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Bucyrus Campus

Opera Proves Contagious for All Ages

By March 24, 20172 Comments2 min read

There was plenty of kidding around on March 24, when the Florentine Opera performed for an enthusiastic audience of adults and children at the Bucyrus Campus. As part of their Opera in the Schools program, four artists-in-residence presented “The Billy Goats Gruff,” an operatic version of the beloved children’s story based on scenes from operas by Mozart, Donizetti and Rossini.

In the engaging adaptation, an after-school game of hide-and-seek is ruined for three billy goat friends when a big bully blocks a bridge, preventing them from being able to go home. Remembering what their moms, dads and teachers have told them about dealing with bullies, two boy billy goats resolve to go home a different, longer way and share their difficulties with grownups. The littlest girl goat, however, not wanting to abandon the beloved doll that’s been snatched from her, tromps to the crest of the bridge and, confronting the bully, prevails by inadvertently pushing him into the creek below. Concerned for his well-being, she shows her would-be adversary kindness by asking if he’s OK. He responds by asking if she’s OK. By the time the two boys return with help, she’s able to introduce a soggy, forlorn ex-bully as their new friend.

The opera ends with a message that rings true for all ages—kindness is contagious.

The day care children were enchanted by the whimsical costumes and the colorful bridge that was the centerpiece of the scenery. They all agreed the “bully” goat was very scary and were quite relieved when he learned the importance of being respectful, fair, kind and true.

Featured singers included four artists-in-residence: Ariana Douglas, soprano, Ashley Puenner, mezzo-soprano, tenor Thomas Leighton and Leroy Y. Davis, bass. Ruben Piirainen provided accompaniment.

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