Listen to the story that aired on KERA FM:
Seven-year-old Will Moore likes opera. A lot. The North Texas boy saw his first opera, “Magic Flute,” when he was just 5.
He studies opera composers on his iPod, thanks to an app called Master Opera.
After he’s seen an opera, Will sometimes likes to read the summary of it in the “Grove Book of Opera.”
“But if I haven’t seen it, I don’t,” he said. “Because I want to surprise myself.”
And he’s a fan of all kinds of classical music. Last year’s Christmas present? A CD of all the music that Wilhelm Furtwängler conducted.
“There are 100 discs in this.”
He corrects himself: “I mean, 107.”
Loves seeing opera in person
Will watches opera DVDs at home. But he loves attending live performances. He even begs his parents, Geoffrey and Susan Moore, to take him out of town to see them. And he’s a regular at the Met Live broadcasts in local movie theaters.
His three favorite operas? “Les Troyans,” “Carmen” and “Francesca Da Rimini.”
He’s pretty straightforward about the appeal.
“I really like the music and the singing,” he said. “I don’t exactly know why, but in a lot of parts, the music just makes me feel happy.”
A birthday present: Seeing the Seattle Opera — in Seattle
Will’s also got a little obsession with Wagner’s “Ring” cycle.
“I saw the old Met Ring and the new Met Ring, and also the one in Seattle,” he said. “But I only saw the one in Seattle live.”
That’s right. After watching the Ring on DVD, he asked his parents to take him to the Seattle Opera for his birthday last year. He wanted to see it live.
“I watched all four operas,” he says. “And there was only one time when I fell asleep. I fell asleep during Siegfried.”
His parents, who are divorced, support Will’s passion. They both love music, too. Geoffrey Moore used to work in the education department at the Dallas Opera. These days, he lives in University Park and he’s pursuing a doctorate in theology at SMU. Susan Moore, who lives in Lakewood, works as a business manager at a financial consulting firm.
They both encourage all of Will’s interests – he likes to read, play piano and watch movies. He recently went camping. He likes other music, like jazz, and one particular traditional song is a favorite.
“I really like ‘The Bear Went Over the Mountain’,” he says, giggling.
He tries to convert his friends
But opera is his favorite. His parents don’t push it. Will is the one begging, sometimes nagging, to go. They just happen to have the car that can get him there.
Even with supportive parents, it’s not always easy being an opera fan in first grade. He’s tried to convert a few friends.
“That hasn’t worked very well,” Will admits. “They were like, ‘I totally don’t like this; Why did you ask me?’ and I was like, ‘Hey, I just thought you might like it if you listened to it.'”
But he perseveres. He’s thinking about being a doctor when he grows up. No matter what he does, he’s pretty sure he’ll find a place for music in his life.
“Because I like opera so much,” he said, “I just feel like I’ll never stop liking it.”