Fifth Grade Puppet Opera Premieres

Colorful, majestic gods and goddesses took center stage as the fifth graders debuted their impressive and entertaining on-screen puppet opera, “How The Sphinx Lost Its Nose,” before a virtual audience of their families on Tuesday, June 8.

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“Smiles, laughter and all-around joy was felt as we witnessed and celebrated the fifth graders' yearlong adventure of creative collaborative work,” visual arts teacher Bruce Robbins said.

The video performance, written entirely by the students, was the culmination of an interdisciplinary curriculum of ancient Egyptian culture that included lessons on history, science, writing, music theory, vocal technique, sculpting, painting, costuming and video production. 

Robbins collaborated with middle school music teacher Katie Meadows and English, history and science teacher Michaela Boller on the engaging 20-minute production. Boller expressed gratitude in being part of this wonderful journey with her students and colleagues. Meadows agreed, and shared that “The puppet opera was evidence that our incredible students developed and strengthened so many skills over the last nine months: compromise, resilience, giving and receiving feedback, flexibility, empathy, and problem-solving as a team.”

Puppeteering the goddess Sekhmet, Ellie Firsenbaum ’28 said she enjoyed writing the script (libretto) “because it allowed us to be creative, and to use teamwork to make an amazing opera.”Chandley Neren ’28, who played the goddess Isis, said her favorite part was learning how to sing in front of people. Allistair Camacho ’28 enjoyed creating the puppets and working with clay.

It was all an eye-opening adventure for Emmanuel Diamantakis ’28 who played the god Thoth: “You never know your abilities until you try! Creating puppets and composing music with my teachers was one of the most in-depth and creative experiences I’ve had. It pushed me to climb a higher mountain.”

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