In early November students at all four Burlington Area School District elementary schools were transformed from landlubbers into respectable pirates! Opera For the Young (OFTY) presented The Pirates of Penzance at all the schools though a funding partnership between Music Matters, Inc. and the PTO of each school. This partnership has made OFTY presentations possible at BASD schools for the past seven years.
OFTY is an independent 501(c)3 nonprofit organization based in Madison, WI dedicated to encouraging enthusiasm for opera among children and young adults by conducting school-based performances which involve the students in the production instead of simply as members of the audience. They also provide professional opportunities for artists, create new works that are intended for young audiences, and through their activities increase access to opera in the community.
In preparation for the program, OFTY provided teaching materials for all classes. This year, the third grade students learned The Pirates of Penzance script and music. The the rest of the school was introduced to the characters and story. Therefore, on the day of the performance, all of the students were already familiar with the story, characters, music, and could be highly engaged with the cast from OFTY. In addition, everyone could participate by dressing as a pirate on the day of the performance.
The following pictures are from Cooper School.