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Not an Average School Play

Beverly Farms produces an opera

Look out, Verdi. Students at Beverly Farms Elementary have written, composed and developed, “Twisted Temptations,” their own opera.

“It has blown my mind what they have come up with,” said Valia Vassila, music teacher and faculty advisor. This is the fifth year students at Beverly Farms have created an original opera.

The students start with a theme, which this year was fear — not surprising consider the students spent almost a month in Code Blue lockdown in the fall.

“They picked the theme last October,” Vassila said.

As a way of demonstrating fear, and the ways courage can overcome fear, the students chose to use dental hygiene and the fears of a new tooth.

The opera features a new tooth, played by Stephanie Weinstein, and its difficulties in choosing between healthy snacks and snacks which could rot her. Helping her along in her epic quest are good and an evil tooth fairy. “Only 11-year-olds could come up with this,” Vassila said.

The students all work together to develop the opera. They choose jobs and are each given a role to play. “We’re all very good friends, so it’s easy to work together,” said Aishini Thiyagarajan, the production manager. “I supervise to make sure that everything is going smoothly.

The play is written by a group of students which each takes a different part. “At first we all did different things, then we all worked together,” said Crystal Chiang, one of the writers.

Students typically worked in areas in which they had an interest. “They know where they are best,” said Vassila.

“We like to play with [make-up] at home,” said Tessa Port a make-up artist for the opera.

“I thought it would be exciting to publicize our opera,” said Laura Ardila. As a result of her interest, Ardila became a public relations representative for the show.

In addition to developing the opera the students are taking the opportunity to help others. They have been selling “Opera grams” to raise funds for the Children’s Inn at NIH. “I expect them to raise over $1,000,” said Vassila.