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opera viva – the name says it all: opera is sensual and fascinating and full of life!

7 AUG 2012

published in: Opera

opera viva • Carmen
“You have to be introduced to opera as a child so that you can recall it later and enjoy it!” says Klaudia Kadlec, the inventor and mastermind of opera viva. “Opera not only harbors a treasure of cultural experience, it is also a sensual and intellectual experience which challenges and uplifts the human being as a whole. The versatility of opera – it needs music, scenery, stories, lights, fabrics, props and dance – makes it especially accessible and fascinating for children.” There are scientific studies demonstrating that intelligence, sensibility and social competence are enhanced by early exposure to music and theater. Statistics also show that most adult opera lovers were introduced to music and theater as children or teenagers – whether by their parents or school.

Klaudia Kadlec has combined her passion for opera and her love for children in her professional life. In 1997 she founded the ensemble opera viva, and ever since, the author, musician and stage director has dealt almost exclusively with children’s opera. Her interactive musical theater was developed at first in a private context. Soon, however, she discovered that children, with their unbroken enjoyment of playing and imitating, are the perfect cast and also the ideal audience for opera: in a playful, uncomplicated manner, they dive into the world of opera. The music and action, supposedly so very complicated, immediately lose their threat – and opera is simply fun. This experience was the moment opera viva was born.

How does opera viva work? “After a short introduction, the kids put on their costumes and play their roles,” Kadlec says. “The children act as equal partners of the singers, actors, instrumentalists and dancers who share the stage with them. Team spirit, imagination and creativity are in full swing; the children’s enthusiasm is the motor of the action.” Klaudia Kadlec herself moderates the entire proceedings.

opera viva is designed for children aged 7 to 14. They are assigned roles, they wear costumes, rehearse dances and before they know it, they are in the midst of a fascinating opera story. They are not given finished works, but discover the world of opera for themselves. An opera viva performance is precisely prepared and is rehearsed in advance with the ensemble – the only way to develop the right framework for improvised theater. Specially designed costumes are used in all the performances, and sometimes instruments are also designed and built in order to introduce the young participants to the world of sound.

Based on a text by Dr. Stefan Rissi.

opera viva is tailored to five different operas in Salzburg: Die Zauberflöte, La bohème, Ariadne auf Naxos, Carmen and Giulio Cesare in Egitto. By clicking on the individual operas you will find further information and can purchase tickets to the individual performances – both for your children and yourself.

Duration: 3 hours, including one intermission.