Llama Pajamas and Spiders

By Victoria Remley

“Goldie B. Locks and the Three Singing Bears” performed by the Opera Western Reserve introduced children to opera with rhymes, positive messages and soup that was just right on March 31. Along with super gargantuan problems, the comedy also included a spider in llama pajamas.

David Vosburgh, the production director of Opera Western Reserve, said the production introduced students to live theatre, opera music and the sound of the operatic voice. It also gave students the experience of coming to the theatre.

“The experience of coming into a piece of architecture like [the Stambaugh Auditorium] is not usual,” he said. “There was a period of time where every bank looked like this. Now, they don’t. They look like bus stations.”

The vocalists in the production got a quality experience with professionals. They worked with music that required them to use their vocal techniques.

“You’re not learning crappy music. You’re learning good major opera music, like major composers,” Vosburgh said.

Rebecca Enlow, a music theory and composition graduate student who played Goldie B. Locks, said performing for a live audience is different than practicing music. She said she could feed off their laughter and reactions.

“Young kids [are not] afraid to shout things out and have fun,” she said.

“Goldie B. Locks and the Three Singing Bears” introduced opera positively. Enlow said it was a good way to get children involved and interested in classical music. She has worked with Opera Western Reserve for five years, and enjoys working with kids and likes to see the joy on their faces.

“I’m so glad that we have this tradition at Opera Western Reserve every year to have a fun way to expose the kids in the Youngstown area to classical music,” Vosburgh said.

Emilio Santiago, a senior vocal performance major who played the Baby Bear named Peak, said the Opera Western Reserve gives the Youngstown community the opportunity to see operas.

“It’s a good way to get into opera and hear some good classical music from local musicians,” he said.

The production gave Santiago a quality opportunity to perform in his career path.

“The faces on all the kids and giving autographs and stuff, that was really rewarding,” he said.

Performers often build up singing for a live audience in their head because they think about it frequently. Santiago said once someone starts doing this, it is not like they can just stop because they are too scared.

“You have to keep going, and that energy you build up is what drives you through to the end,” he said.

Mary Ann Infante from Austintown, Ohio, said the production was wonderful.

“I enjoyed the kids as much as I did what was on the stage and the music and everything. The voices I thought were wonderful. They were very, very good,” she said.