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Hello, I am in talks to write a bunch of kids operas for kids ages 5-12. Cool! Most who choose to participate in these classes will be girls 90% +. Unfortunately because of the stigmas we put and train into young fellas about "the arts." I'm sure the line "Ain't no son a' mine gonna be no dancin' fai..." Very unfortunate. But, I as a guy can only remember what I was into around 5-12. Star Wars, anything Marvel Comics, etc. For those of you that have 5-12 year olds especially girls. What are they REALLY into these days. What are the things they continually beg you to buy? What stories and movies do you recognize as having most moved or interested your 5-12 y.o. girls? Thank you, Marcus:)_
As the mother if a daughter in that age group (she's 9) I would say she and her friends are all crazy about animals. They also all love to sing and dance (my kid is very involved in musical theatre). In her musical theatre classes they make up their own scripts and nearly always each girl takes on the role of an animal. Maybe a rock or disco parody with animals? Maybe a singing/dancing version of Animal Farm? They also, of course, love each other. So something set in an all-girls school. Maybe an updating of those old Andy Rooney/Judy Garland: hey, gotta garage? let's put on a show!" kind of musicals. This sounds like a very fun project. Good luck to you!
So true!!!! Also, "hey, gotta living room with parents who are too lazy to get off the couch"? (that would be me and the DH). Let's entertain them with our spectacular baton-twirling routines! "Spectacular", of course, being relative, depending on whether or not you appreciate the fine art of tossing said baton against the TV... Also, forgot to mention that my kid is into sports, although no sport in particular, just whatever catches her fancy at the moment. Lately, it's basketball, but she's been on a swim team, done martial arts, soccer, etc. In fact, girls' sports might be a good milieu to check into - lots of fodder for dramatic storytelling, imo.Stella Star wrote: hey, gotta garage? let's put on a show!" kind of musicals.
I feel pretty good. I spent the day at the bookstore before reading these replies. I ended up with 30 idea titles which I whittled down to 10 to be expanded into Synopsis. The ten involve: Animals, Forests, Magic, Sports, Girls as unlikely hero's, etc. and of course a massive amount of music related story intertwinings. If the Operas end up getting video'd maybe i'll post them at my site as "resume" demo's. Thank you, Marcus:)
You need to talk to your actual audience. I'm sure it wouldn't take more than a bag of candy to get the answers from some little girls. Just make sure you go about it in a way that doesn't make their mothers think you are a child predator with razorblade candy!
I worked and performed with a group called ROK reimagining opera for kids. Not only does this organization (based on Indiana USA) perform for more than 5,000 kids in the area, they do a commission each year for different age groups and collect research from kids and teachers on how the opera was received. Now there is 10+ years of this research and the people running the organization, affiliated with Indiana University know tons and have worked directly with composers. My suggestion is to contact them!