Want to sing like Pavarotti? Opera Classes Coming to Vancouver-Area High School

A Vancouver Opera production of Verdi's Aida from 2012

A Vancouver Opera production of Verdi’s Aida from 2012

Earlier this year, it was announced that computer coding would be integrated into the curriculum at schools across British Columbia. But one Vancouver-area district is now offering its students a decidedly more old-school option.

Starting next fall, grade 8-12 students in the Delta School District will be able to enrol in opera classes. They’ll have a unique chance to study alongside professionals from the Vancouver Opera, belting out the classics in Italian, French and German.

The program represents a first-of-its-kind partnership in Canada between an internationally known opera company and a public high school, according to the Vancouver Sun. Students will have the chance to learn not just voice but also acting and script- and score-writing, studying with the same pros who grace the Vancouver Opera stages. 

Vancouver Opera's summer camp program

Vancouver Opera’s summer camp program

The Delta School District was a logical partner for the unique program. Delta has a highly regarded program in musical theatre. With the new opera offering, which stems from Vancouver Opera’s popular summer camp, students will have the chance to delve into a much older art form, with more sophisticated musical roots. Best of all: they’ll get credit towards graduation at the same time.

But getting into the program may not be easy. Space has been allocated for an expected 25 students. And while opera might not seem like a coveted course, its multidisciplinary nature makes it attractive to a broad range of students interested in everything from acting to singing, dancing and even sword-fighting. Administrators expect the program will draw teens from theatre, dance, band, choir and visual arts classes.

A Vancouver Opera production of Pirates of Penzance from 2012

A Vancouver Opera production of Pirates of Penzance from 2012

Students who participate in the opera program can expect a rigorous introduction to a centuries-old art form. Every other afternoon, two blocks of classes will be dedicated to the fundamentals of singing, acting and writing. Students will also attend dress rehearsals at the Vancouver Opera, partake in apprentice programs and even participate in the Vancouver Opera Festival 2017.

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