An ensemble of Children’s Chorus singers was recently part of Opera San Antonio’s production of Carmen, held at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts. The rehearsals and performances for the performance was a big part of the lives of these young singers for over a month as they collectively played the role of Street Children. Easily the youngest performers, CCSA choristers’ display of commitment and their evidence of hard work meant that they were given increasingly more exposure onstage. Dottie Randall, noted vocal coach and accompanist, told us that, “It has truly been a joy working with them, and watching them in rehearsals – they have been young pros all the way!” Singers, parents, and CCSA faculty alike are enormously proud of each member of this ensemble.
When asked what they thought, CCSA members told us that, “the stage setting helps us be more professional and be more focused, because all of the adults are really focused. We’re kind of emulating them.” Others echoed these thoughts when asked about the more experienced vocalists around them, “we get to see behind the scenes of the adults’ world: when you watch this sort of thing you see the character, but we see how much work they actually put into it – how focused they are”. The words that singers used over and over again to describe their work in Carmen? “Incredible…it’s been absolutely incredible for us”…“everyone’s amazing,” and “it was an amazing experience and I couldn’t have traded anything for it.” It’s this type of enthusiasm, focus, and intensity that these choristers will bring back with them and share with their peers to inform future rehearsals.
Fellowship and friendship were mentioned too when singers were asked about how working with Opera San Antonio will affect their future work in CCSA. One singer let us know that, “I feel like we really bonded in the choir…” and another said, “not only have we grown in our friendships, but we’ve also grown in skill”. And finally when asked if all the work and extra time was worth it singers told us, “the relationships that we’ve made and experiences that we’ve had made everything worth it”.“Being surrounded by so much talent, you can’t help but feed off of it. It feels cool to be a part of it,” and “I’m truly thankful that I was a part of it.”