On Thursday, November 17, Opera Orlando presented “All Is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914” in the Sandra O. Stephens Fine Arts Center at Montverde Academy. Students from the Middle School and the Fine Arts Conservatory were able to attend this incredible performance.
Mrs. Emilie Fracker, Associate Dean of the Middle School, said, “We think it’s important for our students to be exposed to many forms of art and to learn how to behave as a polite audience member and show appreciation for the performers.”
Dylan Bova, a Middle School Conservatory student, said, “The opera was truly an amazing experience. As a choir student, I loved all of the songs in which all of the men harmonized because they all blended so well together, from the highest tenor to the lowest bass. I also really loved how I was able to learn more about history during the show. The cast portrayed the emotions so well. It was wonderful.”
Nidhi Krishna, who is also a Middle School Conservatory student, said, “I personally am a singer, and that opera was just a wonderful sight. I sing in a choir, and I have never been able to hear every part throughout the songs so well. The energy of the performers never slowed down, and the whole show was just so fun to watch. I loved how they used real quotes from soldiers in the war as a part of the opera. Overall, I would love to watch this opera again any day!”
This opera had something for everyone. Evan Willis, an eighth grader at MVA who loves history, said, “I never realized how truly amazing this experience was. I am so grateful for this opportunity. For a person that’s so intrigued with history, this was a great way to explain it. It was truly a Christmas miracle. I made a point to my friend that I never really enjoyed operas, but this was by far my favorite opera I’ve ever seen. Thank you, Mrs. Fracker, for this amazing experience, and thanks to the cast for being so well performed!”
Not only was this event a wonderful opportunity for our Middle School students (those who are in the Conservatory and those who are not), but it was also a great opportunity for our Upper School Conservatory students as it gave them a chance to engage in an outside work in a meaningful way. Mr. Dean Bell, the Director of Arts at MVA, said, “One of the responsibilities of a teaching Conservatory is to expose our students to high quality performances in a variety of genres. Through an amazing partnership with Opera Orlando, this is the second year we have had a performance brought directly to the Sandra O. Stephens auditorium for our students to watch and enjoy. This performance of ‘All Is Calm’ not only gave us opportunity to see and discuss performance styles, staging, and musical interpretation, but also provided the added bonus of being able to discuss the historical and political significance of the subject matter.”
Lily Downs, an Upper School Conservatory student, said, “‘All is Calm,’ performed by the Orlando Opera, was such a beautiful true story. After watching it, I went home and told my family that we have to go see this over Christmas break. It was an amazing production, and the true events inspired me to always remember to find the light, even in the darkest of times, just like the Christmas Truce of World War I. It is a must-see!”