Today we have a guest blog post from Lydie Thomas, of http://www.travelismorefunwithkids.com/.
My youngest daughter loves opera. We discovered this by accident when she was a young child. Since then, we have taken both kids every year to the San Francisco Opera for Families. They present shorten English version of classical operas (without cutting the quality). It is a nice way to enjoy opera without having to stay 3 hours. This year, the San Francisco Opera is presenting the Elixir of Love by Gaetano Donizetti.
We went last Saturday and we had a really nice time. It is very joyful and has a nice rhythm that will keep children entertained. I really encourage families to go.
(Synopsis from the opera website: The Elixir of Love for Families is a condensed two-hour version of Donizetti's delightful comedy in a charming production set in Napa Valley circa 1915. Sung in English with English dialogue, this special family opera retains all the sparkle and sweetness of Donizetti's score. The tale of shy Nemorino winning the heart of the beautiful Adina—with the help of a "love potion"—is a heartwarming celebration of innocence and love in a simpler time.)
Six tips to go to the opera with your children:
Do not take your children if they are too young. If your little ones do not last for a whole full length movie at the theater, chances are that they are not going to last long at the opera.
The opera says it is for families but it does not mean that you're entitled to chat, eat, or disturb people. It only means it is a shorter version of the original opera. Make sure that you tell your children about that.
Dress appropriately. There is no dress code for the SF opera. One could go in jeans if he wants. But children are never too young to learn about dressing for certain occasions. They, in fact, love it most of the times. Parents should be dressed up too. Make it special (because it is).
Bring binoculars, especially if you are sitting in the front tier, balcony or boxes.
Bring some snacks and drinks to enjoy during the intermission outside of the opera room. The hallways are a perfect place to have your snack.
Tell them about the story beforehand. They can read what the singers are singing on the screen but for younger children who can not read fluently, it is even more important to let them know in advance what’s going on. When a singer stops, people applaud. That is a great moment to brief your kid on what is going to come next. The opera ushers hand you a booklet telling about the singers and the story. Just retell it to your children. Or check the website beforehand.
What: The Elixir of Love Opera for Families
Where: 301 Van Ness Avenue
When: Saturday, November 15, 2008 at 12:30 p.m. (the show is 2 hours including intermission)
Tickets: Buy tickets online or call the Box Office (415) 864-3330.
Cost: $20-80 for adults, $10-40 for youth
Thank you Lydie of http://www.travelismorefunwithkids.com/!