I used to think opera only appealed to an older audience. But my daughter, who is 10, has made me think otherwise. After participating in L.A. Opera’s summer camp two years ago, she expressed interest in seeing an opera performance at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. We obliged – with hesitation, I admit, unsure whether we could all sit through it – and were delighted to experience the opera through Avery’s eyes. We marveled at the beauty of this classic art form, the talent of the performers and the attention to detail in the sets, props and costumes.
We’ve been to a handful of performances since then, and opera has become a family activity we all look forward to, thanks to L.A. Opera.
L.A. Opera’s outreach to families commands a standing ovation. The company hosts a summer Opera Camp, Opera Tales performances at local libraries, Saturday Mornings at the Opera and the Domingo Family Program, which includes family activities before select performances and a dessert reception/meet-and-greet with the cast after the show.
Experience the next Domingo Family event at the matinee performance of Giacomo Puccini’s “La Bohème” at 2 p.m. May 22.
The opera, appropriate for ages 9 and up, is set in Paris in the 1800s (you can see the Eiffel Tower under construction in the background) and tells the story of six young bohemians, their struggles and quest for love. The plot may sound familiar because the Tony award-winning musical “Rent” is based on this Puccini classic. English translations are projected above the stage for those of us whose Italian is a little rusty.
Tickets for ages 9-17 are half-price with the purchase of an adult ticket, and include pre-show activities at 12:30 p.m. and post-performance meet-and-greet at 4:30 p.m.
La Bohème runs through June 12 at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and features Nino Machaidze as Mimi (on all dates except May 19 and 25), along with a spectacular adult cast, 16 singers from the L.A. Children’s Chorus, two child acrobats and four child actors – one of whom “dragged” us to the opera two years ago.
Gustavo Dudamel will make his L.A. Opera debut conducting the last two performances June 10 and 12.
To purchase specially priced children’s tickets for Domingo Family Day call the box office at 213.972.8001. For more information on L.A. Opera family activities and events, visit www.laopera.org/family.