Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

The World's Very Best Opera For Kids...In English!

The World's Very Best Opera For Kids...In English!

Fall 2003 Music
Ages: 4 & Up
ISBN: 189450252-3
CD Price: $15.99

If you're searching for a way to introduce your children to the wonders of classical music-more specifically, some of the most beautiful and best-loved vocal music every written, this CD is a must-have. The World's Very Best Opera for Kids is a delightful musical survey that covers the opera landscape from the stunning melodies of George Friderick Handel (Xerxes) to the charming and accessible music of Mozart (The Magic Flute and The Marriage of Figaro) and Georges Bizet (Carmen, of course) to the lush and sweeping melodic lines of Wagner (Die Walküre), Verdi (Rigoletto) and Puccini (La Bohème).

The singing, which is in English, is on the whole satisfying and sensitive. There is never any sense that the artists are compromising the integrity and grandeur of this music to make it palatable to their young audience. The producers of Best Opera for Kids wisely recognize that it simply isn't necessary. The arias are in turn funny, romantic, playful, and thrilling. What else could one want?

Some of the pieces are repeated at the end of the CD without the singing. The idea here is to try your hand at these arias, karaoke-style. Now that takes guts.

Erich Parker, APR   ©2003 Parents' Choice
Erich Parker has sung with opera companies and in recital programs around the world and regularly performs under the aegis of The Smithsonian Institution. In addition, he is a frequent guest speaker at schools and student organizations.

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