The Vancouver DAREarts kids from Grandview, Strathcona, Britannia Community School and Queen Alexandra schools were treated to a performance of Vancouver Opera’s “The Magic Flute”. This was a reunion for the 27 students and teachers as artists who gathered last November in Vancouver’s DAREarts Nee-tum-ochi-bek Aboriginal two week workshop.
“Vancouver Opera is pleased to open the doors of our new home, the O’Brian Centre for Vancouver Opera to the schools in our community”, stated Tom Wright, Vancouver Opera’s Acting General Director and Director of Artistic Planning. “DAREarts is an innovator in using the arts to ignite change, and we’re excited to be the theatre partner for this year’s program and proud that it is designed around our Fist Nations inspired Magic Flute.”
The DAREarts teaching team had opportunities to touch base with the students over the three month break between the workshop and the performance. The reunion was that much sweeter for the students to see each other on this special occasion. Trish De Luca, DAREarts Vancouver Co-ordinator, was delighted with her students. “We had a wonderful time seeing them again, they were all very happy to be back and so excited to see the opera. The tour the Vancouver Opera provided was amazing and the kids were so respectful throughout the entire evening.”
What the students saw was a re-imagining of Mozart’s masterpiece from a Coast Salish perspective. It was the perfect way to revisit the work they did last November. “Hands down this program has been a real confidence builder for my students…would definitely do it again.” Said a Strathcona teacher, who shared that his students still apply DAREarts learning in their classroom, three months after that initial two-week workshop.
In addition to the performance, the students received a back-stage tour. They saw each other in the same room and re-lived their experiences and caught each other up on their year so far. Linda Carson took delight in watching them reunite. “It was amazing to witness how excited, happy, bright-eyed and motivated our students were as they gathered at 5 to spend some time together before the opera. I had wondered how it would work with the three month break between the session and the performance but in retrospect – the schedule provided a great opportunity for us to touch base with the students and for the students themselves to be reminded of their leadership skills.” This is a far cry from the shy kids who sat in a circle and had to be coaxed into introducing themselves to each other. The kids who sat in the audience of The Magic Flute are more confident, expressive, DAREing!