April 05, 2022

Get ready for The Magic Victrola!

The Magic Victrola is a wonderful way to introduce the young people in your life to the world of opera! Here are a few ideas to talk about with your younger ones to help get them ready for a very special day at the opera house:

Learn about the story before you go

When we go to the opera, a lot of exciting things happen at once. There’s the orchestra, the singers, the dazzling sets and costumes. It can be a lot to pay attention to, so it’s always good to know a little bit about the story before you go to an opera.

The grand adventure of The Magic Victrola begins when Gracie and Sam are dropped off at their Grandpa's place for summer vacation. While at first, the kids are less than excited to be without their modern comforts, things get much more interesting when they discover their grandfather's old victrola and his prized collection of opera records in the attic. Magically, the old victrola comes to life and, with the help of the mysterious birdman, Papageno, Gracie and Sam are off on a musical adventure through some of opera's greatest hits!

Sam is off on an adventure in the 2014 production of The Magic Victrola

Get familiar with the music

The Magic Victrola features selections from some of opera’s most beloved titles, including The Magic Flute, Carmen, The Elixir of Love, Lakme, and more. While much of the music will probably be familiar to grown up ears, it’s a great idea to introduce kids to the music before you go, so they can experience the delight of hearing songs they recognize. Visit our playlist of Grandpa's favorites from The Magic Victrola and start listening now.

Know what to expect when the opera begins

To help prepare kids for the performance, consider sharing with them what to expect – here are some helpful points to share with young people before the show:

  • When the lights go down, watch for the conductor. The conductor will enter the orchestra pit and take a bow. Now it’s time to listen!
  • The first thing you’ll hear is the overture. The overture is like the cover of a book. It helps the audience get an idea of what the story is going to be about. It sets the mood.
  • When the curtain rises, you’ll see the set, which includes the scenery and any furniture or other items on stage. You’ll see the characters in their costumes. And you’ll hear them sing.
  • Like a movie or a play, an opera tells a story. The cool thing about opera is that it tells a story with music and singing, instead of just talking. Not just any old singing, either. Opera singers are like athletes. They train for years so their voices can soar over an entire orchestra.
  • You can just sit back and listen or follow along with the music by reading the words on screen above the stage.

Listen for:

  • Arias: music sung by one person
  • Duets: music sung by two people
  • Choruses: a group of voices singing together
  • Different kinds of voices, from very high to very low
  • Different types of instruments in the orchestra

Audience members enjoying a performance at Lyric.

Is it time to clap our hands yet?

Sometimes at a performance, people wonder when they’re supposed to clap. At the opera, people usually wait to clap in certain places, so that they don’t interrupt the beautiful music.

It’s time to clap:

  • when the conductor comes out to start the overture
  • after an aria or duet sung by the characters in the opera
  • at the very end of the opera
  • when the singers come out to take their bows
  • when people around you are clapping

You’ll definitely want to stand up and applaud all the hard work you see on stage in The Magic Victrola. Now, there’s just one more thing to do before you go — make sure you’ve got your tickets!

April 24, 2022

The Magic Victrola

The Magic Victrola

An original opera experience for kids aged 5 to 10

Tickets are just $5 for children and $10 for adults.

Running Time: Approximately 70 minutes, no intermission
Location: Lyric Opera House

Header photo: The Three Ladies from The Magic Flute, making an appearance in The Magic Victrola in 2014. Credit: Todd Rosenberg

All other photos: Todd Rosenberg