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Linda Cajigas
Jacobs School of Music

Last modified: Wednesday, November 18, 2009

IU Jacobs School of Music and Bloomington Area Arts Council collaborate on program

WHAT: Opera Tease
WHEN: Nov. 19-20, 2009
WHO: Bloomington Area Arts Council and the Jacobs School of Music
WHERE John Waldron Arts Center and the Musical Arts Center

Nov. 18, 2009

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Bloomington Area Arts Council (BAAC) and the Jacobs School of Music announce "Opera Tease," a collaborative, two-day educational program for middle school and high school students, with a focus on musical and production aspects of opera.

A scene from "Die Zauberflote (The Magic Flute)"

Print-Quality Photo

Opera Tease is the brainchild of BAAC employee Bernie Oakley. A former opera singer who debuted at the Detroit Opera Theatre and performed a European tour of Porgy and Bess, her motivation behind the program was to involve high school students and others in opera.

"I wanted to show the community that opera is really an event of today's times," explained Oakley. "I wanted to involve people who have never experienced opera and to help them understand the relevance of the art form in their individual lives."

The first day of Opera Tease will outline the various elements that are required to create a successful opera. A presentation by Maria Levy, executive administrator of IU Opera and Ballet Theater, will familiarize students with the history of Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute) and discuss the administrative challenges of bringing together staff and students from the departments of music, art, dance and theatre for a single production.

Set and costume designer C. David Higgins, a professor at the Jacobs School of Music, will talk to students about the new production and its concept. Students will have the opportunity to look at sketches for costumes before seeing them on stage, view set models and ask questions. Musical excerpts from Die Zauberflöte, including the famous Queen of the Night aria, will be performed by IU Opera students Meredith Taylor, Mark Davies and Shannon Love.

On the second day of Opera Tease, students and teachers will attend a full performance of Die Zauberflöte at the Musical Arts Center. Before the performance, a backstage tour will give students an in-depth look at the "behind-the-curtain" activities before an opera.

Attendees for the first Opera Tease are 31 students from Aurora Alternative High School, Bloomington High School North, Jackson Creek Middle School, Lighthouse Christian Academy and St. Charles Catholic School.

Opera Tease programming will continue in spring 2010 during Arts Week and the IU production of La Rondine (The Swallow).

For more information about Opera Tease, please contact Amra Catovic at or call 812-334-3100.

For more information about the Jacobs School of Music, see

For more information about The Bloomington Area Arts Council, see