Opera Theatre Goes to School


Opera Theatre of the Rockies announces registration for its
2017 Opera Theatre Goes to School Program
W.S. Gilbert & Sir Arthur Sullivan’s The Mikado


school2COURSE/CREDIT: We invite you to participate in this award-winning arts education program.  Now in its 19th year, any teacher may apply, regardless of area of study or grade level.  It’s simple and easy!  You can take the course for credit and receive one full graduate continuing education credit or in-service credit if you complete the following requirements: 1) First, attend the teachers’ continuing education class offered on Monday evening, March 13, 2017 from 4:00-8:00 pm at Academy School District 20 Offices, 1110 Chapel Hills Drive, Colorado Springs, CO 80920. Valerie Nicolosi and Martile Rowland will present the class.  2) Bring at least ten students to the May 11, 2017 student performance (Armstrong Hall, Colorado College)  3) Write a brief Course Evaluation.  Other elements of the program include Curriculum Resources which are provided to assist you with incorporating opera into your classroom studies and the possibility of arranging to host an In-school Opera Musical Preview.  Online credit registration information is provided once you indicate you are taking the class for credit on your Application Form.

COST: $25 which includes the March 13 Teacher’s Class (dinner is served), one full continuing education graduate credit or in-service credit through Academy School District 20 Learning Services and one free teacher pass to attend the May 11 student performance.  This year’s production is the comic opera, Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Mikado presented in collaboration with the Chamber Orchestra of the Springs.  It will be fully-staged, costumed, with sets and chorus.  It is in English.

(School Performance at Armstrong Hall, Colorado College, NE Cache la Poudre & Cascade Avenue, Thursday, May 11, 2017 at 7:00 pm)  

BACKGROUND: Learn a great deal about British lyricist, W. S. Gilbert & Sir Arthur Sullivan and their form of satire during the late 1800s.  Commissioned by Richard D’Oyly Carte, The Mikado premiered in 1885 at the Savoy Theater in London to rave reviews.  It remains one of the most popular of all Gilbert and Sullivan works, and is performed all over the world by both professional opera companies and theaters. It is set in a fictional locale in Japan and uses Japanese culture to make fun of British politics, institutions and social mores.

PLOT: Specifically, the story centers around a young couple, a disguised young man, Nanki-Poo who is searching for a young woman named Yum-Yum, whom he was struck by a year ago and wishes to marry.  Unfortunately she is betrothed to her guardian, Ko-Ko.  Confusion ensues as Nanki-Poo reveals his true identity as the son of the Mikado to

Yum-Yum.  As the two young lovers face the hopelessness of their circumstance, they feel there is no solution to their doomed situation. 

Other characters’ involvement only complicates things, making matters worse. We see the characters trying to find strength as they must overcome challenges of condemnation based on the Japanese culture, and other customs of the Mikado’s law.


Once again, you will receive a CD of opera excerpts to help you.

PROGRAM DETAILS You will receive curriculum ideas and activities (for multiple disciplines) to help you incorporate opera into your classrooms.  We encourage you to introduce the opera characters and story line to students before the in-school musical preview performance and live student performance.

IN-SCHOOL PREVIEWS: We will schedule the in-school musical previews from  March 27 to May 8, 2017 so you have time to get approval from your school administration.  Opera Theatre lead singers, a program director and pianist come to your school and present an interactive workshop featuring excerpts from Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado. Please remember to indicate your best dates on the Application Form. We ask that at least two teachers from a school or several from your district bring students together for the The Mikado show at your school.  We can only perform approximately 10-12 shows total, so sign up soon to arrange for your in-school musical preview. 

Remember, you must bring at least 10 students to the May 11th performance. There will be costumes, props, sets, chorus and orchestra. You must register to take the class in order to receive your 10 student passes to the performance.  Each student pays $5 each for their opera pass.  Please bring a $50 check (10 students) made out to Opera Theatre of the Rockies to the class on March 13 to receive your student passes that night.  You can collect the money from your students later. Student participation fee in Opera Theatre Goes to School is $5 per student.  SPACE IS LIMITED. Register soon.

For more program information, visit Opera Theatre’s web site at www.operatheatreoftherockies.org or contact Valerie Nicolosi at [email protected] or call her at 719-368-8622.  Opera Theatre’s number is 570-1950. The application and program summary may be found on the web site as well.  For credit questions, email  Ruthi Manning-Freeman at [email protected] or call her at 234-1338   Please see the Application Form for further details about signing up for course credit.

Please share this with your colleagues and we hope you will join us for the program.


2017 OTR School ApplicationFINAL 2017 School Program Description

2017 OTR School ApplicationFINAL