ST. CLOUD -- Sixth grade students throughout District 742 are receiving lessons in classical music with the help of the Minnesota Opera.

For the third straight year, members of the Minnesota Opera are returning to St. Cloud, teaching students about Mozart and opera through interactive lessons, and group rehearsals.

Minnesota Opera Teaching Artist Bergen Baker says teachers have begun making this program part of their lesson plans.

"It started as an experimental partnership with the St. Cloud Public schools and now teachers continue to invite us back every year," says Baker.

The Minnesota Opera has been visiting Clearview Elementary, South & North Junior Highs and Kennedy Community School, teaching nearly 700 students.

"We have individual classes with all the six grade classes and teach them about opera as an art form and teach them a piece of music," says Baker.

To complete the program, members of the Minnesota Opera will invite the students to the Paramount Theatre for a live opera performance.

Baker says the residency is something they look forward to every year.

"The more communities we can reach, the more these students will grow up with a classical foundation of music and know that art form is there for them," says Baker.

The Minnesota Opera will perform for the students on May 7.


Members of the Minnesota Opera teach sixth grade students about opera (Photo: Alex Svejkovsky, WJON News)