"When stories meet music, it's magical."
Those words, spoken by performers with the Dayton Opera, perfectly described the show Shakespeare Sings. The performance tour started on Monday, January 11 and included a stop at CJ. Shakespeare Sings was presented by the Dayton Opera through Muse Machine.
"Muse Machine does a lot of cross-curriculum performances," explained drama and choir teacher Caitlin Bennett. "In this case, it's music and British literature. Muse Machine brings the arts into schools to show the connections that can be made."
Kasia Borowiec, who sings soprano, is an Artist in Residence with the Dayton Opera and was one of the four singing members in the performance.
"I have been singing for as long as I can remember," shared Borowiec. "I did a lot of musicals and choirs at my school. When I went to college, I decided opera was something I wanted to pursue further."
The performers kept the students entertained with scenes focusing on parties, love, death and comedy from plays including Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, and Othello.
"The Dayton Opera is performing Otello, an opera based upon Othello, at the end of February," said Borowiec. "I am the understudy for the role Desdemona, so Othello is probably my favorite play we perform. It is fun, though, to do bits and pieces from many different shows."
The performers were accompanied by a pianist, and explained to students that operas are usually much more dramatic than musicals.
"To have live opera singers come into our school is a huge deal," reinforced Bennett. "It's awesome."
This is the second Muse Machine performance this school year. In September, musician Michael Kelsey visited CJ. In February, the third and final Muse Machine performance will take place for this school year.
Click below to view an excerpt of the performance.