Let's Learn About Opera

Have you been stuck in the house so long that it feels like your kids are just getting louder and louder while your space is getting smaller and smaller? Do your kids like to sing while on the toilet? And do you have an important phone call this afternoon? Then it’s time to introduce your kids to opera! 

Kids love opera! There’s lots of dress up and fancy costumes, and the singers all sing-narrate EVERYTHING they do, JUST LIKE YOUR KIDS! 

Sadly the Vienna Opera is closed, but they are broadcasting their archives for free. Simply sign up here, and watch a new opera or ballet daily at 7:30 pm Central European Time (that’s 2:30 pm EST or until daylight savings in Europe), perfect for that after lunch conference or when you’re getting sick of the kids but it’s too early to drink wine. Or, after you make your free purchase, you’ll also have on demand access to other great shows.

Before the show, let your kids get their fingerprints all over your tablet by letting them take a virtual tour of the world-famous opera house. (Kids love to touch everything!) On the virtual tour, the kids can learn the secrets of backstage, or even go on the roof and learn some cool facts. I’ve lived in Vienna for two years, and I didn’t know that there are bee hives on the roof of the opera! So cool

The Vienna State Opera

What's An Opera

Now, you may be excited to have your kids watch culture for two hours, but if they see you smiling, they’re going to give you the stink eye and immediately shut down that conversation. So, you’ll need to play it cool. When my husband and I were first dating, he took me to see “The Barber of Seville” and when the prelude started, he turned to me, and excitedly and loudly whispered, “This is from Bugs Bunny!” So start there. 

When the kids are hooked, check out Classics for Kids from the Cincinnati Public Radio. Classics for Kids is a great resource to answer questions about opera and music in general. You can also get games, curriculum and activities to teach your kids all about music and composers. You can even enlist Google Assistant as a second parent by telling Google to “Launch Classics for kids!”  (It sure beats the kids asking Google to tell it a joke.)

What About Those Singers?

At this point, if your kids are smart (and they are) they’re probably already singing like an opera singer. And aren’t you proud, as you break into your stash of emergency vodka! But there’s a real science that goes behind the training of these musical stars. To learn more about how they hit those high notes, as well as the immense amount of work that goes into training, they can watch “Kids Meet an Opera Singer” and “The Physics of Opera” by TedEd.

Have Your Kids Make an Opera

Ok, your kids like opera. They’ve excitedly watched a performance. They’re probably singing like Elmer Fudd. But you still need more time to finish that TPS report. Buy yourself another hour or two by encouraging your kids to put on their own opera. They just need a story to sing (so have them choose their favorite book) and some costumes (Heck, maybe they can even use your make-up, just this once, if they promise to leave you alone!) 

And if your kid is less of a performer but more of a builder, we’ve also got you covered. Show them the Lego operas, have them watch a few, then let them record their own on their tablet or phone. You’re welcome. And good luck!

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Before you go...

Vienna, Austria has lots to offer kids who are interested in music. From the interactive Haus der Musik to the Kinderoper, the Mozart House and the Vienna Boys Choir, your budding musician would have a field day. While it’s not safe to travel now, in the future, tourism will be essential to many economies and many families. So please consider putting Vienna on your bucketlist and traveling when it is safe.

We believe that introducing kids to new places and cultures is essential to being good a global neighbor. And we want to make travel easier and more fun for families, however we can. If you like us, read some more of our stories, and follow us on Facebook