Singing 'Billy Goats' headed to CSU

Opera Carolina will bring its two performances of "The Billy Goats Gruff" to Clayton State University this week.

"This performance is part of our .. Young People's Concert series," said Catherin Striplin, education manager at Spivey Hall, where the event will be held.

The performances provide a curriculum connection, such as world culture and literature. "We want them [performances] to be educational," she added.

The children's opera will be performed Opera Carolina today, and Wednesday, in Spivey Hall, at 2000 Clayton State Blvd., Morrow.

Performances will take place both days at 9:30 a.m., and 11:15 a.m.,, according to Director of University Relations John Shiffert, in a news release. The opera is open to everyone, although it is geared toward children in kindergarten- through fifth-grade, said Striplin.

The performance is $2 per person, however, $1 discounted tickets are available, to teachers, for students, Shiffert said.

"The Billy Goats Gruff," said Striplin, is a fairytale about three goats who were all named Gruff. They had to cross a bridge with a troll living underneath it. However, the troll wouldn't let them cross. The goats ultimately crossed the bridge, befriending the troll.

The story educates youngsters on the importance of kindness, and how it can assist individuals in achieving goals, Striplin said.

Opera Carolina, is based in Charlotte, N.C. It will use musical themes from popular composers, including Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and Gioachino Rossini. The opera will last about 50 minutes, Striplin said.

She said the children's opera differs from regular adult operas in that adult operas can last from two, to four hours, but the children's opera is condensed to a length of 45 minutes, to an hour. Most children's operas are usually based on children's literature, and are interactive, and performed in the English language. She said that adult operas are usually performed in foreign languages, including German and French.

"They [children's operas] are accessible and designed specifically to educate children ... You're never going to see death and destruction, like some adult operas," Striplin added.

She said the 2010-2011 Young People's Concert series began on Oct. 4, and offers a variety of musical genres, from children's operas, to string quartets.

"This is just one of many opportunities," Striplin said.

Spivey Hall has been hosting the series for 17 years, and about 15,000 metro Atlanta students –– from public schools, private schsools, and home schools –– participate, she said.