andy encounters Cio-Cio-San from Madame Butterfly, and her plight. He is so moved by her story that he helps her realize that there is a better way to end her story. As he helps empower Butterfly, Andy finds his own glorious tenor voice, as well as the confidence needed to assert himself in his community.
During this delightful show, students are introduced to the origins and history of opera, entertained by arias and duets from grand opera repertoire, learn a bit about vocal technique and singing, and participate in singing ”Va Pensiero” from Verdi’s Nabucco.
Script, Music, and Study Materials
available for this production.
How Andy Found His Voice
By Caroline Altman
Featuring music by Mozart, Verdi, Puccini, Delibes, Rossini, and more!
How Andy Found His Voice was first produced by San Francisco Opera Guild in 2011 at Cal State Northridge. The cast (above, at the Herbst Theatre, San Francisco) featured Jennifer Ashworth, Mark Hernandez, Nicole Takesono, and Andy Truett.
"I was one of the parent chaperones today from the 4th grade from Town School for Boys.
I was so impressed with the performance you prepared and orchestrated for the students.
It was fantastic! I thought it was accessible thematically, and the performers were terrific.
I am so impressed at how much opera history and opera classics you incorporated.
In every way, this was an enormous treat for the students and adults alike!"
-4th Grade parent
"How Andy Found His Voice" is a real gift to the cause of Arts Education and the well being of children. I loved it and was sitting between two adults that were both brought to tears. All the students around me were completely engaged. Caroline has a great gift."
-San Francisco Opera Guild Board Member
"I found it engaging and moving. I loved it when Andy told Cio Cio San he hated how her story ended and encouraged her to speak her heart.... the show is powerful. If you reached only one of those kids, it would be enough. You certainly reached me! The audience was very engaged in Andy's trials and tribulations so I think you hit the mark."
-San Francisco Opera Guild Board Director