I write to let you know about "The Classroom"--a Children's Peace Opera which I recently composed and which will have its premiere with 4th and 5th graders at New Scotland Elementary School in Albany, New York in January. A second performance will follow on stage at the Massry Center for the Arts at The College of Saint Rose (where I am an associate professor of music).
In the opera children are divided into two ethnic groups (for the premiere the groups will be Israelis and Palestinians). During the course of the opera, the children sing about the joys of playing soccer, anxiety over taking a test, and their dislike for the food their parents packed them. What the children do not sign about are their differences, because they don't recognize any differences. Therefore, the greatest lesson of "The Classroom" is the lesson left unsung.
The production leading up to the premiere will provide many learning opportunities for the students at New Scotland Elementary School, from art projects to create the scenery, to social studies research in studying Israeli and Palestinian cultures, to musical experiences in participating in an opera and working with a professional soprano (who plays the role of "the teacher').
I am pleased to bring this work for peace to your attention and would greatly appreciate your interest (and would be delighted to receive suggestions for future performance opportunities).
Dr. Bruce Craig Roter,
Composer of "The Classroom"