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Local News

March 13, 2014

Tulsa Opera performs at Emerson Elementary

DUNCAN — Local students got an introduction to opera music Wednesday when the Tulsa Opera troupe performed at Emerson Elementary.

The group of five traveling troupe members performed “The Coyotes and the Rabbits.” The performance was followed by a question-and-answer session directed at encouraging students to follow their passions and to keep working to improve their talents.

“For all of us, (our talent) it’s still growing,” said Whitney Hollis, who played the piano for the Tulsa Opera troupe. “If you like to sing now, stick with it. You only get better.”

The story line for “The Coyotes and the Rabbits” was presented as a way of encouraging students to read. There were two coyotes and two rabbits. Of the coyotes, one didn’t think reading was important and was outsmarted by the rabbits on multiple occasions. The other coyote, cousin of the first, was able to explain how his cousin was outsmarted by explaining the things he learned from reading books.

The troupe’s visit to Emerson Elementary marks the 41st performance of “The Coyotes and the Rabbits” by the Tulsa Opera. In all, the singers will perform the production to 50 groups of elementary students.

Tim Petty, one of the performers, said more than 20,000 children will see the performance by the time the traveling program is done. Hollis said the group started working on the production individually after receiving the music in August 2013.

Stefan Barner, another performer, told the students he enjoys opera because of the various artistic elements required to bring it together. Barner said there’s musical arts, ranging from singing and musical instruments, and visual arts, including set design.

“You have people from all types of arts,” Barner said. “It kind of brings together all types of art forms.”

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