Several weeks later while we were at the library, he turned to me and said, "We should probably learn more about opera. Maybe there are books here about it." And of course there were, so I borrowed a few that retell opera stories for a child audience, including:
- Sing Me a Story: The Metropolitan Opera's Book of Opera Stories for Children by Jane Rosenberg
- The Random House Book of Opera Stories by Adele Geras
- The Magic Flute by Anne Gatti
- The Barefoot Book of Stories from the Opera by Shahrukh Husain
I then turned to my friend Paul, who is a trained opera singer, and asked him what operas he might recommend for obvious novices/children. He provided a list, and I went on to iTunes and downloaded a CD that contained all the ones on his list.
My plan had to been to listen to the music as we read the stories about them in the books. But, as with many of my plans with the kids, it didn't quite work out that way. They didn't want to just sit and listen while I droned on about what the people were singing about. So, in the end, I have just played the music at home in the background now and again, and we read some of the stories just so I would have a better idea of what this opera stuff is all about.
I'm not becoming an expert in anything musical any time soon, but this was a really nice way to introduce myself and my kids to a different form of music that the general pop and rock stuff we head on the radio. It's inspired me to make more of an effort to do this with other forms of music - a least just to get a taste of something different once in awhile.