Orcas High School Band students enjoyed an unforgettable night at the opera on January 26. A dozen excited student musicians, accompanied by Band Director Darren Dix and parent chaperones, made the trip to watch Seattle Opera’s last-night performance of Il Trovatore, Verdi’s masterpiece of love, passion and revenge, set during a time of Civil War.
“I really liked going to the opera,” said Willow White. “I was glad that there were subtitles so that you could actually understand the plot. Overall, I was surprised how much I liked it because it was not something that I would pick to go see on my own.”
A night at the opera may seem an unlikely outing of choice for teenagers, but these students had performed an excerpt from Il Trovatore at the High School Winter Concert this past December. Student interest in this opera grew when they learned that it was being performed in Seattle.
“I thought the Opera was a great experience because I could see how the music we played was supposed to sound and now I will be able to play the piece better. We also saw and heard the professional orchestra playing which was really impressive,” said Landon Carter.
When a student suggested the off-island trip in late January, Mr. Dix approached Orcas Island Education Foundation and Music Advocacy Group, which both agreed to share the costs of tickets and lodging, realizing what a unique and eye-opening art experience it would be.
“The Seattle Opera was a great experience which helped to relate my interest in music into opportunities outside of school,” explained Sofia Fleming. “Watching how different art forms combine into one cohesive, impactful performance was an amazing experience.”
Orcas High School Band and Strings musicians will be performing at the annual ‘100 Musicians! 1 Great Cause!’ 22nd Anniversary Benefit Concert for School Music at 3pm on Sunday, March 3, at the High School Gym. Be sure to mark your calendars for this uplifting concert which also features our island’s beloved music groups—Orcas Choral Society, Community Band and Island Sinfonia, who get together every year to put on a fun show that supports the music program in the public school.