Opera ahoy!
by TP staff
Nov 08, 2012 | 1932 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
SF Opera Guild at St. Bernard's
San Francisco Opera Guild’s Michael Desnoyers sings along with St. Bernard’s Mikala Slotnick during a scene from the “Pirates of Penzance” production at St. Bernard’s on Wednesday, Nov. 7.  Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
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Pirates and damsels in distress filled the stage at St. Bernard’s Catholic School on Wednesday, Nov. 7, as a cast from the San Francisco Opera Guild was joined by students to perform the comedy opera “Pirates of Penzance” in Father Fleming Hall.

For more than 10 years, members of the guild have performed an opera at the school and invited St. Bernard’s students to join them onstage.

This year, 21 students from Ashley Willits’ performing arts class joined in the production. The sixth- to eighth-graders took speaking and acting roles and formed a chorus that performed during some of the songs.

“The entire school looks forward to this,” Willits said. “Not everyone is exposed to opera, so this is a once-in-a-lifetime event.”

Her class rehearsed for the opera for two months.

“It’s a good way for them to practice their musicianship,” Willits said. “They learn stage skills, how to read music and speaking before a crowd — skills they can carry on later in life.”

On Wednesday, young members of the cast spent about an hour fine-tuning their lines and fight scenes before taking the stage before their classmates and parents.

A pianist accompanied the performers as opera guild members Shawnette Sulker, Michael Taylor and Michael Desnoyers led the students through the 45-minute opera.

• Contact Glenn Moore at 830-4252 or gmoore@tracypress.com.

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