Opera Modesto’s Story Into Song Literacy Initiative seeks to engage and encourage Modesto and area youth in literacy and cultural enrichment through operatic productions of great literature. Through casting young and emerging singers and presenting the operas in appealing settings, we seek to inspire and involve area youth in creative, collaborative and positive events that encourage language and cultural fluency, collaborative spirit and community engagement.
This year’s Story Into Song Production is Created by Dr. Deborah Kavasch (composer) and Linda Bunney-Sarhad (librettist).
THE RACE is a charming re-telling of tales as old as time. Commissioned by Opera Modesto to showcase the emerging talent of the youth in their Summer Opera Institute program, this opera is sure to delight opera lovers, and readers, of any age.
THE RACE, a mash-up of five popular Aesop’s fables, is built upon the race in “The Tortoise and the Hare.”
Colliding onstage, the Tortoise and Hare challenge each other to a race. Moving on their “track” around the stage, the Hare alternately sprinting and napping and the Tortoise plodding, they encounter a bear and some bees, some frightened rabbits and frogs, a hungry fox, and a lamb being stalked by a wolf being stalked by a shepherd.
In the end they are all onstage as the exhausted Tortoise struggles past the sleeping Hare and collapses over the finish line. Everyone cheers the Tortoise while the Hare sings his cadenza of misery. The crowd carries Tortoise off on their shoulders while the Hare looks on, astounded.