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Camp seeks to help young opera singers

July 17, 2009 5:16:20 PM PDT
There's a special kind of camp this summer for would-be opera singers, where young people can work with professional performers from the Los Angeles Opera to perfect their skills. The public will be able to see their accomplishments Saturday at a free concert in Riverside.

"It's very beautiful and very technical, and there is a lot of different things going on when you listen to it, and it takes a lot more to appreciate it," said opera singer Heather Jones.

The city of Riverside is sponsoring a week-long opera camp at the Cesar Chavez community center. The cast has been together less than a week, and things are already coming together.

Artistic director Manuel Aybar is directing the opera 'Hansel and Gredal.'

Elizabeth Chan, 17, plays the role of Hansel, Heather Jones, 16, plays Gretel. The older participants at the camp are getting help honing their skills, while the younger cast members are gaining an appreciation of opera, and are having fun.

"Opera is definitely a technical art," Chan said. "A lot of training and a lot of different styles and techniques you have to put into your voice," she said.

This is the second year that the city has sponsored this opera camp.

"It's an event that's open and free to the public, so anyone is welcome to attend it and learn why they shouldn't be afraid of opera," said Lizette Navarette from the city of Riverside.

The free performance of 'Hansel and Gretel' will be held at the Cesar Chavez Community Center in Riverside starting at 2 p.m.

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