“Little Red Walking Hood” introduces children to opera

MARQUETTE — The music department at Northern Michigan University hosted an opera experience for elementary-aged students and their families on Wednesday at Reynolds Recital Hall.



Seven students enrolled in the opera workshop course performed “Little Red Walking Hood,” a production created specifically to introduce young children to the world of opera. The opera was written to last about 45 minutes long to cater to a child’s attention span.

Before the show, the director and the cast also talked with the children about what an opera is, different elements in an opera and proper opera etiquette.

“Opera is a very challenging art form, in its full existence, it’s long and it’s for adults, and so forth, and yet, with a certain amount of work, people can grow to love it, they can grow to appreciate it. There’s all kinds of operas — long, short, funny, serious — getting over a little bit of that unfamiliarity or, perhaps, prejudice is helpful at a young age,” said Robert Engelhart, the director and pianist of Little Red Walking Hood and professor of the opera workshop course.

There were two showings of “Little Red Walking Hood” — a matinee at 10:00 a.m. and an evening performance at 7:30 p.m. The show was free and open to all ages.