LA Opera 2007

I was called back in 2007 to lead the workshops again for the LA Opera. This year's production of "The Marriage of Figueroa" brought with it some new challenges. The costume piece the kid's were to wear had a painted design on them, so I had to figure out how to set this all up quickly at each school so that a 1,000 kids could paint their designs. I had to figure out how they could make this qucikly too by making it pretty straight forward but allowing them enough freedom to be creative, structure and imagination, once again. I needed to make a new set of directions to leave with the teachers at all schools, in case some kids needed more time or a chance to redo their piece. Like the year before, the big challenge turned into a big sucess.

LA Opera's "Paint Bootlegger" 2007

I felt like a bootlegger running plastic, gallon jugs of paint all over Los Angeles. It was a crazy week of trying to map out my route from day to day. I had to hit three schools a day, so I had to make sure I brought enough of everything. The kids did some really great work in the workshops and I took some photos which you can see below.

Design Patterns

I did a number of pattern examples for students to show them how a number of different designs could be made from three different sized triangles using three different colors. The variations in design are endless.

The workshop adventure

Project Instructions

Like the year before I felt it necessary to give the Opera an illustrated set of project instructions. It really helped me make sense of everything because I had to think and plan out every little step. It was definitely worth doing and helpful in the long run.

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Extra Project Design

At the end of every day I had to keep track of all the materials that had been used, especially the paint. I had to be careful because the paint went pretty quick. Preplanning made everything less crazy. There's no ignoring the pressure I felt in making it all work, the only thing that made it less stressful was being ready, prepared and equipped.


This year brought an added element, Sandy had asked if I could create a project based upon the costume design workshop using the sponges. This was pretty easy to do since I ate, drank and slept triangle sponges and paint all week.

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Jill Burnham

In 2006 I was working with Sandy Ssufret who was the Opera's interim Educational Director, in 2007 the LA Opera hired Jill Burnham as the new Director of the Educational Department. Jill was great, right from the beginning she was helping me out at the different schools getting an upclose look at how things were going with the workshops. Jill can be seen on the left with a roll of tape in her hand. This would be my last season with the LA Opera.

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