Entirely Student-Run Performance on April 30 at Dwight-Englewood School

The “Crew of 52” Opera Company, made up entirely of children in the fifth grade at Dwight-Englewood School (D-E), is presenting an original opera based on the theme of freedom and entitled “Inside Out”. The opera will be performed on Thursday, April 30 at 7:30 PM in Hajjar Auditorium on the D-E School campus.

At the beginning of the school year, every D-E fifth grader applies for a job with the opera company and gets interviewed. Some examples of these jobs include writers, performers, composers, historians, electricians, and set designers. Once the students get their jobs, they create a script, write lyrics, compose the music, and entirely prepare the opera for a final performance at the end of the school year. Though they have an opera teacher/advisor; all the words, music, designs, etc. are imagined and created by these 10- and 11-year-old students. This is the 28th consecutive year that D-E has done the Creating Original Opera program, which isproduced in cooperation with New York’s Metropolitan Opera.

Fifth grader Benjamin Matiash, one of the “Crew of 52” public relations officers, comments, “This is a once in a lifetime experience. I never thought that I would be responsible for so much writing, even this press release, and for helping to design our logo with my partner, Allison Labutin, all at the age of only 11!”

Allison Labutin, the other “Crew of 52” public relations officer, explains, “Our fifth grade chose our company name, The Crew of 52, because we are a team that works together and we have 52 members. This name also coincides nicely with the construction of the new Hajjar STEM Center building at our school this year.”

D-E Lower School (LS) Music Director Mary Heveran notes, “This year we have our largest opera company ever!  The exciting thing for me is to see all of these extremely creative children working together to produce a truly original work. They are an amazing crew.” Opera faculty co-advisor and LS music teacher Lorna Milbauer adds “ It’s the most wonderful experience to watch what such young children are capable of producing and creating on their own. The fifth graders seem to exceed our expectations every year.”

In addition to family and friends, members of the media are encouraged and welcome to attend this “Inside Out” performance on Thursday, April 30 at 7:30 pm or Dress Rehearsals earlier that day. Details about the Creating Original Opera Program at D-E can be found at: www.d-e.org/lower.

For additional information please contact D-E Director of Communications and Publications Liz Tausner attausne@d-e.org or 201-245-2897.