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Opera for a 6 year old

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Question about my dd6. She has a great attention span and just yesterday she was my date to a performance of Beethoven's 9th by the local orchestra. Even though we were there for over 2 hours and it didn't even start until close to her bedtime, she did fabulously and hasn't stopped talking about it since.


I just found out that I can get her and I comp. tickets to the opera. Problem is only two operas are running and neither sounds particularly kid-friendly. I'd hate to pass on free tickets though...

I know almost nothing about opera. Has anyone here seen either of these.... Thoughts?





The Pearl Fishers



Georges Bizet


Set in legendary Sri Lanka, the story follows two men whose vow of eternal friendship is threatened when the object of their mutual desires suddenly returns igniting a dangerous triangle of forbidden love.


A King for a Day (Un giorno di regno)



Giuseppe Verdi


In Verdi's comic second opera, the King of Poland hides from his enemies by asking an unknown knight to impersonate him, leading to a series of amorous intrigues.

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At 6, I think children wont pick up on the not kid-friendly elements. My husband received his masters from Manhattan School of Music. He has been classically trained with an emphasis in opera and teaches voice lessons online. He tells me...Yes, operas on the whole tend to involve inappropriate situations, but they are usually approached in a very subtle way. Also they are often sung in a foreign language as well, giving your daughter even less chance of being unduly exposed. Translate as you wish according to the child's age. The experience would be wonderful! There is such a sad lack to arts in our world today, that I think it ought to be fostered where ever it can be found! If she loved the performance before, it would be sad to miss this opportunity!

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Just for your trivia, there are some nice children's retellings of operas you can use with her. Fiery has a book and Clyde Bulla has two. I checked my copies, and those two don't appear to be in Fiery or Bulla. I know nothing about them to have an opinion. You might try youtube just to get a preview or look up the stories on Wikipedia. The Met has a nice book of opera summaries as well. (actually it has two volumes) That's how my dd has been doing opera this year, reading summaries and watching them on youtube. It has been quite fun for her. I think if you can get the tix for free or low cost, you might as well. Worst that happens is she decides only to stay halfway. Definitely find some summaries of the plot to read ahead so she has a sense of what's going on.

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This doesn't answer your question at all but a nice book about a few operas (not the ones you mentioned, though) for that age is The Barefoot Book of Stories from the Opera by Sharukh Husain, ill. by James Mayhew. (I really love all Barefoot Books that we have!)


The CD does not have much music (it's mostly narration of the stories) on it but the book lists the recordings of the brief excerpts.

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