Two-week Opera Camp culminates with live performance on July 30


Doña Ana Arts Council’s (DAAC) 2021 Opera Camp production is “Girl Meets Whirlpool,” which will be presented at 1 p.m. Friday, July 30, in the theater at Centennial High School, 1950 Sonoma Ranch Blvd.

“Girl Meets Whirlpool” is an original opera written by Las Cruces students, aged 8-18, said Opera Camp Director Christa Fredrickson.

There is no cost to attend the performance. Donations will be accepted.

During DAAC’s two-week opera camp leading up to the production, “students learn about all the parts of opera and work together to create every single element,” Fredrickson said. “In week one, the students start on Monday by finding the theme, the hero and the world in which the opera takes place. By the end of day two, the students have a fully developed story, the cast list goes up and the students begin developing their characters. By the end of day three, they have a fully written libretto, and on day four, they begin setting it to music. During the second week of the opera camp, students design and build the stage elements, the costumes, the lighting design, the choreography and block and rehearse the show.

“In ‘Girl Meets Whirlpool,’ our hero, Iris, discovers that the gods and goddesses on the island where she has been kidnapped by an evil serpent,” Fredrickson said. “She jumps into the whirlpool and befriends a seahorse and together they travel to the Crab Shack Casino under the sea to find her friends. Along the way they meet a group of pop starfish, a comedian clownfish, the king of all crabs and his thug eels and a dangerous ninja sword fish. Can they rescue the gods and goddesses from the evil serpent and make it back to the island they love?”

Payton Matthews is the show’s assistant director. Darin Cabot is the set designer.

In the process of creating the 30-minute musical, “the young participants will be learning the technical aspects of lighting and sound, as well as set and costume design to round out the skills necessary to make this wild deep sea opera sing,” said DAAC Executive Director Greg Smith. Smith said the cast of characters also includes the “god of pumpkin spice lattes and scented candles, who will be turned into a barnacle on the side of a sunken pirate ship.”

2021 Opera Camp