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The children of Denver saved from perdition.

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#1 Ed Waffle

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Posted 08 May 2003 - 03:03 PM

Link below.

A few questions:

1) What are sixth graders doing at a performance of Don Giovanni? While some preteens may enjoy and even benefit from such an outing, it is not the opera for schools matinee.

2) How seriously should the indignation of the parents of the sixth graders be taken? And did these parents have any idea of the nature of the work they were attending?

3) The scene in question is one in which the Don is shown at his most vile. If anyone in the audience still empathizes with him after this scene, that person should also be dragged down to hell by the statue of the Commendatore. In this scene Don Giovanni satisfies his hunger and his lust almost simultaneously and on the same table. It is meant to shock and disgust (and possibly be funny, which it can be and still work). A food fight could not have the same stark effect.


#2 Leigh Witchel

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Posted 08 May 2003 - 08:26 PM

Ed, I've got to admit, I'm still stuck on question one.

Why were they doing Don Giovanni for a school performance, and if they were, don't you think the mature nature of the opera would be discussed with potential school groups before hand?

Good grief, it isn't Hansel and Gretel.

#3 nlkflint



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Posted 09 May 2003 - 02:35 AM

I think that the article mentioned these were homeschooled kids invited to the dress rehearsal. My guess is that there was no formal school system involved in the decision to let these kids go. There were parents who home school who had no clue what this opera was about. Sounds like no good preparation either, no researching the plot etc.

I have seen wonderful kids come out of wonderful home schooling situations. I have also seem some situations where where parents didn't do their "homework", and/or felt that their sixth grader was "mature" and ahead of other sixth graders and so they jumped at the chance at exposing their child to opera, "especially since they would not get this exposure in the public school system."

And this is the result.

#4 dirac


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Posted 12 May 2003 - 03:24 PM

Oy. I'm sure nlkflint is correct and the core problem here lies with clueless parents. What's even weirder is that they would attend the rehearsal, presumably look at a handout with an outline of the story, etc., and still find nothing problematic for their kids until this scene.

As for the substitution of a wholesome, family friendly "food fight"-- no comment necessary.

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