Archived Stories for Union County Public Schools
A Night at the Opera!
On January 22, 2015, Kensington AIG students, along with their parents and teachers, went to the Blumenthal Theatre to watch a performance called Turandot. The story of Turandot is based on a character in Persian folklore and was set in Beijing in legendary times. The opera, performed in Italian, was partially written by Giacomo Puccini. Unfinished at the time of Puccini’s death in 1924, it was completed by Franco Alfano in 1926.
Turandot is a story about the Unknown Prince who wanted to marry China’s Princess Turandot. His challenge was to answer three riddles correctly. If the courageous prince failed to answer one of the riddles, he would receive a death sentence like many men before him. Many characters try to convince him not to pursue such a risk but he insists. The audience enjoyed the part where characters Ping, Pang, and Pong were making up ridiculous stories to tell the prince just so he would forget about the princess and keep moving on in his life. They brought humor to balance the events of the story.
Turandot was very complex and took a lot of thought. It helped to have background on the story and supertitles above the stage to understand the context. The students were excited to also understand some of the Italian words because they contained familiar latin stems studied in class.
This was a very thoughtful and meaningful opera put together by a bunch of tremendous actors! The show was incredible and, during intermission, the actors were kind to answer questions about performing opera. Most Kensington students had never been to an opera before and would enjoy going back to see another one!
Written by: Ruby Grace Williams, grade 5 student
Posted: Feb 02, 2015 by Rachel Clarke