Kids Do It All Opera Company
"No Wi-fi?, No Problem!"

We did it again!  We created another original opera starting from a blank page and finishing with a full stage production.

Written during the first three months of the school year, student writers and composers surveyed all of the fifth grade students before deciding to write an opera story about needing wi-fi as an essential life element.  Spurred by the focus question during our first unit in Life Science, "What do fifth grade students need to live?", students were fairly unanimous that their lives would not be the same without technology.  Thus, a story idea was born. Using this theme as a starting point, characters were created, relationships evolved, a plot developed, and a problem sprouted that was solved in the most original way... "No Wi-Fi, No Problem" followed the story of a group of fifth grade students who are celebrating their academic success at the end of the school year with a field trip to the grand opening of a new waterpark/aquarium, "Fishtopia"(yes, they thought of the name), and with a class party. Planning ensues and its pretty evident that there is more help being offered by the adults than the students wish to accept. In the recurring musical moment, "Did You Hear?",  the kids reiterate their desire to "do it all". In addition, as we get to know the characters, including a zany student newspaper reporter named Sadie, and Student Council President Rose and her best friend Julie, we discover a deeper side to the 5th grade students' ideas than mere wi-fi problems at a party. Rose turns out to be a bit of a bossy, mean girl who in actuality is basically homeless. The students made a connection to Habitat for Humanity and in real life donated part of the proceeds of their opera performance to the Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity.  

After a number of vignettes depicting the conflict between the kids ideas and the adults, the class party is set to take place with students in charge of technology and music provided by Spotify.  After a rousing start, the kids experience a connectivity issue and lose their only plan for music at the party.  Lucky for everybody, Slash and Kakashi have their instruments close by and are able to save the day with live music for everybody to enjoy!  In their final musical number, the kids wrote an original song accompanied by students and enhanced by our guest artists, "We Don't Need Wi-Fi to Have Fun!".  

Thanks to the Twin Cities Opera Guild and the MPS ARTS Program for supporting our creating original opera process this year!  Students were integrally involved in numerous production aspects including writing, composing, designing sets and lighting, designing costumes and make-up, painting sets, public relations, and documentation. Guest artists Joshua Holmgren (Musical Artist/Composer/Pianist), Katie Knutson (Theatre Artist/Storyteller), Ryan Worthman (Sound Production/Lighting Artist), and Mike Colismo (Percussionist) supported the students' creative process and enhanced students' performances.