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Subject: "Il Barbiere" in the sixth grade
From: Charles Handelman <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:[log in to unmask]
Date:Tue, 29 May 2001 14:05:04 EDT
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                       This morning the 6th grade junior school Italian class
I work with as a volunteer performed the first of our four shows in the
auditorium. I must tell you that they were a true delight, and it went so
very smoothly,despite the fact that it was a long weekend and I feared they
might be rusty. The program, all in Italian, written and directed by yours
truly, was as follows:

                           The "Scopo" Commercial  (What can happen if you
have bad breath but "Scopoman comes to the rescue."). The audience laughed
every time the Scopoman said, "La tua bocca puzza!"

                           "Old Macdonald Had a Farm (but with about 15
animals, and each kid got to do the imitation of the animal..The funniest one
was "Il Coniglio dice,"What's up,doc!"
                            Three Italian poems read by students, with
translation

                             "Santa Lucia," sung by an adorable little boy
soprano.

                             A full-fledged "Tarantella" with dancers,with
musical accompaniment.

                              The section of act three Barbiere di Siviglia
from, "Dunque andiam...Don Basilio...Cosa veggo," with some cuts, through the
entire shaving scene...complete with real shaving cream, a 15 foot razor, and
the same staging the Met used to do,where the Bartolo has a bald pate under
the wig, and when he discovers Rosina and Almaviva , Figaro,holding the wig,
does not see that he slips out from under the wig and the audience sees him
"bald." They also got a chance to "sing," as I taught them the "Buona
sera,mio signore" part.

                         None of these kids are Italian, and I must tell you
that the Italian pronunciation of all of them,including students from
Pakistan,Bangladesh, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic,etc. was truly
IMPECCABLE! I told them that there are professional singers at the Met who
could learn a thing or two from them.

                           The Basilio cracked me up,letting out such a
gigantic,
BUONA SERA..BEN DI CUORE!"  that he clutched his poor little throat in pain.
Later in class, we had a lesson with the word,"Andiamo" as part of the
lesson..so they proceeded to go through the entire scene (which begins with
the "Dunque,andiam!") knowing the WHOLE THING..everyone knew everyone's
part!(Sounds like many of us online).
                    What a joy to have little 11-12 year old kids doing so
beautifully, and showing how a language class can be much more than just
verbs and vocabulary..and I am thrilled..... Pizza will be their reward!!!!
      with love for all kiddies   Carlo

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