Opera camp for kids sings in Williamsburg
It’s the second year that Lyric Opera Virginia will present its Children’s Summer Opera and Musical Theater Camp, but the first time its been offered in Williamsburg. That’s thanks to a grant from the Williamsburg Community Foundation. Parents have been signing their kids up to participate in a fun week filled with music and movement.
The camp will be held 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday-Saturday, July 14-19 at the Historic Triangle Community Center on Waller Mill Road. The camp is open to children ages 8–18. Tuition is $45 per child, which, according to camp director Jennifer Burroughs, is significantly less expensive than last year, thanks to the grant.
Burroughs, who directed the camp last year, is excited to bring the program here. The camp will be led by Broadway stage director Greg Ganakas and Lyric Opera Virginia’s music director, Joe Walsh. The week of activities will feature children’s chorus scenes from famous operas and Broadway shows. The program will culminate with a performance Saturday evening.
“It is an amazing experience,” Burroughs said. “Joe and Greg are invested in the kids. They really work with each kid. If your child loves music, it is a great place to be. At the end they present a production that looks like they have been working on it for months.”
Walsh said the camp grew out of a production of “The King and I” Lyric Opera presented in its first season. Hundreds of kids auditioned and were subsequently involved in that show.
“We were thrilled about what that experience did for the children,” Walsh said. “They loved being on stage and working beside top performers. We conceived the camp to bring the works of opera and Broadway together for a week.”
Registration for the camp has been brisk. Up to 40 kids are expected to participate, including approximately 15 kids from the WJCC Community Action Agency.
“Registration is going very well,” said Reba Bolden, of the WJCC Community Action Agency. “We are looking forward to a full camp.”
What’s great about the camp this year, Bolden noted, is that it allows kids who may not normally have the opportunity to participate.
“A lot of these kids are very talented, and you never know where it can go from there,” Bolden said. “They will be trying something they have never tried before. Sometimes it is hard to get kids to try something new. If it is getting them to do something besides video games, I am all for it.”
Walsh said participants will learn musical pieces in different languages, including French and Italian. Scenes will include children’s chorus scenes from famous operas including “Barber of Seville” and “Hansel and Gretel.” Songs from Broadway will include shows “Oliver!” and “The King and I.” They will showcase their accomplishments in the capping performance.
Kids will learn various aspects of the theatrical world.
“Part of the experience is learning the discipline of theater,” Walsh said. “They will learn how to rehearse something and the idea of teamwork that is so important in an ensemble.”
Campers will learn stage movement, vocal exercises and basics of choreography. Any child with a penchant for theater can benefit.
“We open this up to kids who already have experience in theater from their schools but also to kids who have a flair for it and want to get their first taste of performing,” Walsh said.
More? E-mail caa@wjccactionagency.org. Completed applications and forms may be scanned and e-mailed or mailed to Children’s Camp-Lyric Opera Virginia, WJCC Community Action Agency, 312 Waller Mill Road, Suite 405, Williamsburg, VA 23185 or faxed to 757-229-9336 with Proof of Identity (a copy of a birth certificate, passport or Virginia public school report card). More information at 229-9332 or 757 635-4366.