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Flora Wall as Sally in the world premiere of Joe Illick and Mark Campbells "Stone Soup." Photo: Ryan Scott Lathan

Teens Around Texas Are Connecting Through This Opera Club


by Mia Estrada 20 Jan 2021 6:00 AM

There’s a new teen opera club on the block. Except it’s virtual.

On Jan. 21, the Fort Worth Opera will host the fourth event by Teen Opera Club of Texas called “Storytelling, Stage Presence and Standing Ovations.”

 “Storytelling, Stage Presence and Standing Ovations. Jan. 21. Virtual. Details

The educational initiative was launched by the Texas Opera Alliance, a newly formed project by five leading Texas opera companies to keep the art form alive in the Lone Star State. The alliance includes opera companies in Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio. 

Opera companies can’t do their usual educational arts outreach in schools now, so the collaboration brings virtual programs to students. So far, nearly 70 students in North Texas and around the state are participating in the FWO event this month. Teens ages 13-19 can participate. 

Sheran Goodspeed Keyton, manager of education and community engagement at FWO, will host the event. 

Sheran Goodspeed Keyton. Photo by Aruna Tiruvengadam.

“Students don’t have to be opera singers, they can just have interest in being technical support, costumers, make-up artists,” Keyton said. “We welcome them because it’s not just about being an opera singer.” 

In this installment, students will learn about the importance of operatic storytelling, the authenticity in emotional expression, character motivation, stage presence and how to balance vocal virtuosity.

Keyton said an opera performance is more than just making beautiful sounds. The event will give students an insight into opera performing. 

“…While we want to know you have a beautiful voice when you’re out there as a performer, it’s way more important as a young performer that you can perform,” said Keyton.

Myles Garver, Heather Weirich, and Anne Wright in “Three Little Pigs Remix” at Fort Worth Opera’s Children’s Opera Theatre. Photo by Timothy Walker.

The one-hour, free workshop will include video presentations by stage directors Octavio Cradenas, David Gately and Steve D. Morris. Teens will then join an interactive Zoom session, led by Keyton at 6:30 p.m.

Students participating also have the chance to win a $25 Amazon or iTunes gift card. The person who has the most friends signed up and attend the session will win the contest. 

Each opera company will host a new session monthly. Next month, a program about printed music will be hosted by the Austin Opera. Students from all over the state can join. 


Got a tip? Email Mia Estrada at [email protected]. You can follow her on Twitter @miaaestrada.

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